Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1. This morning we worked on our maps of Minnesota biomes. We realized the importance of cooperating and working as a team. Thank you to everyone who brought supplies in to decorate our maps- they look fantastic!

2. We ate lunch together in the cafeteria and discussed how excited we all were to meet Ms. Messner.

3. After lunch we went to the library and skyped with Kate Messner. Ms. Messner is such a talented author. We really appreciate her meeting with our class to discuss The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. What a fantastic experience! A big thanks to Ms. Z for organizing such a cool event.

4. Before heading to Phy. Ed. we started our new read-aloud Hatchet. What ten things would you want to have with you if you were stranded in the wilderness?

Friday, January 27, 2012


1. We celebrated Hat Day! It was so much fun seeing hats all over Brimhall today.

2. 4th graders started a research project on Minnesota biomes. We worked in groups to draw our own maps of Minnesota. They turned out great! After lunch we divided ourselves into research committees. There are four different committees, E agreed to be our "project facilitator". Remember to bring your project supplies on Monday! (leaves, twigs, pine branches, tall grasses, etc).

3. During literacy we had a "code red" practice lock down. It's always nice to practice those safety procedures in case we ever actually needed to use them.

4. At the end of the day 4th graders played drums and practiced rhythm in music class.

**Big thanks to Ms. Zbacnik for all of her blog support yesterday!**

Plotting Points

Check out E's "plotting points" activity! Very cool.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1. We had two U of M practicum students come help us out in math. We worked on ordering fractions.

2. In science we read our AgMag and identified different biomes of Minnesota. 

3. After lunch we reviewed the prefix un-. A prefix is a letter, or group of letters that changes the meaning of a word.

4. We discussed the importance of morals in short stories. P and L shared a story that they wrote together based on the moral: "Be kind to others, and they will be kind to you." Impressive work girls!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1. We have a new math station- complete with new supplies! Yeehaw! We look forward to teaching each other math in our new special spot.

2. Ms. Tami came to read aloud to our class before lunch.

3. In literacy we worked on creating our own alliterations. An alliteration is a repetition of the first consonant. For example, Ms. McCormick mailed a mango to Milwaukee. Student examples will be posted later this week.

4. We are one chapter away from finishing The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Tomorrow we will create and vote on questions to ask author Kate Messner.

HOMEWORK: StudyLinks 7.8 (both sides), RAZ Kids (if you have an account)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1. In math we had extra help today- it was FANTASTIC! We completed the equivalent fraction chart in the back of our math journals. We also sorted our fractions cards.

2. During snack we visited the achievement fair. We learned a lot about geckos, monsters, electricity, dolphins, owls, the earth and magnetism. Fantastic job 4th graders that participated, 4M is very proud of your accomplishments.

3. In library we found out about the new Caldecott Medal. We look forward to reading the 2012 winner, A Ball for Daisy. We were quite happy to see that Lynn Smith (one of our favorite authors) won an honor award with her new book Grandpa Green.

4. We played the Dewey Decimal Rap at the end of the day and said goodbye to our classmate T. Best of luck with your move back to South Korea, 4M is really going to miss you!

Homework: Read for 30 Minutes and do RAZ Kids (if you have an account set up with me!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

1. In math we discussed equivalent fractions.

2. We read The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. We look forward to speaking with author Kate Messner next Tuesday!

3. In literacy we discussed a poem, The Vessel. We found different examples of personification throughout the poem.

4. In the afternoon, we watched the St. Anthony Brass Quintet perform. We had a great time learning about the different brass instruments.

Homework: Write sentences using each of your new spelling words IN CURSIVE. Math StudyLinks 7.7

Spelling January 23-27


No Excuse: an, can, we, when
Challenge: uncle, unconscious, unite, unreasonable, agriculture, separate

Friday, January 20, 2012


1. In math we designed "fraction flags". What shapes are present in the American flag? We also learned that you can divide shapes into fractions using a variety of different shapes.

