Wednesday, December 13, 2017

By the Great Horn Spoon! The next chapter

We loved By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman. However, the book just seems to need "the next part." By popular demand, and the chants of the 4th graders, the next part will be written!

In this post, your job is to tell "the next part." After the happy ending at the long wharf, what would happen to our characters if the story continued? Give it some thought, write what you think would happen, or what you'd like to see happen, and post it here. Be sure that the events you write fit in the scope of the story and would continue right where chapter 18 ends.

Be sure you have strong sentences, good spelling and correct conventions. We are all looking forward to seeing what each 4th grader will add to our recently completed literature study. HAVE FUN with this one, fourth graders!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What do you think of Mrs. Barnsworth?

We have read about the Barnsworth family in The Adventures of Pearley Monroe. Consider all the information we have read and discussed with respect to Elizabeth Barnsworth. Think of when she first arrived in Coloma all the way to when she departed and everything in between! 

What is your opinion of this character? Create a piece of writing that fully details your ideas about her. Give a strong topic sentence, use precise details as proof of your topic sentence, and finish with a powerful conclusion sentence. 

Be sure you edit and revise your writing so that it is as good as you can make it. Be sure the grammar and spelling are strong. Remember, our blog is read all over the world, so let's teach the world about Mrs. Barnsworth!

You may also comment on the writing that your classmates create. You may ask them questions, disagree (as long as you state your reason), or give a compliment about what they have written. It's always fun when people leave a thought about the work we do. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

5 Sentence Blog

"I never knew words could be so confusing," Milo said to Tock as he bent down to scratch the dog's ear. 

"Only when you use a lot to say a little," answered Tock.

Milo thought this was quite the wisest thing he'd heard all day. 

-Norton Juster in The Phantom Tollbooth

In this, the final blog of the year, you get to tell the world anything you want about fourth grade. We have done a lot this year: we've spent a week in the woods, we've been underground twice, we visited the site of the gold discovery that kicked off the world's biggest voluntary migration of people, and we've visited internees from the Japanese Internment Camps. We've read awesome literature, had amazing discussions about the books, and we got to visit with the author of our first book. We've played a couple of games where we learned about mathematical problem solving and the California Gold Rush. We've created media for the world to learn from us, and we've entertained the community with incredible hands-on science. You have also created some incredible structures with Keva planks and K'Nex. We've also laughed a lot along the way. Those events are just a handful of the highlights of this school year. 

You get to pick anything about fourth grade that you wish to tell a reader, except for the California Gold Rush. That topic has been amply covered. The challenge, though, is to follow the message in Tock's advice to Milo: you only get a few words to say a lot; Faintly Macabre comes to mind here, too. You have FIVE sentences to tell your reader about your chosen topic. The power of your sentences needs to be strong in order to fully tell your reader what you want to say. Choose wisely! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hardships: the Iditarod vs. the California Gold Rush

During a recent discussion of Woodsong, it was stated that one of the big ideas was that the Iditarod has many hardships. Following that, the question was asked if the California Gold Rush had more hardships. For this blog, give your opinion on the following:

What had more hardships, the California Gold Rush or the Iditarod? 

Carefully compare the two events. Use the information from Gary Paulsen’s Iditarod experience and our gold rush study to make your decision. Be sure that you have support for your ideas and use multiple examples to prove your big idea. 

You need to have a solid opinion statement, followed with supporting evidence including your thinking, and then a conclusion that strongly restates your opinion. Your overall task is to convince your readers of the opinion you have. 

We are nearing the end of the school year, so this post should have excellent spelling, conventions and powerful vocabulary so that your ideas come screaming through the writing!

Let’s get a good discussion going on this topic! Comment on each other’s thoughts; disagree with the ideas that are against your opinion, and support the ideas that are in agreement with yours.   

Sunday, March 12, 2017

W e s t m i n s t e r W o o d s ! ! !

We just completed an amazing week of environmental education at Westminster Woods. We hiked at day and at night, we went to the tide pools, we saw the tallest trees in the world, we took part in a campfire, we creek walked, we played on the cargo net, in the gaga pit, on the playground, and we had incredible fun hanging out with our friends. 

This blog is your opportunity to tell the world what you thought about your trip. As a writer, tell your reader what you enjoyed and tell us why you liked those things. Pick as many topics as you wish about which to write, but be sure you explain WHY you enjoyed those things. You need to avoid just telling what you did on this trip. The task is to explain why you liked, or didn't like, certain parts of your experience. You needn't write about everything, just the highlights. 

As always, be sure your spelling and conventions are strong. Check that sentence structure, and be sure that you are communicating with precision and accuracy. 

Have fun with this and let's see how many comments we can get! Be sure to check out each other's writings, and let's inform our worldwide audience about our week at Westminster Woods. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Life as a California Gold Miner

You have read a book about the California Gold Rush, and you've participated in a simulation about the same topic. You have heard a lot of fate cards and will continue to hear more. We toured Coloma and a great deal of information was given out on that day. You also had a tour of Old Sacramento where you learned about the gold rush era. At the beginning of the simulation, many of you said you would not want to be a gold miner in the 1850s, but do you still feel that way?

Your job in this blog is to write about the life of a California Gold Miner in the 1850s. Think of what your Big Idea would be and then support that idea with details to prove your idea. Think of all the work we have done about the gold rush, and reflect on what it would be like to be a miner during the gold rush. If you'd like, you may tell whether you would like to have been in the gold rush; be sure that you support that opinion, too. 

Write with good conventions: no sentence structure errors! Be sure to edit your work before you publish it as once it is online, it stays there. Give good thought to the prompt and come up with ideas that no one else will develop. Think of your audience: other fourth graders around the country who are learning about the California Gold Rush. Be sure you teach them something.