I can write a page of dialogue by including: quotation marks, correct sentence punctuation, cause and effect transition words and commas.

This was our Purpose statement this week in writing.

The last three weeks we have been discussing fairytales, fables and folktalkes and comaparing and contrasting texts across cultures. To wrap up our Unit, I used a writing activity from the basal which I haven't used all year to get students to rewrite the fable "The Ant and the Grasshopper."After re-reading the fable students were to rewrite the fable with the grasshopper taking the ant's advice this time. We looked at the example in the basal and discussed the dialogue between the characters and the use of the transition words to show cause and effect on Monday. Tuesday students wrote their title and began writing their beginnings and one sentence of dialogue. I had them stop with only two sentences on Tuesday because I wanted to make sure students understood how to properly use quotation marks and commas in their writing. On Wednesday, they finished their fables and on Thursday they posted them on their blogs. I tweeted them out using the hastag #comments4kids today! We are still awaiting comments. You can check them out here.
My fourth grade class were true "Shining Stars" this morning as they performed our first play, "Goldilocks and the Christmas Elves." Thanks to Natalie at What the Teacher Wants for posting and sharing the script, that she found from a Google search.

When I first gave the script to my students, my thoughts were just to use the script to practice fluency and increase our vocabulary. However, the students were so excited about the scripts and their parts that they begged for the opportunity to perform it on our stage at school for the other 4th grade classes.

I hesitated at first, considering I've never directed a play, but after two weeks of practicing each day for 20 minutes during our PE or my planning time they were ready to perform. So, today at 9:45 we performed the play for 6 of our 4th grade classes, two administrators and parents.

They students were awesome!!! Let me say that again, AWESOME!! They knew their lines, made eye contact, used expression and best of all had fun!

The narrators

The stage directors

The sign holders

The Elves

Mr. and Mrs. Claus (Mr. Claus was our ELL teacher who stepped in for the original Santa who came to school sick today.)

The reindeer

Sleeping Beauty and Goldilocks

Our PlaY!

A Group Picture

Monday thru Thursday my students complete a daily edit. Their purpose is to correct a sentence by identifying the errors, and parts of speech. They have the most difficulty with identifying the verbs in the sentence.

Well, while blog surfing I found an awesome activity at http://pvroom121.blogspot.com/2011/12/verb-snowmen.html

So, to help reinforce verb identification, my students created three verb wordles. They created one on action verbs, helping verbs, and linking verbs. However, we did have a bit of trouble with the wordle site. When we would type in more than 12 words or so it would only show 3. So instead of tying in all 23 helping verbs we only have 12 to show.

Anyway, in the end our verb snowmen look great. All the students worked really well together.

Another creative student- driven activity, with high student motivation and engagement.

Today my fourth graders and I participated in our first Mystery Skype. I placed my students in 5 collaborative groups.

Here's a picture of the group who used the iPads. They used the search engine Google and typed in the clues that were given by the Mystery Class.

 These two ladies wrote down the clues for the class on the chart paper.

This group used the netbooks. They dicsused the questions through Edmodo. 
These two guys used maps to eliminate the choices.

Here are the clues we were given by the other class:

  1. Our state was once called "The Great American Desert"
  2. Our state sits above the largest underground lake called Lake Ogallala Aquifer
  3. We are home to Offut Air Force Base.
  4. Our state is divided into 2 time zones: central & mountain.
  5. Our state has 4 district seasons with definite changes in the weather.
  6. Our famous landmarks are Devil's Gourge, Badlands, Chimney Rock.
  7. Our state borders CO, WY, IA,  MO, and KS
Bonus: Our state is known as the Cornhusker State

Can you guess?

That's right it is Nebraska!

Here is a video that was created by one of my students using our flipcamera.

My fourth graders and I had a wonderful experience today and I can't wait to do it again. Any interested 3-4th grade classes out there leave me a post, if you want to set up a Mystery Skype.

This week we are exploring Theme in a variety of passages. Today I introduced the word theme and used a short poem to model how to think aloud to identify the theme in a passage. The poem's theme was the Early bird gets the worm.

 I then introduced students to a new app I discovered for the iPad called "MeeGenius." It has over 200 books for kids that can be read aloud. Some of the free books the app offers were perfect for my lesson this week. I shared with students the story of "The Three Little Pigs " using the iPad through the Promethean board. Although, I had to narrate since I can't connect the sound to the board. The students enjoyed the version of the story and were shocked at the ending. We then discussed the book and noted the characters, some traits to describe them based on their actions, discussed the plot and then identified the theme. We decided there were two themes for this story! Then students did independent practice with a passage I found on Read Works. This is a great site, with lesson for grades K-6.

