Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Does the Internet lie? The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus . . .




As we researched granite, the topic of valuable websites with the best information came up. That lead to the Northwest Pacific Tree Octopus. Take a look at the website:



Is the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus real or not? There is a lot of information on a very elaborate website. You can even purchase merchandise!

In this extra credit blog, post your ideas about whether the animal is real, or is the Internet lying? Be sure to comment on each other's posts. This one could get real fun!



Sunday, November 30, 2014

What minerals are in granite?



We have studied a number of minerals, and you have been very successful in identifying them. The challenge you have most recently had is to identify the minerals in pink granite. You have applied your learning well, and now it is time to report your findings.

We will use Today's Meet once again to discuss the findings of our eight geology teams. You will need to use the link below to go to our meeting room. Once there, sign in with your team members' names. Then, post your thoughts about what minerals are in granite. You need to be sure to state your proof as well. Anything worth reporting requires proof.

As ideas begin to come into the room, be sure that your team reads them and comments on them. If you agree with another team, be sure to tell that team and tell why you agree. If you find something about which you don't agree, then be sure you tell them that too, and then explain why you disagree. Remember, this is an online debate, and our goal is to get the correct answer. Have an open mind and think carefully about what each team says.

The link to the meeting room is:

The room is closed. Thank you for your ideas!

Good luck!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Field Trip to Coloma!



Now that you’ve had a tour of Coloma, what do you think? Give a review of the field trip. You may discuss any part of the trip or just a single part. A good review will state a big idea about what you think and then have several details to support that big idea. If you have more than one big idea, then you would create more than one paragraph. 


Think of all the things we did on the trip:


  • the tour of the mill, the original mill site and the discovery site


  • the museum and outside exhibits


  • the hike to the monument where we saw Marshall’s cabin, the cemetery and the place where Marshall is buried


  • the gold panning


  • the tour of the Pioneer Cemetery where we saw the plot of the Monroe-Gooch family and a soldier from the Mexican War


Is there a part that you like best that you’d like to write about?

Was there a part that you didn’t like that you’d like to write about?

Do you want to give an overview of the entire trip? 

Did you learn something good that you’d like to share with the world?

Those are just some ideas; you may write about any portion of the trip. This is the final blog of this trimester, so make it your best one yet! Be sure that you check your spelling and conventions and be certain that you have said exactly what you want to tell the world. 


As always, please comment on each other’s work. Everyone likes a nice comment!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mineral Identification



We will use Todays Meet to discuss the identification of mineral #3. Click on the link below to access our discussion room. Once you get to the room, sign in with your name and your partner's name. Then, answer the following question:

What is mineral #3? Give your best proof to support your claim. 

If you see ideas come to the discussion that you want to agree with or disagree with, you may do so. Be sure you do so politely and that you have reasons to agree or disagree. 

The link to Today's Meet is:

The room is closed-thank you for your input, fourth graders!


After a bit of time to state your claims, we will examine the information and identify mineral #3. 

Have fun!




Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Visit with Marci Seither



Authors have messages for their readers within their books. We were lucky to have met the author of our first literature book, The Adventures of Pearley Monroe. Author Marci Seither took a great deal of time to talk with us, and she answered many questions about her book, writing in general, and she even provided some nice pieces of wisdom that we can use in our day to day lives.

Your task in this prompt is to tell what you think the Big Idea was that Marci was trying to tell you. What was her message to you? What do you think she wanted you to learn by having her come to our class? There are many big ideas that she presented, but which one do you think is the biggest and best?

Create a paragraph, not 1-2 sentences, and explain what you think her message was to you. Your first sentence should state your big idea. Your remaining sentences should tell how you got that idea from her or how that idea will benefit you in your life.

Be sure you check your spelling and conventions; using a word processor and saving the work is a good idea! Make your paragraph something that people will want to read and then think about.

