Friday, May 30, 2014

Homework for 6/2

*** Finish Literature Circle work
*** Begin studying for Western States Quiz (Next Friday the 6th)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homework for 5/30

Read and log
Book review due
Complete Map of western states AND worksheet

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homework for 5/29

*** Complete any unfinished work from Literature Circles
*** Read and log! (I will be checking Friday)
*** Book Review due Friday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Homework for 5/28

*** Complete Area and Perimeter worksheet
*** Read and log!!
*** Final Book Review due Friday

Friday, May 23, 2014

Homework for 5/27

*** Complete Earthquake Reflection here
*** Read and log!!

Great job on Earthquake Week!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homework for 5/23

*** Study for spelling test
*** Get plenty of rest for the final day of Earthquake Week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Updates on Earthquake Week - Day 2

Today in Social Studies, we discussed and researched key geographical features that are found in regions that experience earthquakes. In addition, we covered plate tectonics and the movement of the continents, from Pangea to present day. Student read informational text to learn both about global geographical features as well as the history of some of Earth’s largest recorded earthquakes.

(ELA) Today we dug deeper into the theme of interdependence. We read aloud Dear Children of the Earth, A Letter from Home, by Schim Schimmel. On their Chromebooks, students made webs using Google Draw, to identify interdependent relationships in the book. Students were creative in the different ways they connected the ideas and relationships. Ask your child to show you his or her web in their Google Drive! Once we develop a stronger understanding of interdependence, we will connect this theme to everything the students have been learning about earthquakes.

Things started SHAKING UP today in STEM sessions. Students watched video of real earthquake (EQ) engineers testing models. Next, students helped test 1 story and 4 story models of buildings with NO EQ technology/structural supports using our very own EQ simulation shake table. Movement was recorded using grid paper, and documented via photos/video. In groups, students used our interactive web page to chart movement shifts on their own grid paper and answer questions about the process and reasoning behind results found. To communicate their findings, groups used the iPad app, Educreations, to record screencasts (images, live annotations, & voice) explaining the movement, observations, and explanations behind our 1 story and 4 story CONTROL GROUP tests today. We loved “BREAKING GROUND” with our first experiments!
See daily photos/videos posted at:

Today in math class we began analyzing graphs of real earthquake data. We learned about the importance of the graph title, the categories on the x-axis, and the increments along the y-axis. All three of these pieces of information help us to correctly interpret the data. We also began the 100 coin flip challenge to test the concept of probability.

Updates from Earthquake Week - Day 1

Today in Social Studies, we defined and illustrated key terms and concepts as we begin exploring the history of earthquakes. Students examined the geographic locations of past earthquakes and researched the tools used to measure and compare earthquakes across the globe.

Today we began to explore the last fourth grade language arts theme of interdependence. Students defined it in their own words by breaking the word into parts “inter” & “dependence”. We studied pictures and reflected how they were connected to interdependence.

Today in the STEM lab, we we explored earthquakes and the engineering design process. Students used technology to watch videos, share comments via interactive Padlets, and worked in teams to determine how they would use the engineering design process. Students were introduced to their team challenge and began defining the problem to be solved! They also began taking nonfiction notes and learning new vocabulary. Follow our earthquake engineering explorations at: See daily photos posted at:

Today in math, we began by discussing the meaning of the word data and the different ways that data can be collected. We made two group charts, and used those charts to explore the idea of sample size. In order to have reliable data, we discovered that we need to have a larger sample size.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Study Guide for the SW States

Southwest States Educreation

Great job Ryan and Logan!

Homework for 5/21

*** Study for Southwest States Quiz!!! The Quiz will cover -- the 4 States, 4 capitals, 4 abbreviations, Grand Canyon, Wheeler's Peak, Rio Grande, Gulf of Mexico. 
*** Read and log!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

HOMEWORK for 5/20

*** Read and log! 
*** Study for Southwest States Quiz on Wednesday. The Quiz will cover -- the 4 States, 4 capitals, 4 abbreviations, Grand Canyon, Wheeler's Peak, Rio Grande, Gulf of Mexico. 

Earthquake Week -- Day 1

1) Introductory Video: BrainPop Earthquakes (Username: northshore Password: pop) Watch as a class. 

2) Earthquake Discussion. Over the next week, we will be looking at the history of earthquakes, but before we begin, we need to define key terms.