Tomorrow the plan is to share another book, maybe "The Little Red Hen", or "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" have them fill in their charts and then release them for some Independent practice. Tomorrow my plan is to have 2 groups of 5 at listening centers listening to a leveled reader "The Land of the Giants", 10 students on iPads using the Mee Genius App, and 5 on laptops listening to the story from the basal "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse" and a few working with me in a small guided group.

My plan to culminate this activity is to have students create their own fairy tale with a theme using the Puppet Pals app on Friday.
Tonight the cheerleaders, whom I help coach along with two other teachers, and the choir performed at our annual performance at Celebration in the Oaks.

Here the Cheerleaders just finished performing and are watching the choir members performance.

The Cheerleaders showing spirit!
The Choir singing........
A picture before the performance
Check me out! I'm the shorty in the front.
This past week my students identified the main idea and details in a nonfiction text. On Monday, I began the lesson by stating the objective and sharing with students a chapter from the nonfiction selection Extreme Weather from our Treasure Series. We discussed the chapter and I did some think-alouds to model for students how to find the main idea and at least two supporting details. Then students collaborated with a buddy by reading a chapter of their leveled reader, which was either on Hurricanes or Tornadoes. They noted the main idea and supporting details creating a circle map in their notebooks, and then took their notes and typed them into sentences into blog post using Kidblog. I modeled a chapter each day from the book Extreme Weather, and students worked on one chapter a day in their book with their buddy. Finally, to culminate the week's lesson students collaborated again with their weekly buddy to create a 4 slide presentation using keynote on the iPads. Students were highly engaged motivated and the lesson was student driven.
Here is my PLEP student from Holy Cross College working with a pair of students and a picture of a few othersstudents hard at work on their blog post.

Mrs. Difulco, the Special Education teacher here working with a group of students.

Here you can barely see but the anchor chart, which is on the easel holds the "I can" statement for students. You can also see on the board the two sentence starters I gave students to guide them with their blog posts.
Another day of students hard at work!

Here's a shot of the anchor chart a little closer.Take a look at our Interval Scores in the background, you can see the student's growth. We are getting closer to our goal of 80% as a class!
Here is an example of one of the slideshows created.

From Paper Blogs to the World
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Presented by Paula Naugle & Erica Shepherd
4th Grade teachers
Jefferson Parish Public Schools

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to present at LaCUE. Paula and I presented from 10-10:50 this morning in the Bridge Room at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, LA. I was nervous presenting, considering this was only my second time presenting at a large conference, but was so excited that Paula offered me the opportunity to be a co-presenter. We shared with other educators how we use blogs in our classroom.

You can view our presentation here!
The greatest blogging party on Earth was held last Thursday, November 10th. The students in my homeroom and my partner teacher's Mrs. Wilson's class hosted the party. The students brought home invitations to the party inviting their parents to attend. The purpose of the party was for the students to showcase their blogs and teach their parents how to make a quality comment.Students showcased their blogs through the site Kidblog that they have been working hard on since September. They have made several posts since September ranging from an "All About Me" post to "What I am Thankful For."

We began the Blog Commenting Party by showing the parents a video that my homeroom students made to teach their parents how to make a quality comment.

Then I presented to parents an anchor chart I made to remind them how to make a quality comment.

Students had a great time showcasing their blogs, and their parents had a wonderful time engaged in reading their child's blogs and making quality comments.

Yes! That's right I am a 2011 Graduate. I officially wrapped up my courses for my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and Technology last night.

The degree was offered as an online cohort program. Overall, the online program was a very positive learning experience for me. I learned many valuable tools and strategies in which I will be able to implement into the classroom. Most of which, I already have.

I believe the most important concept I learned by pursuing my Masters is that a teacher and technology leader must always strive to learn new tools and strategies and constantly evolve and seek new innovative ways to be an effective teacher in the classroom. As more studies are conducted and new technology is invented, we are constantly learning new ideas and ways which have a positive impact for students. The challenge will be for me to find creative ways to implement these concepts into the classroom. This is why I love being a teacher.

This past week I introduced my students to a new app for the iPad. The app is called Puppet Pals. The app Puppet Pals allows students to create a story using movements and audio in real time. I first modeled for the students how to make a movie and then played it back for them. They were so excited!! So, obviously right away they went to work creating their own stories including characters, backgrounds, movements and the best part their own voice. A few students partnered up and created stories together.

Here are a few samples.

This one is mine.

One of my students..

Another student..

