March 17

More Connections!

We have been loving meeting our new friends!  We connected with our Quadblogging Buddies in Denver using Hangouts.  Mr. D and I set it up as a surprise for our students.  The classes played a “Mystery Classroom” game.  At the end of the game, we told the students they played with their Buddies.  There were loud cheers in both classes.

We recently connected with a new class in Wisconsin.  We are collaborating on a writing project through “Projects by Jen.”  Focusing on point of view, we are making a book using Book Creator in a similar format of “The Day the Crayons Quit.”  This is so much fun!

January 6

Happy New Year!

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful break.  It’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through the school year.  We have some exciting activities coming up this month.  We will visit with archaeologists in Nebraska to learn how they conserve and preserve our national parks.  Later, we will meet with a ranger at the Channel Islands while he does a live SCUBA dive.  He will reach us about the kelp forest ecosystem.  We will virtually communicate with these rangers.

We will begin our collaboration with our friends in Ghana within the next two weeks.  We will first learn about each others’ cultures and then possibly move into exchanging information about our national parks.

Are you ready?  Let’s go!

December 4

It’s December!

It is hard to believe that it is already Christmas time!  We have been busy with many activities.  We finished reading Pax and some of us were a little surprised at the ending.  We felt many emotions while we read the book and would recommend it to anyone.  We have planned our California region commercials and will begin filming soon.  We had another Mystery Classroom experience with a class in the coast region of California.  We made a “Welcome to Our Class!” video using iMovie and I am trying to figure out how to post it on this blog (I am new to using Apple products.).

The next task we are beginning is learning about our National Parks.  It is the 100th anniversary of the Parks System and each fourth grade student receives a free pass to all of the National Parks through August 2017!

We are also preparing to learn how to code.  The Hour of Code is this week and we are excited to begin learning this new skill.

We have connected with a new school.  We will soon be connecting with the students of Pax Pahosant International School in Ghana.  We are looking forward to learning with them!

Until I can figure out how to embed our video, here is a link to it:  Welcome to Our Class!


October 2

First Mystery Skype!

We had our first Mystery Skype with one of our Global Read Aloud buddy classes!  We had so much fun trying to figure out where they are.  They figured out where we are first.  We are looking forward to communicating and collaborating with our buddies while we read Pax…and hopefully afterward.  We are beginning the first chapter of the novel.  We are contributing our thoughts on this Padlet:

Created with Padlet
September 10

A Whole Lotta Blogging Goin’ On!

We are about to begin blogging! We are part of a “Quadblogging” group that we will rotate visiting and commenting on each other’s blogs.  Two of our quadblogging buddy classes are from outside of the US and the other buddy class is in another state.  I won’t share where they are yet because I don’t want to give away the surprise for when we visit their class blogs.

We have two other blogging opportunities coming up in October.  We will be participating in the Global Read Aloud. We will read the book, Pax.  We will share discussions and complete activities with our read aloud buddies.  We have connected with two other classes outside of California.  The other blogging activity that begins in October is the Global Blogging Challenge.  We will receive a new challenge each week for 10 weeks that will teach us how to enhance our blogging skills.

There’s a whole lotta blogging goin’ on!

August 4

It’s a New School Year!

2016-2017 Here we come!  It is time to begin a new school year.  Not all of us feel ready to face new challenges.  Instead, let’s think of this year as meeting new opportunities.  We will have opportunities to grow, laugh, fail, get back up, try again, and support each other.  We will each make personal goals for ourselves.  One of my goals this year is for every student to understand that it is okay to make mistakes, learning something new is hard work and takes time to learn, and we learn from each other.  Welcome to fourth grade.  Welcome to your best year yet.

May 5

The Home Stretch

We are on the home stretch!  May is a busy month for our class.  We have Open House, the Wakamatsu Silk and Tea Colony field trip, fifth grade orientation at Mountain Creek, and much more!

It’s been a wonderful year of adventures.  We have learned many skills together during our journey.  There were challenges, but our students rose to the occasion.  The skills they learned this year will carry them far.

We are all looking forward to the summer break and precious time with family.  I want to thank my students for an adventurous year!

April 4

Moving Forward

It is hard to believe it is already April!  I blinked and March was gone.  We are in our last trimester with only eight weeks left of school.  We have many exciting events coming up in these last few weeks.  There is a music field trip to the Sacramento Community Center Theater to play with the Sacramento Philharmonic.  Later we go to the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony for a living history day and Coloma to learn more about where the Gold Rush started.

As we wind down the school year, we are not winding down our classroom activities.  Currently, we are working on Choose Your Own Adventure stories.  It’s challenging, but we are making progress.  Soon, we will learn about Earth’s landforms and how they form.  We recently began reading Okei-San.  It is about a Japanese girl who came from Japan to live near Coloma in the late 1800s.  We’ll be visiting her farm during our Wakamatsu field trip.


February 6

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Our class just finished reading Island of the Blue Dolphins. This is one of my favorite novels to read with students.  There are so many life skills we learn about as we read each chapter.  We learn how to cope with sorrow, overcome hardship through courage, being resourceful, and that forgiveness brings peace.  The students were excited to find out how Karana left the island, but disappointed that the book ended.  We will learn a little more about the woman whom the book is based, and complete a couple of writing assignments.

Our next adventure will lead us through the California missions, and then along the Oregon Trail.

Until next time…