Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reading Challenges

I am really struggling with getting some (quite a few) to actually READ.  It is completely shocking to me, as I would read all day every day if I could.  So....I am going to try this fun activity by the Queen of Third Grade, Beth Newingham.  I love her!  Can't say that enough.  Even though I am teaching 4th grade, this is a wonderful plan to get kids EXCITED about reading!

Reading Detectives...students read a mystery and try to solve it before the end.  They learn new words like alibi, suspects, red herring (gotta love that one!).  I am hoping that this will entice some of my fake readers and nonreaders to start loving it.  How can we be fabulous fourth grade writers without sampling some fabulous writing?!

One more thing that I have started AND they are on board with it, is genre tickets.  I found some fabulous tickets that they will cash in after they read that particular genre.  Once they have read (and proved their reading) all of the genres, I am going to do something super special for them.  I am thinking pizza party after 4 or 5 have done it.  Maybe before that.  Thanks to the Oh Boy 4th Grade blog! She has some fabulous ideas for 4th grade!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

O.R.E.O. Project 2011

We had a fabulous time participating in the O.R.E.O. Project this year.  We all got to stack Oreos and use the data to determine mean, median, mode, and range.  The most cookies stacked in Jamestown was 25.  Our mean was 37, 20 was the median.  We had two modes:  18 and 25.  And our range was 12!

10 packs of Oreos...

Stacking high!
...and they tumble!

Some fun sculptures after all the math!

Thanks to Projects by Jen for letting us participate!  Can't wait until next year!

Click here for information and results from this year's project.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1st...Getting ready for Halloween!!!

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg is a great book for teaching writing...especially for the month of Halloween!  I have the portfolio version as well as the book version so I decided to put the portfolio on a bulletin board to leave up all month for inspiration.  I cannot wait for the new version that comes out October 25th.

From BarnesandNoble.com:

An inspired collection of short stories by an all-star cast of best-selling storytellers based on the thought-provoking illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
For more than twenty-five years, the illustrations in the extraordinaryMysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg have intrigued and entertained readers of all ages. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with these enigmatic pictures. Now we’ve asked some of our very best storytellers to spin the tales. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to gather this incredible compendium of stories: mysterious, funny, creepy, poignant, these are tales you won’t soon forget.
This inspired collection of short stories features many remarkable, best-selling authors in the worlds of both adult and children's literature: Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg himself.
     Van Allsburg's Harris Burdick illustrations have evoked such wonderment and imagination since Harris Burdick's original publication in 1984; many have speculated or have woven their own stories to go with his images. More than ever, the illustrations send off their eerie call for text and continue to compel and pick at the reader's brain for a backstory—a threaded tale behind the image. In this book, we've collected some of the best storytellers to spin them.