Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Homecoming Week!

Homecoming Week in a small town has to be one of the best things about small town living! Growing up in a big city, you did not have the connection to your high school and town like you do in a small town. This week brought lots of excitement for our students as they had the chance to dress up and do fun homecoming activities like all the other schools. Monday was Colors day and fourth graders had to wear pink. I think this caused a bit of problem for some of the boys who I don't think had any pink. Oh Well! Tuesday was slipper day and crazy socks day! This is the kind of day where you truly get to see your students' originality and indiviuality. I missed Hat day because of an appointment, but I heard our class had the best hats. Check out Wednesday night's Fairfield Ledger for a picture! Thursday was Camouflage day! I have to say in a small town it's not hard to come across something camouflage. There were all sorts of great outfits today! It was hard to see them since they blended in so well with our surroundings! : ) Friday is Show your Spirit Day! I love this day because it is a great day for getting ready for that Homecoming Football Game where lots of people go to have a great time and see our football team hopefully win! Even among all these crazy activities this week, we did manage to get some learning in as well! We have had a few interruptions which keep us from getting everything done, but we do our best each day!
This week in Reading we read one of my favorite authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We read an excerpt from the book By The Shores of Silver Lake. We worked on noting details in the story and common nouns. Our spelling words this week were homophones which can always be a little tricky!
In Math, we began Unit 2 in our new series Everyday Math. We will work on Place Value and numbers in this unit! I look forward to some of the new games we will learn to help us in this unit. Remember to keep your Family Unit Letter as it has all the answers for the Study Links in it!
In Social Studies this week, we are learning about our American Government. Students are reading and learning about what makes our government tick. We have made flip books on the three branches of government and they will get the opportunity to create a Glogster poster on Monday about the three branches of government.
In Science this week we worked on Animal Adaptations! Students created and are still working on a Flip book of animal adaptations using their textbook as well as other books from our Great Prairie AEA.
This week I introduced students to Diigo which is an online bookmarks they can access from anywhere. You just go to and they just use their username and password for school. They can then access any bookmarks I create. They can use these at home or anywhere they might be!
In one final note for the week! GO TROJANS! HAPPY HOMECOMING! Have a great weekend! Stay tuned for next week's 4K WRAP-UP!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Worms, Trees, and Maps Oh My!

I missed a week for WRAP-UP so I decided to do an in between weeks post. We are truly into the full swing of school and boy are we ever busy. Now that we have established our routines, the real work begins!
We have been keeping very busy all day every day and hopefully this will bring everyone up to speed!
Our theme in reading is Journeys. We have read about a grandfather who journeyed across the sea to a new home and this week we are reading about a journey that Robert Ballard took to find the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean. The Titanic is a very high interest topic for fourth graders so if you happen to be at the library, maybe check out a book about the Titanic. Spelling words are continuing to come home and I hope students are spending time studying. From the looks of our spelling tests, students may want to study the challenge words a little bit more! Please continue reading at home and studying math facts. I appreciate all the students who remember their reading log on Monday mornings and their spelling homework on Tuesday mornings.
I know that I am really liking our new math series, Everyday Math. We are just finishing up our first Unit and you will be seeing a family letter come home about the next unit. Please keep this family letter as it has answers for the Study Links in it! I appreciate all the support from parents on finishing the Study Links each week and bringing them back to school.
In Social Studies we are finishing our unit on Map Skills. Students have had fun learning important map skills that they can use at home or on road trips. Who needs a GPS when you have a map savvy fourth grader? Mrs. Kurth especially enjoys latitude and longtitude and what a great skill for students to have in their toolbox for map skills. Friday is Constitution Day in the United States so we will also be learning about our Constitution and then starting on the American Government next week.
We are still learning and classifying animals in Science. We have made invertebrate and vertebrate posters as well as written a short report on an animal of our choice.
Exciting times for us this week in 4K was visiting Therese at Jefferson County Park. We can always count on her to show us a fun time as well as learn a lot about the environment we live in. On this particular visit, we played a tree identification game where students identified leaves from a chart and figured out what kind of tree it was. Mrs. Kurth even got stumped a little. (No Pun intended!) It was a great addition to our classification work in the classroom. Not to mention the fun we had doing it. We got to feel what it was like to be a squirrel scrounging for food and what might happen when a fox happens along our way. Students also played a game which made them use their knowledge from the morning tree identification game. All in all, it was a great and sunny day and we can't wait to go back in the Spring! Check off to the side for pictures from our day!

Friday, September 3, 2010


Happy Friday!
Another hot week in the classroom, but I am hoping the cool down is on the way and our room will start to reflect the temperature difference soon! For this week's 4K WRAP-UP we have had another busy week.
Students got their first spelling list this week with words ending in -ed and -ing. Studying for spelling should primarily be done at home, however, students will have some opportunities for practice at school.
This week we read Heatwave. It was a wild weather tale about what happens when a heatwave hits a farm. Students had the opportunity to talk more about reality and fantasy. We worked on Present/Past/Future tense words as well this week.
We have been hard at work learning more about geometry in our new Everyday Math series. Students have had opportunities to make shapes with straws and twistie ties. We have played our important learning games such as sprouts, addition top-it, subtraction top-it, and Sw'qua.
Social Studies
We are continuing to work on our Geographic Tools unit. We have used the big maps this week to practice our map skills. We are recognizing and placing all the continents and oceans. We are working on cardinal directions and intermediate directions.
We are continuing to learn about classification and how living things are grouped. We did an onion lab this week. Click link Onion Lab to see what we did. We also created a mobile on the different parts of the animal kingdom. Students also started a Vertebrate/Invertebrate Poster with their groups.

Overall, we have had a terrific week! I am really enjoying this class and thank you again for letting me teach your child everyday!
Til next week... Mrs. Kurth