All The World’s A Stage…..

…..and in room 11 we are but players!  Below are our final projects for 3 of the 4 plays our literature circles read this week.  Students, please view the play then log into edmodo and give yourself a grade using the rubric that is posted for the assignment.  Parents, please enjoy watching your children perform.  They worked very hard!  This assignment counts as a alternative test grade for this book.  An alternative test is an assessment that is different from the traditional paper and pencil tests. 


For this task, they had to choose a scene from their play, rehearse it to build up their fluency and confidence, present it to the class, and finally self-evaluate their own performance using the performance rubric.  The rubric includes the following categories:  Fluency (how smoothly they read their parts), interaction with other characters (did they just stand and read or did they actually act it out), volume, and participation.  I am very proud of each of the groups!

 When Women Played Baseball

Happy Burger

The Tale of Anton Brown and Grace Hopper

EGGstra Special Weekly Objectives! Week of March 25-28

This week, while being a short one, will be jam packed with EGGciting EGGsperiments, drama, sports, mystery and more! 

On Monday, my little thespians will be performing a scene from their guided reading stories from last week.  Each group was assigned a one act play to read to learn how to interpret text in a different way.  As a culminating event, they will be choosing and performing one scene from their play instead of taking a normal paper and pencil text.  Their plays will be recorded and posted to the blog for them to view and share with their families!

In Math this week, we are continuing to work with fractions.  We are focusing on making improper (top heavy) fractions into mixed numbers and vice versa.  To make an improper fraction a mixed number, divide the numerator by the denominator.  The answer is your whole number and your remainder is the new numerator for your new fraction.  Example:   7/5 = 1  2/5

To change a mixed number into an improper fraction, multiply your denominator by the whole number, add the numerator to that answer, and place your final answer over your denominator.  Example:  1  2/5= 5 x 1= 5,  5+2=7  improper fraction = 7/5

On Wednesday, we will be having our annual staff vs. student floor hockey game (here’s hoping I don’t break anything)!

Thursday is our school wide scavenger hunt as well as our EGGsperiment EGGstravaganza!  The experiments we will be conducting are as follows:

EGGsperiment #1- the volcanic egg

EGGsperiment # 2- Humpty Dumpty

EGGsperiment #3- The Incredible Shrinking (and Expanding) Egg

EGGsperiment #4- The Naked and Bouncing Egg

EGGsperiment #5- The Unbreakable Egg

Please dress your child in play clothes as this may get messy!

Eggstra! Eggstra! Room 11 Needs your Eggsistance!

We will be holding an EGGsperimentally Awesome day next Thursday and could use some help!  We are in need of the following items:

Raw eggs (at least 6 dozen or more)

Vinegar (1 large bottle- think BJ’s size)

Egg dye kits (1 or 2 would be plenty)

Cotton Balls (1 bag)

Baking Soda (1 box is plenty)

1 bottle of soda (for experimental purposes only! Flavor does not matter)

1 package of large clear plastic cups

All of these ingredients will add up to a spectacularly scientific Eggstravaganza!  Any student who brings in one of the above items will receive 10 extra credit points on this week’s Science test.  If you would like to volunteer to help us on Thursday, March 28th, we would love to have you!  Please contact Mrs. Sinone to let her know you will be coming.  Also on Thursday, March 28th please dress your child in play clothes as some of these EGGsperiments are quite messy! 

We hope to see you for an EGGcellent time!

Owl Pellet Day!

Nothing says Monday morning like digging through owl vomit!  Today is the day!  We are finally done virtually dissecting our owl pellets and ready to really dissect one.  We spent the first part of the morning learning how to take proper lab notes.  After expectations were set, we moved on to the dirty stuff! 


We began by simply observing our owl pellet, taking some basic measurements, recording our observations, and sketching in our lab report.

Once that was done, we began pulling the bones out and separating the fur and trash from them.  While we were pulling them apart we matched them to our bone identification chart to begin making a prediction as to what this particular owl meal happened to be.


Finally, once all of our bones were identified, we put our skeletons together and made a decision as to what animal the owl last ate.  In completing this lab, we learned about food chains, ecosystems, skeletal systems, the experimental process, and how to create lab reports.  To quote a student, “This was the coolest experiment all year!”  That’s going to be a tough one to top (good thing I have another eggsperimentallly awesome idea for next week)!

Welcome Future Bloggers!

Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!  This session serves to answer the following burning questions for those on the brink of blogging:

  • How do I start?
  • Why should I bother?
  • How involved is this going to be?
  • What should I blog about?
  • Is this going to cost me anything???????

The basic layout for our sessions is some show and tell followed up by some time in the trenches developing your own blog!  For those of you who are extremely schedule oriented  here’s the agenda:

  1. 15 minutes- Introductions and short background as to our blogging beginnings    
  2. 15 minutes-  Connect Create Communicate Prezi                                                                    
  3. 30 minutes-  Time to create your first blog with support from us 🙂    


The link below will take you to the Connect Create Communicate website that we created to go along with this presentation.  It will be posted on the sharepoint portal as well as linked to our blogs.  It is a Wix site so I apologize to our Apple friends, you will not be able to view on your Apple device as it needs Flash to work properly. 