Last Thursday, I received an email from our trucker buddy. His name is Eason and is a trucker from Louisiana like us. I can't wait to introduce the students to him and the program and get started on following him on his travels. The kids are going to be so excited to have someone to write to. Looking forward to a great adventure!

Next, up in our class is our Blog Commenting Party with our parents. It is finally happening on Thursday afternoon from 5-6:30. My homeroom students have been working on a video to teach their parents how to make a quality comment on their blogs. We wrapped it up today. The kids had a great time filming. They are really looking forward to the party on Thursday afternoon. Can't wait to post pics from the party.

This week in class we are learning the following Author's Purpose, reviewing Verb Tenses, which I think we are pros at by this point, and have just started our next chapter book.

Yes! We are reading Superfudge by Judy Blume which is the sequel to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. The students were so excited to begin reading this book. We made some great inferences before reading by activating our schema and using the blurb on the back cover. We began reading the chapter book as a shared reading today and the kids were so engaged and laughing. It is wonderful to see them enjoying a book. Although, I am thinking of changing up the way I attack reading the chapter book this time around. I really need to let go and let students begin doing some independent reading and thinking. So, on Tuesday and Thursday students will have the choice to read with their partner or read independently and then write about their reading. On Monday and Wednesday we will do shared reading and partner discussing on the rug.

We have also been working hard this week on Information Resources. Students are learning how to skim and scan resources to locate information for questions. Our next Interval test is next week and our goal is 80% our higher for the class. If the students reach our class goal they will be rewarded with a pizza party.

Finally this week, students are using our class technology to post a blog to Kidblog, using the iPads to post their journals on Edmodo and practicing their fluency using the app Timed Reading.
What a spook-TECH-ular Halloween it was in Room 3 today! Students began the day by reflecting on their progress so far in our class. They folded a white piece of paper in fours and answered the following questions in each block:
1. My favorite part of the day is....
2. I need the most help with...
3. Something I learned so far....
4. The best part of the day is..

I plan to use the students' reflections during parent conferences tomorrow afternoon.

Then the best part of the day came when students rotated through centers for the remainder of the day. My first class of 28 4th graders rotated through 6 centers and my second class rotated through 4.

Center one was a lesson with me on using www.Glogster.com Here students created a digital poster on the chapter book we just finished titled Bunnicula. Students were expected to post the title, a short summary of the story without giving the ending and post two pictures.

Here is an example of a student's Glog.

Next, students in my homeroom worked with our ELL teacher Mr. Martinez. He gave each student a kitkat and had them take a bite. They then wrote a descriptive paragraph persuading their audience how it tasted and why it was good. Students posted their descriptive paragraphs on Edmodo.

In my second class students worked with our Special Education teacher, Ms. Difulco. She read students a Halloween story and had them post a response on Edmodo.

Then was a lesson with my PLEP student from Holy Cross College. She also read a Halloween story to the students and had them complete a writing assignment to go along with the book.

Students also worked with our technology intern, Ms. Brittney. She facilitated a lesson on the iPads using the app Keynote. Students created a 3-4 slide powerpoint on our chapter book Bunnicula.

The students had a fabulous time during our Tech day today and learned a lot. They explored a few new tools using the technology and were motivated and highly engaged throughout.
Yeah, how exciting! I have been awarded the # Rockstar Meme Blog Award by Nancy C at Teaching is Elementary.

When one is awarded the meme, according to the originator Guhlin, they are supposed to Write a Post about how Blogging has Rocked your World then:

1. Respond to the meme and link back to this blog entry.
2. Leave a comment on this blog entry and ask 5 more people to participate.
3. Notify those 5 people by sending them a quick note

So here I go....


I have learned to implement so many wonderful ideas from reading and how to effectively run Daily 5 in my classroom. This summer I went crazy with the wealth of information I found on blogs on incorporating the Daily 5 into my classroom. My students love the Daily 5 and I am even doing an action research project on the Daily 5 in the coming weeks to submit for one of my last masters classes.

I am a more effective teacher this year. Every year for the past nine years, I have felt like I have grown some, but this year I feel like I have grown the most and I owe it all to the wonderful blogs that I read. Reading a variety of blogs every day and gathering other educators thoughts and opinions on education has empowered me to be the best that I can be. I now stray away from all the negativity and am motivated to go for the gold!

I have built my PLN. I have collaborated with a plethora of educators since this summer through blogs. I have participated in webinars that I learned about through blogs and have even presented to my colleagues about the benefits of blogs.

My students have learned to become exceptional writers. They are motivated to blog and enjoy commenting on other students blogs.

