Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Life Lesson #23 (Be Brave and Courageous)

"Be Brave and Courageous"

*This is the TWENTY-THIRD Thursday of our school year together and that means it is "Life Lesson" Thursday.

*One of the biggest messages I try to share with my students is to make a positive impact on the world.

*This isn't always easy, but I work very hard to spread this theme/lesson/idea each and every day.  

*I love this video and the message it portrays.  I always want my students to know that they need to be BRAVE and be COURAGEOUS.  If they are, they can accomplish anything they want.  This video clip captures that theme and/or lesson.  

*I set aside time during each day for us to work in our writer's notebooks. 

*We talk about what types of writing we can do in the notebook.  Here are some of the possibilities...

-What we notice in the video
-What we wonder about
-Connections we have to the video
-Thoughts, feeling, emotions about the video clip
-Reminders we have from the lesson/message
-Create a fiction story about the video


*Once the video is shared with the writers, we spend a few minutes "talking" about what we observed.

*My writers set up their HEADING in the notebook and we get busy writing.

*During the start-up of the year, I have my students write for about five minutes.  We slowly build our stamina for writing and slowly add time to the writing block. 

*At the end of the individual writing time, we call on a few volunteers to share their actual writing and/or further thoughts about the video we watched and wrote about.

*If there is time, I sometimes share the video clip with my class at the end of the writer's notebook time.  


2017/2018 Life Lessons...
Week #1:  Be a Reader                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #2:  Be Kind to Others                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #3:  Be Safe                                                                             This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #4:  Be Responsible                                                                 This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #5:  Be Brains                                                                           This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #6:  Be a Friend                                                                        This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #7:  Be Life-Changing                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #8:  Be Spooky (Halloween Fun Edition)
Week #9:  Be a Bully - NOT!                                                              This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #10:  Be Courageous (to continue on)                                     This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #11:  Be Motivated                                                                   This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #12:  Be Inspired                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #13:  Be Merry                                                                          This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #14:  Be a Team                                                                       This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #15:  Be Giving                                                                         This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #16:  Be SHOUTful                                                                  This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #17:  Be Happy                                                                        This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #18:  Be a Reader                                                                    This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #19:  Be POWERful                                                                 This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #20:  Be Brave                                                                         This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #21:  Be Positive                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson
Week #22:  Be a Friend                                                                      This Week's Life-Lesson

Wonder Wednesday #220 (Jason Reynolds)

Wonder Wednesday - Author Speech

*I was lucky enough to attend a speech given by Jason Reynolds.

*Red Balloon Book Store, local independent, sponsored him for an event.  He was in town (St. Paul) to talk about his two newest books.

*He spent time talking about the "track" series and the newest one Sunny.

*Jason also discussed the book For Everyone.  I of course bought both.


*Not only was it a great night listening to this awesome author, but it was fun to connect with some of my local "NERDY" friends.







Monday, April 16, 2018

Music Music #26 - The World is Ours by David Correy




"The World is Ours" by David Correy


*Music Monday is HERE and I'm excited to share a year's worth of musical selections with you.

*I know it is going to be a GREAT year of music, writing, thinking, and sharing.

*This piece of music has been used in the past and has always been received with such positive thoughts by the listeners.  I know the group of students I have this year will be excited and enjoy the song, the videos, and the message.  It is such an upbeat piece of music and just makes me happy when I listen to it.  I hope you, and maybe your students, will enjoy it just as much as we are going to this week.  

*Today is our TWENTY-SIXTH Monday together and that means it is time for our musical selection.

*I truly believe Mondays are my favorite day for our writer's notebooks.  

*Each Monday I present a piece of music to my fourth graders.  I usually present the song via a video so they are hearing and "seeing" the music.  

*After I share the video, we discuss the song/video for a few minutes as a class.  It is always a joy to hear what my young listeners have to say about the song.  

*They then get busy writing in their notebooks.  We start off at the beginning of the year writing for about five minutes.  This will gradually increase as the year progresses.  

*Here are some ideas I give the writers to think about during their writing time...

*Their opinions of the song.
*Their likes and dislikes of the song.
*What the song reminds them of.
*Any connections they may have to the music.
*What they think the message in the piece may be.
*What listeners can learn from the song.
*A fictional story about the music/video.

*These are just some ideas I give to the writers.  They are really free to write anything they would like as long as it connects to the song.

*After our silent reading, we spend a few more minutes sharing out what we wrote.  

*I keep a collection of the videos on our Schoology Site so that my students can always go back and rematch them anytime they wish.


Our Musical Selections for 2017/2018... 