2. We practiced what college was like and did an independent study of AgMag. Students worked around the room, while other students practiced being teaching assistants and walked around to offer help to their peers. We had an in depth discussion about agriculture -what a fascinating industry!

3. After a snowy recess, we read two chapters of The Amazing Fall of Gianna Z. We look forward to skyping with author Kate Messner next week.

4. At the end of the day we wished each other a wonderful weekend. I plan on doing A LOT of reading. What are your weekend plans?

E and S were matching today- what a riot!

See you Monday. Have a great weekend!
-Ms. McCormick


1. In math we made special designs with our pattern blocks and took pictures. On Monday we hope to figure out what fraction of our designs or rhombuses, hexagons, triangles and trapezoids.

2. After lunch we read around the room. I got to BASS test several students.

3. We stayed inside from recess and watched Up. It was REALLY cold outside.

4. Many of us turned in our word work and continued to work on our New York Times short stories.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1. Students continued to work with fractions. We use shapes to see how many rhombus/triangles/trapezoids would fit inside a hexagon. We then created our own fractions.

2. In literacy we started our BASS testing again. So far, all of our scores have increased since this fall.

3. Orchestra students left school early for their big rehearsal.

4. Mrs. Sateren worked with students on personification. Personfication is when you give something that is non-human, human characteristics. Check out these examples-

HOMEWORK: StudyLink 7.2 and 7.3, Spelling (cursive and sentences). Read, read, read!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1. In math we studied fractions. Students learned that 12/12 could also mean 1 WHOLE. What other fractions equal one whole? What are equivalent fractions to 1/2?

2. We finished Math Journals through page 193. Students should have a STICKER on the top of page 193 to show that their work has been checked.

3. In literacy we discussed compound words. A compound word is a word made up of two smaller words put together. For example: driftwood, cardboard, junkyard, sunburn and gingerbread are all compound words.

4. We had music with Mrs. Sharp and practiced playing the drums.

HOMEWORK: StudyLink 7.1 and 7.2 due tomorrow. Students may practice spelling however they wish, I need to see EVIDENCE tomorrow morning. Some options are: bubble letters, typing, sentences, definitions or creating a comic strip.

Spelling January 17-20


No Excuse: bee, by, if, said
Challenge: endangered, energetic, genuine, hilarious, geology, artificial

Monday, January 16, 2012

Energy and U

Friday, January 13, 2012

1. In math, we continued to work with fractions in our new math book.

2. We took a field trip to the University of Minnesota (that's where I went to school!) and watched a "lecture" by the Chemistry Department.
Making our way to the chemistry building

A professor shows us how energy from riding a bike can blow up a balloon!

College-bound kiddos!

Walking on the U of M "mall"

Us before the big presentation- this is a REAL college classroom!

3. Mrs. Yaglowski had us over to watch a movie about Martin Luther King Junior.

4. 4th graders took their weekly spelling test.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1. 12 fourth graders signed up for the Caldecott Challenge. Way to go!

2. In math we started Unit 7, learning all about fractions. We even learned how to put fractions into our calculators.

3. During literacy we learned 5 new vocabulary words. We played a picture matching game and came up with friendly, "4th grade definitions". All of us successfully completed our vocabulary sheet. We discussed inflected endings, and gave different examples using -ed, -ing, and -s. Some of us used the iPad to learn about non-fiction text features.

4. We prepared ourselves for the field trip tomorrow morning. I just talked with the University of Minnesota, and they said, "we are looking forward to having Brimhall!" How exciting!

Homework: Read 30 minutes, practice spelling- your test is tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Caldecott Challenge

I have followed Ms. Zbacnik's lead and have joined the
Caldecott Challenge
What BRAVE 4th graders want to join me?

 1. We said goodbye to our classmate M. We wish him the best of luck at his new school in Wisconsin! We are really going to miss him.

