Field Trip

We took our last field trip of the year today! We traveled to a nearby state park which is a battle site of the American Revolution. The American Revolution is a big area we study in Social Studies. First we learned how they made fire, bullets, and more.

Then, the students got to make pretend gunpowder, march, and pretend to be Patriot soldiers with a fake wooden musket. They loved that part!

We had a picnic lunch and then learned about the Musgroves, the family who lived here when British soldiers set up camp in their back yard.

We went on a 1 mile hike and walked to the river that soldiers crossed.

Positives: All students came and brought lunch. The kids asked wonderful, meaningful questions! They connected their experience to what they'd learned in class. They behaved pretty good, well most of them did.

Funny comments: "Mrs. Geren, oh my gosh we have walked so much I bet we lose 30 pounds." Haha, oh if only it worked that way. "Oh man, I just finally gained some weight and now with all this walking, I'm going to lose it." Kids say the funniest things!

4th Grade Play

I have to take a minute to brag on the 4th graders! Every year we do a 4th grade play. This was something that was started before I started working there. Each year we pick a Social Studies theme. This year was "The ABC's of Independence". Our students wrote their own lines, learned a song called March of the Minutemen and the Star Spangled Banner, and created their own props. We have worked SO hard on it and tonight they performed their play!

I am so proud of them!

My Teacher Bag

Today I am linking up with Clutter-Free Classroom to show you my teacher bag. I have showed you one in a previous post. Since then I have changed bags because my Vera Bradley one didn't hold everything I needed in it. So, I am now using this Thirty One bag.
Here is a peek inside of my bag.

Inside I have: a binder with my Masters papers and calendars

I also have some folders, a notebook, and an umbrella.

What do I love about it? I love that this bag is easy to carry and big enough to carry what I need, but not TOO big.

What do I wish was different? The only thing I was it was is monogrammed! I need to get it done!


Yesterday I attended a meeting about Science notebooking. I am fairly new to notebooking, but we plan to have one for every subject next year. One thing they mentioned was allowing students the time to reflect in their notebooks. I'll admit, my students have never reflected in their Science notebook, only in their Math Reflection Journal, which is a post for another day. Today we had some extra time (which rarely happens) so I gave the prompt "What have you learned about magnetism and electricity?" Here are some of their thoughts.

We talked about how real scientists kept notebooks with their thoughts and drawings.

They were eager to share aloud, which I hadn't planned but it was a really nice few moments of reflecting.

This is something I'd like to make more time for. My students really enjoyed it. In the meeting they also talked about sentence stems like "I wonder...", etc. I could even put a morning work question like "What do you think would happen if...." and let them write their thoughts in their notebooks. I've got so many ideas and just not enough time I'm the day to do them!

A Good Deal

I love getting a good deal on anything classroom related. Books are no exception. Yesterday while shopping at Dollar General I came across these classics for $2 each. What a good deal! I'm sure my class will enjoy them.
This week we are starting our Freedom Crossing unit. To say that I LOVE this book is an understatement. Anytime you can integrate across the curriculum is a good thing. We are about to study the Underground Railroad and have already talked about slavery so we are beginning this book in our ELA (English Language Arts) block. Since we have two 4-day weeks coming up, it'll take up a little over two weeks to finish it. I highly recommend this book. Every year my class LOVES it!

Valentine's, Bulletin Board, & Award

Yesterday we had training over the Common Core Standards and let me tell you, it was information overload! I am a little nervous about the implementation of the CCSS, but we still have a little while. Have any of your states/schools implemented them yet? This past week I let my students decorate bags for Valentine's Day. I'll be honest, we just do not put much emphasis on Valetine's Day. We have a Christmas and Easter party and honestly, that is plenty for me! We do let students pass out Valentine's and we are going to have snacks, but it's not really a party. We don't decorate the cute shoeboxes or anything like that. But, at least our bags are ready!

Each month the big bulletin boards in our hallways are assigned to a teacher. It was my turn for February. I let my class decide what they wanted to do and they picked the Solar System! They decided they wanted to work with a partner and research a planet. So, we researched, wrote a first draft, edited, and wrote a final draft. Here is a look at our bulletin board. The yellow thing is supposed to be the sun. :)

Mrs. Lyon awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you so much! According to Mrs. Lyon, liebster is a German word that means beloved, dearest, or favorite. I'll take that! Click her name above to check out her awesome blog! Here are the rules:

1. Thank the award presenter and post a link back to their blog.

2. Proudly put the award on your blog.

3. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know about the award, and encourage them to pass it on.

I'm going to be a bit of a rebel and break the rules and give it to one blogger whose blog I really enjoyed reading. The Art of Learning. She is passionate about teaching History and brings History alive for her students. How I wish I could sit in on one of her History lessons!

Hands On Learning

We all know children learn best when they can explore and participate in hands-on activities. The magnetism and electricity unit we are doing in Science is my favorite because it is so hands on! Literally, my students are asking for more and more Science and in any free time, they want to explore Science materials. Here's a look at what we've been doing. We've explored how magnets attract.

We've explored how magnets repel.

We took a bag of test objects and sorted them into things we thought would stick to magnet and things that would not. We determined magnets stick to iron or steel.

We saw that iron fillings will move towards a magnet.

With that, we used iron fillings to find a magnet hidden in a box.

We explored circuit bases, wires, motors, a switch, and D-cells. We hooked it up to make the motor run and determined if the switch is open, electricity does not follow. We connected this to the light switch in our room! We talked about electricity receivers, electricity sources, open circuits, and closed circuits.

We made lightbulbs light up.

I had an observation today and it went great!! We never know when we are going to be observed so it's always a surprise but she came in whole we were finishing cards for my student who lost his dad and then transitioned into Math, which had lots of student involvement. We've had great week of learning!
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