Week #1:  "What I Am" by will.i.am                                                  Click Here for Week One MUSIC
Week #2:  "Hopeful" by Bars and Melody                                         Click Here for Week Two MUSIC
Week #3:  "Somebody" by Lemonade Mouth                                  Click Here for Week Three MUSIC
Week #4:  "Dream Big" by Ryan Shupe                                            Click Here for Week Four MUSIC
Week #5:  "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield                                 Click Here for Week Five MUSIC
Week #6:  "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly                                    Click Here for Week Six MUSIC
Week #7:  "Candyman" by Zedd, Aloe Blacc                                   Click Here of Week Seven MUSIC
Week #8:  "Thriller" by Michael Jackson                                         Click Here for Week Eight MUSIC
Week #9:  "Clay" by Grace Vanderwaal                                           Click Here for Week Nine MUSIC
Week #10:  "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace Vanderwaal           Click Here for Week Ten MUSIC 
Week #11:  "Brand New Eyes" by Bea Miller                               Click Here for Week Eleven MUSIC
Week #12:  "You Will Be Found" from Dear Evan Hansen         Click Here for Week Twelve MUSIC
Week #13:  "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka                    Click Here for Week Thirteen MUSIC
Week #14:  "Rise Up" by Andra Day                                          Click Here for Week Fourteen MUSIC
Week #15:  "Carol of the Bells" by The Piano Guys                     Click Here for Week Fifteen MUSIC
Week #16:  "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman                Click Here for Week Sixteen MUSIC
Week #17:  "A Million Dreams" The Greatest Showman        Click Here for Week Seventeen MUSIC
Week #18:  "I'll Be Your Water" by Keb Mo                              Click Here for Week Eighteen MUSIC
Week #19:  "The Champion" by Carrie Underwood                  Click Here for Week Nineteen MUSIC
Week #20:  "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake             Click Here for Week Twenty Music
Week #21:  "Legends" by Sleeping with Sirens                    Click Here for Week Twenty-One MUSIC
Week #22:  "Geronimo" by Sheppard                                   Click Here for Week Twenty-Two MUSIC
Week #23:  "Fresh Eyes" by Andy Grammer                     Click Here for Week Twenty-Three MUSIC
Week #24:  "One Shining Moment" by Luther Vandross     Click Here for Week Twenty-Four MUSIC
Week #25:  "Happy People" by Little Big Town                  Click Here for Week Twenty-Five MUSIC

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (4/16/18)



Thanks to Jen and Kellee for hosting this idea on their site.  Here is a link to the site...
                
Books I Read this Past Week…



Breakout by Kate Messner

*Middle-Grade Novel (4 STARS out of 5 Stars)

My Book Review





Books I Will (continue to) Read this Week


The 11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic

*My Middle-Grade Novel










Every Little Step - My Story by Bobby Brown

*Autobiography (Audio)








Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

*My Young-Adult Novel 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Breakout by Kate Messner

How I Heard About It:  I have loved every Kate Messner novel that I've had the honor of reading.  This newest work of fiction came to me via my #bookexpedition Twitter group.  I had heard some positive reviews that I was quite excited to read the story.  What amazes me about Kate's writing is how different each story is from the other ones.  This particular plot stands out from all the other ones.  

What It Is About:   The reader is taken to the small town of Wolf Creek where there is a correctional institution.  Nora and Lizzie are two of the main characters.  They are working on a time-capsule project with their other classmates.  Their newest classmate is Elidee who is brand new to their school.  She and her mother have moved to Wolf Creek to be closer to her brother because he is an inmate at the prison.  All three girls are unnerved when two inmates escape and are feared to be on the loose in Wolf Creek.  Each girl reacts to the situation quite differently, but in the end wants the safety of all the community members.  The characters process their emotions via the time-capsule project through a series of letters, text messages, emails, articles, poems, and a variety of other written formats.  

What I Thought Of It:  I'm always amazed when I open the cover of a Kate Messner novel and enter the world she has created.  This reading experience was so different from any other I've had when I was in the company of a Messner novel.  The format of the text was what captured my attention the most.  It was interesting to get to know each girl though their writing, projects, and thoughts.  I also was impressed with how Kate wove in so many important real-life issues into this fictional story.  She dealt with the issues with honor, grace, and dignity.  Each character was realistic, authentic, and relatable.  What a great and fun reading experience!  

Who Should Read It:  At 433 pages, this is a longer piece of fiction compared to some of the other Messner novels.  In my opinion, I think the book is best suited for readers in grades five and/or six.  Of course middle-school readers would be a perfect audience for the story.  I know they will be drawn to the format of the book and enjoy all the different types of writing by each of the three characters.  Adult readers that enjoy middle-grade novels, will definitely want to put this title on their TBR list.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wonder Wednesday #219 (Breakfast with Books)

Wonder Wednesday - Fourth Grade Book Club

*My fourth grade readers had our most recent "Breakfast with Books" book club on Thursday, March 29th.

