Fourth Grade Journey

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Break 2017 (Blog BREAK)

Blog Break - READ Time

*Just a quick note that this reading guy is taking a week break from the "ReadWonder" blog.



*As a fourth grade teacher, I'm on spring break from Friday, March 31st - Sunday, April 9th.

*We are not traveling this year except for a "mini vacation" to KU in Lawrence, Kansas to see our son who is a sophomore there.  My wife and I will be driving down on Friday night and return on Monday.

*The rest of the week I'm planning on catching up on my "ever growing" pile of books next to my bed.

*I always enjoy these breaks from work and use the time to read, read, and read!

*My goal is to complete a "book a day" but that sometimes becomes a lofty goal since I also have to work on my "honey do" list that my wife leaves me as she heads off to the office.

*The daily/weekly blog "features" will be back on Monday, April 10th.  Of course I will still provide book reviews of the novels I finish over the next week.

*Be sure to look for the newest, latest, and greatest stories that fill my time during Spring Break...


Friend Friday #183 (Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk)


Hi!  I'm Filsan and I read the book called Wolf  Hollow written by Lauren Wolk.


I thought this book was disturbing 
because Betty got an infection from the well and some of the characters died.  


My favorite part in the story was when Toby/Jordan helped with the rescue because he did a really nice thing even when people thought he was bad.



The character that I liked best was Toby because he was brave and stood up for himself even though people were against him.  I like characters like this.


I think the author wrote this book because she wanted to write a story that took place in the past, had a great adventure and mystery, and some really cool girl characters.  


I would recommend this book to my friends because they might like it even though there are some sad and bad parts because Betty was so mean.  


Reading to me is an adventure because when I read I go to different places in my head and feel like I'm in the story.  

*This was our read aloud that we recently finished.  It went along with our historical fiction unit.
*Filsan had a variety of feelings during the reading of the story.
*There were parts that she enjoyed and parts that she was upset/angry about.  
*During our class discussions, she added greatly to the "talks" we had.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life Lesson #26 - Be a Sports-Person


"Be a Sports-Person"

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

*I have used this video clip before in the past and know that I will continue to use it each year because of its powerful message.

*Each year my students are in "awe" of these young boys and the kindness they give to one another.  This is the true power of human kindness.  

*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.  


Life Lessons for 2016-2017…          

Week #1 - Be Brains -                                                  Click Here for Week #1 Lesson
Week #2 - Be Kind to Others -                                     Click Here for Week #2 Lesson      
Week #3 - Be Safe -                                                     Click Here for Week #3 Lesson
Week #4 - Be Responsible -                                        Click Here for Week #4 Lesson    
Week #5 - Be a Friend -                                               Click Here for Week #5 Lesson
Week #6 - Be Courageous -                                        Click Here for Week #6 Lesson
Week #7 - Be Life Changing -                                      Click Here for Week #7 Lesson
Week #8 - Be Spooky -                                                Click Here for Week #8 Lesson
Week #9 - Be Kind -                                                     Click Here for Week #9 Lesson
Week #10 - Be Courageous (To Continue On) -          Click Here for Week #10 Lesson
Week #11 - Be Motivated -                                           Click Here for Week #11 Lesson 
Week #12 - Be Inspired -                                             Click Here for Week #12 Lesson
Week #13 - Be Merry -                                                 Click Here for Week #13 Lesson
Week #14 - Be a Team -                                              Click Here for Week #14 Lesson
Week #15 - Be Giving -                                                Click Here for Week #15 Lesson
Week #16 - Be SHOUTful -                                          Click Here for Week #16 Lesson
Week #17 - Be Happy -                                                Click Here for Week #17 Lesson
Week #18 - Be a Reader -                                           Click Here for Week #18 Lesson
Week #19 - Be Powerful -                                            Click Here for Week #19 Lesson
Week #20 - Be Brave -                                                 Click Here for Week #20 Lesson
Week #21 - Be Positive -                                              Click Here for Week #21 Lesson
Week #22 - Be a Friend -                                             Click Here for Week #22 Lesson
Week #23 - Be Strong and Courageous                      Click Here for Week #23 Lesson
Week #24 - Be Dance-Like                                          Click Here for Week #24 Lesson
Week #25 - Be Inclusive                                              Click Here for Week #25 Lesson

Trailer Thursday #183 (Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk)

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
(Student-Created Trailers by Mr. Andrus' Fourth Grade Readers)

*One of my goals this year to promote reading, books, and literacy was to expose my readers to the idea of "trailers".  

*Our most recent read aloud was Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk.  I share this novel with my fourth graders during our historical fiction unit.  It fit perfectly and I was able to point out so many elements of historical fiction while reading the story to my students.  

*After we finished the book, I asked some of the readers to create a book trailer to capture the "essence" of the story.  I was excited to see what they could come up with.

*Our goal is to create a book trailer a week that we can share with our classmates.  

*We are collecting all the trailers we make and putting them into our Schoology Site.

*Each student will have their own album where they can keep all of their trailers.  Then the other readers will be able to browse those trailers and find a new book to read.   

*As the year progresses we will learn what should be included, and not included, in the trailer to make them the best they can be.