If you have a comment to what someone said, by all means, give that comment to that blogger!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Loss of Baby Rose




We have just completed the reading of chapter 7 in The Adventures of Pearley Monroe. The family has experienced the loss of baby Rose. The story is true about baby Rose, and the events happened as told by Marci Seither. 

Your job is to create a blog post about that event. You may write about all of the following or focus on one piece of the following:

  • As a reader, what did you think about the loss of the baby? What was its impact on you?

  • How do you think the event will impact Pearley and his family?

  • What did you think about the way the story of the baby's death was told? Examine the author's writing style and tell your opinion of how you learned, from the author, of the event.

Be sure that you not only give your opinions, but also have reasons to support your opinions. Try to develop unique ideas that will give the reader something to think about. Check your spelling and conventions before you post your piece. If you choose to write about more than one of the topics, each topic needs to be its own small paragraph. 

As always, please comment away on each other's posts.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Should Grizzly Bears be Reintroduced in California?


We have been studying the issue of whether grizzly bears should or should not be reintroduced in California. The bears are native to California, but have not been in our state for 90+ years. The question to answer is:


Should the state of California reintroduce grizzly bears into the wild?


You will need to create a paragraph that will explain your opinion. Follow the guidelines that were given in class in order to make the best post that you can. Good ideas, good spelling and good conventions are important. Be sure that you use the information from class to support your opinion. A great post will have some of the thoughts from the prompts of depth and complexity in it. 

Remember-thousands of people have been on this blog page, so your information will be read by a great many people! Be sure to do the best work you can.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Marci Seither Visits Room 15!


Marci Seither, the author of The Adventures of Pearley Monroe, in which the 4th graders have an acknowledgement, visited her biggest fans on May 29. She spent about an hour and a half with the class. It was a great end to a year-long process. 

Fourth graders: do you have any thoughts about Marci's visit? If so, please create a post that gives people an idea of your thoughts about the visit. As always, please comment on each other's ideas!



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Favorite character from The Phantom Tollbooth


We are nearing the end of The Phantom Tollbooth.  Milo has met a lot of characters, and they have all tried to teach Milo something. This blog post is about the characters in the book.

Who is your favorite character in the book? Create a blog post that discusses which character you like the best. You might want to think about:



  • what the characteristics are of the character

  • what the character taught Milo

  • the name of the character (Norton Juster has made some fun names!)

  • where Milo met the character and what his interactions are with the character

Those are just some thoughts to consider. After thinking about the characters, state which one you like the best and then support your Big Idea with good Details. As always, check your spelling and conventions and be sure that your writing is clear and precise for your reader. Have fun thinking about all the interesting characters that Milo has encountered. 

As always, feel free to comment on each other's posts. It's always fun to get comments!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thank you Marci Seither!



We were so lucky to have been given a copy of The Adventures of Pearley Monroe by Marci Seither. We were also lucky to be a part of the process of publishing such a great book. We thank Marci for her generosity in gifting each student a book! 

Fourth graders: this is the place where you can express your sincere thanks to Marci! Let her know just how much you appreciated receiving the book. You might consider answering:

Why are you glad you have a copy of the book and what does it mean to you knowing you helped in shaping the book a little?

 Post your thank you here and feel free to comment on what others have said. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014





We have completed three literature studies so far this year. The books has some common aspects to them, but they tell different stories. For this post, tell your audience which of the three is your favorite. In your post, give the title of the book you like best and then support your opinion with good supporting details. You might want to discuss any of the following:

  • the plot of the story
  • the characters in the book
  • the concepts in the book
  • the theme of the book
  • the mood of the book
  • the author's writing style 

Feel free to discuss any of those or something else you liked about the book. This is your chance to give your opinion, so base it on what you enjoyed about the book. Try to write something that will make people think and respond to your post. 

Your BIG IDEA should be in your topic sentence-don't use because in your topic sentence. Be sure your spelling and conventions are good. Once you submit your post, it's on this page for good! 

Feel free to comment on other people's posts as well. Let's get a bunch of conversations going about our favorite book so far this year!