*We have had an awesome year of books, authors, author visits, and of course author Skype sessions.

*This current selection brought out many readers and some that hadn't attended any of the previous get-togethers.



*Everything started out great and we were excited to chat with Jacqueline Resnick, the author of Raffie on the Run.

*Then technology intervened and we had some Skype issues.  The readers, teacher, and author were all patient, but we couldn't get things back up and running.

*We quickly set up an audio call and the readers were still able to connect with Jacqueline, share their comments, and ask their questions.

*If you haven't read this book, we highly recommend it.  Such a great adventure story!

*Here are some images from our book club in action...












Monday, April 9, 2018

Music Monday #25 (Happy People by Little Big Town)


"Happy People" by Little Big Town


*Music Monday is HERE and I'm excited to share a year's worth of musical selections with you.

*I know it is going to be a GREAT year of music, writing, thinking, and sharing.

*We just got back from spring break and I want the rest of our year to be all about being happy, positive, and kind.  We have had some rough spots this year, and we are working hard to get back on track.  I think this song will help us do that!  

*Today is our TWENTY-FIFTH Monday together and that means it is time for our musical selection.

*I truly believe Mondays are my favorite day for our writer's notebooks.  

*Each Monday I present a piece of music to my fourth graders.  I usually present the song via a video so they are hearing and "seeing" the music.  

*After I share the video, we discuss the song/video for a few minutes as a class.  It is always a joy to hear what my young listeners have to say about the song.  

*They then get busy writing in their notebooks.  We start off at the beginning of the year writing for about five minutes.  This will gradually increase as the year progresses.  

*Here are some ideas I give the writers to think about during their writing time...

*Their opinions of the song.
*Their likes and dislikes of the song.
*What the song reminds them of.
*Any connections they may have to the music.
*What they think the message in the piece may be.
*What listeners can learn from the song.
*A fictional story about the music/video.

*These are just some ideas I give to the writers.  They are really free to write anything they would like as long as it connects to the song.

*After our silent reading, we spend a few more minutes sharing out what we wrote.  

*I keep a collection of the videos on our Schoology Site so that my students can always go back and rematch them anytime they wish.


Our Musical Selections for 2017/2018... 

Week #1:  "What I Am" by will.i.am                                                  Click Here for Week One MUSIC
Week #2:  "Hopeful" by Bars and Melody                                         Click Here for Week Two MUSIC
Week #3:  "Somebody" by Lemonade Mouth                                  Click Here for Week Three MUSIC
Week #4:  "Dream Big" by Ryan Shupe                                            Click Here for Week Four MUSIC
Week #5:  "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield                                 Click Here for Week Five MUSIC
Week #6:  "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly                                    Click Here for Week Six MUSIC
Week #7:  "Candyman" by Zedd, Aloe Blacc                                   Click Here of Week Seven MUSIC
Week #8:  "Thriller" by Michael Jackson                                         Click Here for Week Eight MUSIC
Week #9:  "Clay" by Grace Vanderwaal                                           Click Here for Week Nine MUSIC
Week #10:  "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace Vanderwaal           Click Here for Week Ten MUSIC 
Week #11:  "Brand New Eyes" by Bea Miller                               Click Here for Week Eleven MUSIC
Week #12:  "You Will Be Found" from Dear Evan Hansen         Click Here for Week Twelve MUSIC
Week #13:  "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka                    Click Here for Week Thirteen MUSIC
Week #14:  "Rise Up" by Andra Day                                          Click Here for Week Fourteen MUSIC
Week #15:  "Carol of the Bells" by The Piano Guys                     Click Here for Week Fifteen MUSIC
Week #16:  "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman                Click Here for Week Sixteen MUSIC
Week #17:  "A Million Dreams" The Greatest Showman        Click Here for Week Seventeen MUSIC
Week #18:  "I'll Be Your Water" by Keb Mo                              Click Here for Week Eighteen MUSIC
Week #19:  "The Champion" by Carrie Underwood                  Click Here for Week Nineteen MUSIC
Week #20:  "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake             Click Here for Week Twenty Music
Week #21:  "Legends" by Sleeping with Sirens                    Click Here for Week Twenty-One MUSIC
Week #22:  "Geronimo" by Sheppard                                   Click Here for Week Twenty-Two MUSIC
Week #23:  "Fresh Eyes" by Andy Grammer                     Click Here for Week Twenty-Three MUSIC
Week #24:  "One Shining Moment" by Luther Vandross     Click Here for Week Twenty-Four MUSIC