Love. Laugh. Learn

M-Step Testing Dates

posted Mar 28, 2016, 8:49 AM by Brandy Johnson

Your 4th grader will be M-Step testing on the following dates:

Tuesday, May 10 ~ ELA
Wednesday, May 11 ~ Math
Thursday, May 12 ~ Math
Tuesday, May 17 ~ Science

We will be testing from 9 - 11 in the morning and during the afternoon as needed.  

Updates ~ March 8, 2016

posted Mar 8, 2016, 6:15 PM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Mar 8, 2016, 6:30 PM ]

Spelling ~  This week we are focusing on some commonly misspelled words and writing complete sentences.  We have a different schedule this week with Project Charlie every morning so I decided to focus on some words that I often find misspelled in assignments. There are 15 words to review this week.  

Project Charlie ~ Mrs. Reynolds is spending an hour with us each morning to talk about a variety of topics such as friendship, self-esteem, healthy relationships, and conflict management.  Please read her email that I sent out earlier today!

Math Help ~ On ConnectEd there are Family Letters you can download.  They are located on the last lesson of each unit.  These letters include helpful hints and answers for the Home Links.  

Family Picnic ~ Please join your 4th grader on March 24th for lunch!  

Volunteer Luncheon ~ The KF staff is making lunch for all of our FABULOUS parent volunteers as a Thank You for all you do!  Please join us for a delicious lunch on Friday,  March 25 from 11:30 - 1. (Fourth grade teachers will join you from 12 - 12:30.)

Classroom Update 2/23/16

posted Feb 23, 2016, 9:00 AM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Feb 23, 2016, 9:01 AM ]

Here are some classroom happenings and updates:

Picnic Lunch - Our next picnic lunch with be on Thursday, March 24th from 12 - 12:35.  

Google Classroom - We have been learning how to use Google Classroom to complete and turn in assignments.  It is going pretty well.  There are some glitches when using iPads, iPhones, or iPods, however, Mr. Meyer is going to help us navigate these!!  Also, when you have two or more students working on one device, make sure they sign out of their Google accounts when they finish working.  

Note Taking - In Social Studies, we are using our visible thinking and informational text reading strategies to help us better understand different events and time periods in math.  We are also taking notes so we all have the same information.  Some kiddos are struggling to write complete and legible notes.  This is an important skill to develop.  Studying for quizzes and tests is much easier when notes are complete and legible.  In order to help those who are absent or didn't get to finish their notes, I am posting pics of my notes on our Google Classroom page.  Please remind your 4th grader to use this resource to keep their notes up to date.  Thanks!

Fun Fridays & the Oops Binder - While most students are completing classwork & homework on time, some of our friends are in need of some extra motivation.  Losing part of recess isn't everyone's motivation for doing homework, so, I have put in place a few new incentives.  First, whatever homework or classwork isn't completed by Friday will be sent home to be completed over the weekend.  Students will be able to bring unfinished or missing work  home the day of to finish as well but it all must be complete by Friday.  Second, if all classwork and homework is completed correctly (meaning directions were followed, not necessarily correct answers) students will be allowed to participate in FUN FRIDAY!  I will set aside time on Fridays for students to complete a fun project, play games, etc. if they have completed their work or use that time as Study Hall if they have unfinished or missing work.  

Celebrating 9 Weeks of Learning!

posted Nov 7, 2015, 7:22 AM by Brandy Johnson

It is hard to believe the first 9 weeks are over!  Time does fly when you are having fun.  I am truly enjoying my days with your kids in our classroom! They have made a spot for themselves in my heart and I am blessed to be on this journey with them! I am so proud of their hard work and their caring ways toward each other.  I look forward to sharing their progress and goals with you next week at conferences.  Thanks to all of you who turned in the index cards with your thoughts & questions for our conferences.  If you forgot (I understand how that goes!) feel free to email me this weekend or if your conference is on Thursday, turn in the card on Monday.  

This week we started exploring the view from Earth.  Students started observing the moon and noticing how the shape of the moon changes.  We will be learning why this happens during this unit.  They also used styrofoam balls to explain how day and nigh occur on Earth.  In math, students worked with factors and multiples, identified prime and composite numbers, converted time measurements, and explored multiplicative statements.  We are now teaching in small groups during math in order to better meet our students' needs.  This also allows time for learning through games!  In both reading and writing we are exploring nonfiction text.  In the very near future, students will begin writing their nonfiction book on their Zoo Lab animal. 

There is definitely a LOT of learning going on and I am so excited to be on this journey with your 4th grader!  See you all next week!

Halloween Fun

posted Nov 7, 2015, 6:59 AM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Nov 7, 2015, 6:59 AM ]

Thank you Mrs. Hossink for organizing a fun Halloween Party!  Thanks to all the parents who joined in the holiday fun and came out to watch our parade!