BLOGGING HAS TRANSFORMED ME! Thank you Nancy C for awarding me this Meme.

I am passing this Meme to the following people.

Mrs. Ripp- a fifth grade teacher who is very reflective and has many words of inspiration Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

Ms. Wilson- my partner teacher with fabulous ideas and lessons in Math, Science and Social Studies - The Scoop in Room 1

Mrs. Bongers- a fourth grade teachers who I borrow lots of lessons ideas from- Life in 4B

Ms. Naugle- a fourth grade teachers who inspired me to get started PLN- Not Just My Initials

Tara- a fourth grade teacher One of the first blogs I began following. 4th Grade Frolics

Thanks again Nancy C for awarding me the Rockstar Meme! And thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who inspire me each and every day!
We are working on lots of exciting things in Room 3 this week. This week is our week to do announcements over the PA system. We get so nervous talking over the PA system including me. The students say the Pledge of Allegiance the school pledge, and inform us of lunch and other school announcments. Then we come together as a class for 10 minutes to log into the iPads and vote in a poll. Today's poll was "How are you feeling?" Next students are off to PE, however out of 28 students only 8 go to PE everyday. The rest want to stay inside and use the technology to either sign into Edmodo or Kidblog. ( I guess my excitement for technology is really rubbing off on them.) Today I went on Twitter and searched for a class under comments4kids for students to make comments.

When students arrive back from PE they began the Daily Edit sentence and copy the Word of the Day down. This week I am using the Daily Edit to review our English skill of verb tenses from last week. Next, students come to the rug for a mini-lesson on cause and effect. After reviewing our purpose and strategies for identifying the cause and effect I read the book Why does Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears.

I stopped frequently for students to turn and talk to their partner to make predictions, inferences and identify causes and effects. Then we did a shared reading with our chapter book Bunnicula. I use this book to do a lot of think alouds with the students and students do lots of turn and talks. Finally we moved on to centers as I am calling it now. This is where students get to utilize the Technology and I can work with a small group on the comprehension skill for the week. Next, students go to lunch and recess. When they arrive back we work on writing. Today students were introduced to revising and practiced with a sample paragraph. Tomorrow they will apply what they learned in their rough drafts.

Here are a few things I am looking forward to in the next coming weeks:
Introducing students to Keynote on the iPads to create a story with photos from our classroom or Fall Fest.
Using the GPS devices on Friday during the Fall Fest.
Here is a picture of my iPad screen and a few of the apps the students and I have explored.
A few of our favorites is Screenchomp, Brainpop and Edmodo. They enjoy using Screenchomp to reteach lessons to their peers and to draw pictures. Today in groups students explored the Brainpop app. They watched the video of the day and completed the quiz. I also introduced Edmodo to the students last week. They have been using this social networking site to post their responses to their journal prompts, take short quizzes and polls.

Tonight I discovered an exciting app called Stick Pick. This app allows you to pick students at random and suggests question starters for students based on their level of learning. I am looking forward to using this app tomorrow in guided groups. The best part about it is that it tracks formative assessment and it can be emailed to parents. A few others I installed but haven't used yet are Dragon Dictation, Keynote and Flipboard.
How do you motivate students to read? I motivate my students and empower a passion for reading by introducing them to a plethora of books. Every Monday, students visit the classroom library to choose a new selection for the week. They read their book during our weekly silent reading time, after tests and they are even allowed to bring their book home for more reading. My students also visit our school library every other week. We attend library for a 50 minute block. Student check out books, work on book talks, and participate in information resource lessons. I also motivate my students to read by purchasing books of their interest. Recently, through Scholastic I ordered a 3-D Zombie book and a Wrestling book which have been "hits" with the boys in my class.

Last but not least I motivate my students by asking outside sources such as one of our local librarians from the public library to visit our classroom and present to students a variety of genres.

A few of my students completed Book Talks about our chapter book read last month. My students were given a project at the end of September with choices on how they would like to present the chapter book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. A few of my students did not complete a project at all. So, instead of giving them a zero, because I don't believe in failure, I allowed these students to stay in during their PE time to complete a book talk. Their book talks consisted of 4-5 pages of pictures and illustrations to convince their audience that Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was worth reading. They all did a wonderful job and all earned a passing grade!

The students were so excited to use the iPads today. They were so excited I had to have them clasp their hands while I gave directions. They worked in pairs to explore  Screenchomp. Sceeenchomp is a like a dry erase board, but the cool thing about it is that they can record what they do. I eventually plan to have them teach one another the objective of the day. Isn't there research that says you learn better by teaching and applying the skill?

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