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Students learn through a workshop system in Reading & Writing, Inquiry in Science & Social Studies, and Math everywhere! We love reading comments from others about our thoughts and work. Please leave an address or URL so we can respond.

by Meg Griffin

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Article posted August 27, 2015 at 08:15 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 22

It seems that last year we did not do the blogging that I would have liked. Every year there are more and more topics to cover and things to do. This year, I hope to get my students back into the authentic writing of a blog.

Article posted August 27, 2015 at 08:15 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 22



Article posted April 28, 2015 at 09:25 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 18

Every year my fourth graders read Lynne Cherry’s The Great Kapok Tree. They research a rainforest organism, create posters urging their schoolmates to act now to help protect the rainforest, and finally they create a dramatization of the story. Weeks of research, memorizing lines and rainforest facts, and creating props and costumes culminates in a Broadway worthy performance for friends and family.

As I assume most teachers do, I try to refresh our project every year. Some years we write letters to the newspaper, sell t-shirts, or create PSA type videos. This year I had the good fortune to connect with Karen of South Carolina.

I know Karen from my days as a Discovery Education “Star” Educator. Discovery produces and archives educational videos, articles, photos, speeches, and songs available to schools as for fee product. For those teachers lucky enough to have access, Discovery also offers an unbelievable opportunity to meet and collaborate world-wide with educators, scientists, and other professionals. Karen, as a Discovery Star, had the opportunity to travel to Churchill, Canada and learn first-hand about climate change and the polar bears.

This week Karen met with my students using Skype. Karen shared photographs of her trip. The students were amazed to see the size of the polar bear’s claw. When Karen shocked my students when she opened the skull of a female polar bear and placed its enormous teeth against her own head.

We were able to visualize the dramatic changes to the sea ice over time using one of several recorded animations available on the web. Students clearly understood the connection between the climate change, sea ice changes, and our future.

The connection my students have made to our study of the rainforest has been amazing. While they always seem to “get” the need to “go green” before, now they seem to really understand the implications for themselves and their future.

I am reminded of the old children’s tale that tells of a kingdom lost for want of a nail. Our world, our future will surely be lost for want of a connection. If we fail to understand that what happens in the Arctic, or the Amazon, or anywhere else in the world affects us all we are doomed. The connections that we can so easily make today through Twitter, Skype, Facebook, etc. allow us to personally connect to people and places thousands of miles away.

Article posted April 28, 2015 at 09:25 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 18



Article posted September 14, 2014 at 08:50 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 6922

Welcome back to another great year from fourth grade! As you long time readers know, some years the students really love to blog, and other years not-so-much. I encourage students to activate their learning in whatever way makes sense to them and furthers their growth.



We are just about complete our beginning of year baselines, so hopefully blogging will begin shortyly.

Article posted September 14, 2014 at 08:50 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 6922



Article posted February 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 4944

So far the winter of 2013 - 2014 has been the coldest and snowest in a long time. We have already missed five days of school!! Our school was without power for a few days this week because of the ice storm. This week we had three days of no school and two days with delayed openings. I wonder when we will get out in June?! Read the students' accounts of their experiences with WS Nika.

Article posted February 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 4944



Article posted September 27, 2013 at 03:01 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 337

Dot Day 2013 Students celebrated Dot Day 2013 on Friday - September 13. As usual, students enjoyed eating Dots candy while "Making their marks." This year we combined our reading of A Hat for Ivan, our school theme (I am Special) with Dot Day. Students incorporated what makes them special into their dots. They drew pictures, shapes, colored, and used markers. All unusual opportunities in a 4th grade classroom in 2013. Look for their dots coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy a brief view of our Dot Day.









Article posted September 27, 2013 at 03:01 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 337



Article posted September 25, 2013 at 04:49 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 542

photo



Last week, Mrs. Griffin's 4th grade class did a mystery Skype with a 3rd grade class somewhere in the USA. The object was to use map skills and questioning strategies to find out where in the USA the class was. Everyone had a job to do. Of course there were photojournalists/bloggers who were Kayla, Emily, and Emma. The questions asked by the Communicators (Brady & Luke) had to have only a possible yes or no answer. What we found out was that the other class was not near an ocean, is not too hot or too cold right now, and they live in the northeast region of the USA.



SDC12012



During the mystery Skype, most of us had a specific job. Alec and Tyler were questioners and had to make sure the questions could be answered by a yes or a no. Jake & Brennan used Google Earth to try and locate the mystery state. Jack and Matthew kept track of states that we eliminated as possibilities. Nicole & Nick documented the questions asked along with the answers. Everyone else had a map and an atlas to solve the mystery.



SDC12003



 Click below to see and here about our experience.



VoiceThread



 

Article posted September 25, 2013 at 04:49 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 542



Article posted August 12, 2013 at 03:52 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 413

Happy New Year!!





     I know, New Year's is January 1st. But for students and teachers everywhere the New Year is when school returns to session. I remember being so excited to get brand new copybooks, crayons, and supplies. It was a chance to start anew. No, I didn't look forward to the early mornings then, and I still don't now. But there is nothing like a free "Do-over." In the world of education every new year is a new chance to be who you want to be. Was last year not quite what you wanted? Did you not put forth your best? No problem, the year starts again and you get to pick your path. So, get a good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and get ready to shout "Happy New Year!" with me.

Article posted August 12, 2013 at 03:52 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 413



Article posted February 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 303

Every yearin January the students read biographies of their choice. After they read the biography they write a letter to somone summarizing the famous person's life. In addition to mailing their letters, the students have posted their biography summaries to their blogs. Who have you read about? What did their life teach you?

Article posted February 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 303



Article posted August 31, 2012 at 01:56 PM GMT-5 • comment (3) • Reads 337

So many teachers, principals, and parents have quotes of advice for starting a new school year. Here at Cold Spring our motto for the new year is "Be more than just ok!" We want to extend ourselves and do more than what is required.



Do you have a favorite quote or saying to share? Why do you think your quote is important? What is the message it gives?



Thanks for helping us own our learning as we begin the new school year.

Article posted August 31, 2012 at 01:56 PM GMT-5 • comment (3) • Reads 337



Article posted August 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM GMT-5 • comment (1) • Reads 283

The last weekend of summer is coming to an end. I had a wonderful time in Ocean City New Jersey and got to spend time with my husband, and both my sons. That is really a treat! I also read "The Art of Racing in the Rain." It is a great book for dog lovers, like me!



I was at school last week unpacking supplies and books for the coming year. Have you decorated your writer's notebook yet? I always liked getting new supplies for school. I have loved reading your blog posts and your survey comments. I can tell we are going to have a great year.



Enjoy your last week or so of summer and I'll see you soon.



 



Mrs. Griffin

Article posted August 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM GMT-5 • comment (1) • Reads 283



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About the Blogger

I am a fourth grade teacher who loves to teach and loves to learn. Teaching is the best job in the world because I get to go to school and learn. I enjoy reading, gardening, knitting, and the beach. I have two sons. Discovery Educator Network Locations of visitors to this page

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