2. Students took our Math MAP test in the morning. You all did an AWESOME job. I am very proud of your scores- so proud that I showed them to Ms. Bidne over the lunch hour :)

3. We had library with Ms. Zbacnik. Ms. Zbacnik read, Here Comes the Garbage Barge! which just happens to have a New York Times review posted online (we talked about the New York Times yesterday during W.O.W!)

4. Mrs. Sateren conducted reading conferences with many of you. Our, "Books we have Read in 4M" log is filling up quickly!

DON'T FORGET: Your practice multiplication timed test and U of M field trip permission slip are both due tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1. In math we took our Unit 6 Test. We feel confident with division and measuring angles.

2. We practiced reading with expression with The Monster at the End of this Book.

3. We started a new W.O.W (work on writing) project. We each will be writing short stories. We hope to compile all of these short stories into a 2012 edition.

4. Guided Reading groups met. One of our groups started a new book, Surviving the Applewhites.

Monday, January 9, 2012

1. In math we measured angles.

2. We prepared for our reading MAP Test by going over helpful test taking strategies.

3. We had a great time playing tether ball at recess!

4. We took our Winter Reading MAP Test. Everyone did a fantastic job! You should be very proud of yourselves.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spelling January 9-13th


No Excuse: about, do, each, will
Challenge: committed, instead, oxen, potatoes, analyze, current

Upcoming Events:
  Monday, January 9th: Reading MAP Testing in the afternoon
  Wednesday, January 11th: Math MAP Testing in the morning.
  Friday, January 13th: "Energy and U" at the University of Minnesota

Friday, January 6, 2012

1. In math we measured all types of angles. It's important to mark which angle you are measuring, so you can identify the angle AND the reflex angle.

2. In health, we discussed the dangers of smoking.

3. During literacy we took our spelling test. Many of us are getting much faster at writing in cursive- Way to go!

4. Before art, 4M toured 6th Grade's "Famous Faces" event. It was neat learning about people from the past. In two years that will be YOU in the hallway :)

Many of us were out today felt like we had a cold. Get plenty of sleep and stay healthy! Have a great weekend.
-Ms. McCormick

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1. In math we practiced plotting points on a graph. Once we proved we could do this on our own, we created our own "connect the dots" pictures and listed their coordinates.

2. After lunch we visited the library and checked out new books with Ms. Z.

3. In literacy we addressed the envelopes to our penpal letters.

4. We had extra read-to-self time to practice reading with expression. The Graduation of Jake Moon group met to finish our book.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1. We welcomed our new student A. to 4M, we are so excited that you are joining our class!

2. In math we learned about plotting points on grids. It is important that you always "move over, before you move up or down." Tomorrow we will create our own lists of coordinates to draw cool figures on graph paper...perhaps we could put some up in the hallway on display?

3. In literacy some of the groups started new books. We discussed the importance of keeping track of what you read. Many of us are moving up in our reading levels- this is great news!

4. In music, we played new instruments with Mrs. Sharp.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1. We welcomed our new classmate G. We are so excited that G is now apart of 4M!

2. In math we took the midyear exam. We are going to use the results from this test to see how we can learn subject material differently.

3. We practiced our first "formal" literacy lounge. Mrs. Sateren and I met with a group and discussed how facts differ from opinions.

4. We had Phy. Ed. with Mrs. Brink. T and E won the hula hooping contests. Way to go you two!

Remember- we have library on Thursday this week. Your math homework is due tomorrow. Your spelling (cursive and sentences) are due on Thursday. It was so nice seeing all of you again today, 2012 is off to a GREAT start.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spelling January 3-6


No Excuse: clown, how, them, up
Challenge: bulletin, promise, quantity, stomach, remarkable, neighborhood

If you're interested in practicing your spelling on the internet- here is a really cool site! I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow, I can't wait to hear all about your break!
-Ms. McCormick

PS: Did you notice how I wrote "you're" instead of "your"? :)