Zoo Lab Days 4 & 5

posted Nov 7, 2015, 6:57 AM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Nov 7, 2015, 7:00 AM ]

Day 4
Today was a lot of learning about what happens at the zoo behind the scenes. We had a lot of time learning about the penguin and other aquatics exhibit. The kids filled out a scavenger hunt of different animals in the aquarium! They were so enthralled watching the tidal wave pool go in and out! The penguins were very noisy while we were in there which was fun to watch (and listen to). We also spent time learning about the animal hospital. Dr. Ryan came and talked to us about his job, and how he works with all the animals. He showed us pictures of him working on big animals like the tigers, pythons, and chimps. He brought his blow gun for us to see how they put animals to sleep with a dart for an exam. The kids thought his job sounded so cool until he said it is about 8-10years of school! Of course we spent more time with our own animal observations, and we were able to eat lunch on the deck by the spider monkeys!  ~Miss Miller

Day 5 
We said "good-bye" to "our" animals and the zoo today.  We spent the morning observing our animals and writing good-bye letters.  We also went on a Conservation Scavenger Hunt and learned how we can help animals by recycling, reusing, and keeping our drains clear of debris and trash just to name a few!  After lunch we played Hooks and Ladders. In this game, the kiddos were salmon and had to survive the obstacles of the river and the sea through their life cycle.  Lots of salmon survived the first round but then dams and fishermen arrived.  Less and less salmon survived their journey when faced with these obstacles.  This game allowed the kids to "step inside" the salmon's life and start to understand the impact humans have on animals and habitats. The rest of the afternoon was spent taking pictures and saying final good-byes. 

It was an AMAZING week of learning and discovery.  The kids were so engaged and involved - it was a joy to watch them!  Thanks so much for your support of this INCREDIBLE learning opportunity for your 4th graders!!

Zoo Lab ~ Day 3

posted Oct 21, 2015, 4:51 PM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Oct 23, 2015, 12:45 PM ]

My legs are sore today!  We walked A LOT today!  The kids were so excited to go behind the scenes.  They thought it was so cool to walk through the gate that said Employees Only.  Melinda told us all about the tiger holding and where they go at night.  Then we talked to Keeper Bill.  He told us how animals were shipped to and from the zoo.  We watched the bears eat their popsicles that we made yesterday.  The girl bear then stood up on her hind legs and scratched her back on the wall!  Pretty cool!  We were able to eat lunch and play up by the tigers.  It was such a gorgeous day!  We also learned about what goes into an exhibit design from Tara. Did you know that a newborn chimp is as strong as a 5 year old human? Wow!   Ask your 4th grader what the most dangerous animal at the zoo is!  Tara explained the challenges of building the zoo on this hilly site and how creativity plays a part in the designs.  Enjoy the pictures!

Zoo Lab - Day 2

posted Oct 20, 2015, 6:33 PM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Oct 23, 2015, 12:45 PM ]

It was another fabulous day at Zoo Lab.  Today we were up close and personal with four animals: ball python, Eastern Screech owl, Caco Tortoise, and an opossum.  We learned about the physical and behavioral adaptations of each of these animals.  After that it was off to observe their animals.  Some of the groups were even visited by zoo keepers!  When I visited the lion group today, the male lion was right up next to the glass!!!  It was so awesome to see him so close!  After lunch we toured the Commissary (aka kitchen) where all the animals' meals are prepped.  We also learned about different kinds of enrichment they give the animals.  The kids made "yummy" popsicles for the bears.  These popsicles included ingredients such as pickle juice (a favorite of the bears), jello, grapes, bbq sauce, spaghettios, and marinara sauce.  Hopefully they will find it appetizing!  We will find out tomorrow morning!  We ended the day learning about different adaptations and characteristics of animals at the biofact stations.  Your kiddos are doing an awesome job and learning so much!  I love watching them interact with their classmates and working together to learn and explore.  Looking forward to tomorrow!!

Zoo Lab - Day 1

posted Oct 19, 2015, 4:55 PM by Brandy Johnson   [ updated Oct 22, 2015, 6:35 AM ]

Wow!  What a fun day of discovery and learning!!  In the morning, the kids went on a scavenger hunt in the zoo and learned about the different animals.  Some of their WOWs from their time in the zoo were seeing the penguins getting fed, finding out the penguins are from South America, seeing the large snake in the tropics building, watching the mountain lions play, seeing the Tiger up close, and many more! 

In the afternoon they were off to observe their animals.  While I was up with the chimpanzee group, we hear the lionesses roar and "talk" to each other.  Then one of the chimps started screeching and riled up the others.  It was quite loud at that exhibit for a few minutes but what an exciting few minutes it was!  As Mrs. Boersma and I visited different groups, we were so impressed with how engaged and on task our students were.  They couldn't wait to share their observations and new learning with us!  

We can't wait for day 2!!!  

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