3) Students should go to the Social Studies Folder, and open the LESSON 1 - KEY TERMS doc. Students should make a copy, and label it  (THEIR LAST NAME) KEY TERMS. For example, my doc would be called BRANDSTRADER KEY TERMS. 

4) Students should first define each term in their own words using or actual classroom dictionaries. Students may work in pairs or groups of 3, but each must have their own document.

5) Once they have finished the definitions, they should add an appropriate picture for each term  (either by creating a Google Drawing or finding an image online). This activity should take the entire class period, and I believe that many will not finish. Those that do finish may watch the additional videos below. 

Additional Videos: 
National Geographic Intro to Earthquakes
How Stuff Works: Earthquakes
PBS: Plate Tectonics (may not work without a log-in)

Friday, May 16, 2014


Dear Fourth Grade Parents, 

We are very excited to "shake-up" learning all across fourth grade next week.  As a team, we are going to launch a comprehensive earthquake unit, integrating science, social studies, language arts, and math together.  Students will be traveling with their classes to visit and learn from all of the different fourth grade teachers to engage and develop a well-rounded understanding of earthquakes, as we learn about the western region of the United States.  

What will kids be learning? Mr. Brandstrader will be teaching social studies where students will be conductng research and building their background knowledge of earthquakes.  Mrs. Weinsten will be teaching math, focusing on on data collection and interpretation. Ms. Labellarte will be teaching language arts, focusing on the theme of interdependence and the impact of earthquakes through the reading of survival stories. Mrs. Petlak will be implementing STEM projects generously donated to our classes by ETA Hand2Mind, focusing on tectonics, geologic processes, and earthquake engineering challenge and construction.  

We will be posting exciting learning updates and happenings on our blogs, so stay tuned!

Last Author Visit of the Year!

Liesl Shurtliff, the author of Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin, visited our school today to discuss fairy tale stories and perspective. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homework for 5/16

Study for Spelling Test
Read and log!!
Work on Opinion Writing Paper if you are behind (at this point you should have all 5 paragraphs completed (at least 3 long sentences each), all paragraphs should be indented, and all grammar and punctuation should be correct)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Homework for 5/15

Complete conversion worksheet. Hint - 1 foot equals 12 inches. 

Create 15 conversion flash cards. You may choose time, distance, weight or volume to convert. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Homework on 5/14

*** Complete first draft of Opinion Writing Paper using the template provided in draft
*** Complete feet/inches conversion worksheets. Reminder - 12 inches=1 foot. (If students are having difficulty, they may use a calculator, but I prefer that they make their best effort without one)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Homework for 5/13

***Students should use ALL their spelling words to craft fictional stories (not individual sentences!) and post them to their blogs. Students must use their words properly, so if they don't know them, they must look them up!

*** Any students who have missed in class reading of Who is Roald Dahl should get caught up for homework

*** Read independent book and log! Book Review #4 is due May 23. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Homework for 5/12

*** Read and log your independent reading (3 are due)
*** Read Chapter 4, 5, and 6 in Who is Roald Dahl? We will discussing the book so please note any questions you have, or anything in the chapters that Roald experienced that you think became an idea for one of his books or stories.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Homework for 5/9

Tomorrow is MAPS testing (Reading) so the homework tonight is:

1) Relax
2) Eat a solid dinner and good breakfast and bring a good snack
3) Relax
4) Get a great night sleep
5) Relax

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homework for 5/8

*** Read Who is Roald Dahl - Intro (Who is Roald Dahl), Chapter 1, Chapter 2
*** Complete Southwest States Map
*** Read and log!!

Homework for 5/7

*** Complete IRP Progress Report
*** Read and log!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Homework for 5/6

*** Read and log!
*** Complete Math Decimals/Fractions worksheet. Simplify fractions where possible.
*** Create sentences using all spelling words. Must use spelling words properly.

Also, school supply ordering forms went home today for the 2014-15 school year. Please let me know if it didn't make it home.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Homework for 5/5

*** Bud Not Buddy Perspective Letter Due
*** One paragraph opinion - Should we continue doing the Independent Research Project? Why or Why not?
*** Read and log!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Homework for 5/2

*** Complete Bud Not Buddy Perspective Rough Draft (2-3 Paragraphs)
*** Complete Opinion Writing Rough Draft (Need 3 reasons supporting your opinion, and 3 facts/examples supporting your reasons)
*** Read and log
*** Study for Spelling Test