Extra! Extra! Winning Sugarless Day Poster from Room 11!

Today we celebrated Sugarless Day to Prevent Tooth Decay.  Our 4th grade classes entered posters created in art class in February.  We were visited by members from the Cumberland Dental Association to learn about proper dental hygiene as well as how our nutritional choices play a role in our dental health.  We were all shocked to learn how many teaspoons of sugar an average kid takes in each day- 27 teaspoons!  We will be brainstorming ways to cut that number down and make healthier choices. 

Here is our winning poster by none other than our own Julianna!  We also had the Honorable Mention artist in our class as well.  Congratulations also go out to Cam! 



This afternoon we began looking into our next science experiment.  We will be dissecting owl pellets to learn about food chains, the digestive, and skeletal systems.  After learning that owl pellets are actually the equivalent of owl hair balls, many students were slightly grossed out.  That was quickly remedied, however when we took a listen to the Owl Pellet Song! We also practiced our dissection using the Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection Website.  I’m warning you the song is catchy!


Click on the Owl to find the Virtual Owl Pellet link!

We’ve Been Seussified!

Well good afternoon one and all!  Today we really had a ball! 

Our friend from the Senior High, came on over to do more than say hi.

Obi gave his brain a workout, reading Seuss books are enough to tire any snout!

He came, he read, he was a great sport.  We give him a glowing report!

All of the athletes who came to our school, showed us that both brains and brawn are great tools!

When our reader was through with his task, we broke out our markers for arts and crafts!

Mixed up animals, strange and unique that’s what we made nothing blah or bleak.

And when we were done did we take a nap?  Are you crazy? We played with an app!

Our cat cam made us Seusses you will soon see.  Thanks again to our new friend, Mr. Obi!



App Spotlight- Splash Math, Nook, C.Collins Interactive Books

Back in November, I wrote a grant for my class to receive 5 iPad Minis.  It was approved and we were ridiculously happy when they were delivered!  We love technology in our classroom, but I am a stickler for ensuring that it is used as an educational toy and not an expensive hi-tech busy work option.  That being said, when our iPads were delivered I carefully selected some apps to get us started.  Many were apps we were already familiar with from the days when I would gather my own personal tablets from our home and bring them in to share with my class.  A few were new and required some learning and getting used to before we could successfully navigate them. 


By far my favorite new app is Splash Math, specifically Grade 4 Splash Math.  While this app is pricey for the iPad at $9.99 it is well worth it for all it delivers.  There is also an iPhone version slightly less expensive at $4.99.  Splash Math allows students to create an avatar, save, track, and email work results to parents/teachers, and work on skills that need remediation based on parent or teacher recommendations. 


 Set up is easy.  Once the student selected their avatar, I input my email address to have weekly progress reports sent to me.  After that was done students are given the option to practice or play games.  Here is the kicker though- they have to practice before they can get to a game level. 



Parents and teachers can assign homework assignments through this app that require the student to work on specific skills before allowing them to work on other areas.  In addition to this all of the skills are also linked to the Common Core State Standards.




This app provides a large amount of data and meaningful practice for students both at home and during school hours.  I use it during math centers to either remediate skills that we have moved on from but still need work or for my advanced students as a way to challenge them with current or new material.  At any time by pressing on the Control Center button, you can get a graph to show the areas the student has been working on, recommendations for areas needing work, and number of problems answered correctly vs. number attempted.  In addition to this information, you can also get an idea as to what grade level the student is currently working at by switching to the grade level screen at the top. 

Overall, I’d have to give this app an overwhelming A++++ for ease of use, student engagement, academic content, and data generated.  Way to go StudyPad!

Another app we use on a daily basis is the Barnes and Noble Nook app.  This app is free to install.  Once installed you can purchase books through the Barnes and Noble website and have them downloaded to the iPads or iPhones.  While time spent reading alone is a great benefit for this app, the real treasure lies in the ability to embed questions into the text.  For any given text, teachers can highlight a keyword and then add a note, questions, prompt, etc for the student to respond to.  This is a wonderful way to model and encourage active reading skills.  Often I will post a note that is just an insight I picked up on while reading that section and encourage students to journal about insights they have had.  Other times, I may highlight a vocabulary word or pose an open ended question I would like answered for that section of the novel. 

Finally, the last app for this spotlight is actually a collection of apps created by Harper Collins Publishers entitled C.Collins Big Cat Story Creators.  These apps provide a model text that students can either read themselves or listen to along with an opportunity to create their own versions of the story using rich graphics and text options.  Once done, they can record themselves reading their new book they’ve written and play it back for others to hear.  This hits so many standards it’s unreal!  In addition to hitting standards, students love listening to and then creating their own stories using this modeled text.