Here are Some Other Trailers that Promote this incredible author














Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wonder Wednesday #183 (Surprise Author Visit)

Wonder Wednesday - Nora Raleigh Baskin in the "House"

*Years ago I read the novel Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin and was blown away.  I think I read it in one sitting and when I was done, I told EVERYONE at school about it.


*Fast forward many years, and I'm sitting in my classroom on Thursday, March 23rd.  My students are in a circle of chairs with their author questions on their iPads.  Sitting next to me is Nora Raleigh Baskin.  It is certainly a full-circle and a pinch me is this happening moment.

*I first met Nora in person at #NerdCampMI 2016.  It was a highlight camp "moment" because I had read all her books, featured her on both my blog and The Nerdy Book Club blog.  Since then we have continued to follow each other on social media.  My fourth grade readers Skyped with her last fall after we finish Nine, Ten, A September 11 Story.

*At the beginning of last week, a few Twin Cities teachers, and fellow NERDS, got a message from Nora herself that she was going to be visiting MN for a couple of speaking engagements.  She had some time on Thursday morning and was hoping to visit a classroom.  I jumped at the chance.  We hit a bump in the road when we realized Nora didn't have a way to get from her hotel to my school and back again.  This was an "Author Emergency" that Sandy Otto came to the rescue and became her chauffeur for the day.

*I teased my class about a surprise author visit and we created questions that any author could answer.  The night before the visit, I shared with my readers who would be joining us on Thursday morning.

*Nora spent about an hour with us and it was a truly meaningful experience for both myself and my students.  She opened the hour with how she became a writer and her story blew me away.  I had to work quite hard not to cry in front of the entire group.  If you haven't heard her share this story, be sure to ask her the next time you see her.

*After the "opening", my students had the chance to ask some questions and hear how Nora responded to them.  She was thoughtful, mindful, and so open with them.  I could tell they were "hearing" what she had to say.

*I thought I would share some images from that visit.  This experience was definitely a highlight not only for myself, but also my twenty-seven fourth grade readers.

*Thank you so much to Nora for giving us her time, her words, and above all her warmth.  She is truly one of a kind human being.  I'll take a full-circle moment like this anyday...

















Picture Wednesday #28 (Play Time)


"Play Time"

*This is the twenty-eigth Wednesday of our year together and that means it is "Picture Wednesday".

*I ran across this IMAGE on the ever popular "Internet" and I stopped my search to really study the picture.

*The joy in the faces of these children really struck a cord with me.  I love how the simplest things can make children so happy.  I think some children in this country have lost this "innocent play".

*It is my hope that my writers will be able to make some connections from the picture to their own lives.  

*Each Wednesday I feature a photograph, image, or graphic.  My goal is to have my writers do some thinking, reflecting, and writing about the image.

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

-What we notice in the image
-What we wonder about
-Connections we have to the picture
-Thoughts, feeling, emotions about the visual
-Reminders we have from the image
-Create a fiction story about the picture


*Once the image is revealed to the writers, we spend a few minutes "talking" about what we see.

*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 writers and slowly add time to our 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 visual in front of us.


Our Images from 2016-2017...  
Week #1 - Back to School -                               Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #2 - Be Kind to Others -                           Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #3 - Be Safe -                                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #4 - Be Responsible -                              Click Here to see IMAGE
Week #5 - Animal Friendship -                          Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #6 - A Helping Hand -                              Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #7 - A Running Jump -                             Click Here to See IMAGE 
Week #8 - Stand-UP/Unity Day -                       Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #9 - Home Sweet Home -                        Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #10 - Camouflage -                                  Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #11 - Dream Big-                                      Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #12 - Sidewalk Biking -                            Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #13 - HUG -                                              Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #14 - Happy Frog -                                   Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #15 - Hair Dryer -                                     Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #16 - Goodbye 2016/Hello 2017              Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #17 - Ghost Rainbow                               Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #18 - Winter Drive                                    Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #19 - Animal Friends                                Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #20-  The Writing Cabin                           Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #21 - Travel Companion                           Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #22 - Guitar Land                                     Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #23 - Airplane???                                     Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #24 - Concert in the Air                            Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #25 - Water Sir?                                       Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #26 - Sunset Floors                                  Click Here to See IMAGE
Week #27 - Covered Sky                                    Click Here to See IMAGE

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Treat Tuesday #183 (Happy Book Birthday)

Treat Tuesday:  Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies

*Two weeks in a row with cookie recipes.

*I must be on a cookie phase in my life.

*These look absolutely delicious!!!


Recipe Site

Ingredients...

    • 1 cup salted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 (3.4 ounce) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
    • 2 eggs (at room temp)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
    • 1 cup white chocolate chips (could also substitute for more chocolate chips)

Instructions...


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in pudding mix (dry) and vanilla.
3. Beat in one egg at a time.
4. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Then slowly stir into the wet ingredients. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Line baking with baking mat and then spoon cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are set. You want the center to look a little underdone. Let sit on pan for 2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.
Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!

Treat Tuesday:  Middle-Grade Novel










Treat Tuesday:  Young-Adult Novel











Treat Tuesday:  Adult Novel Published for Adults

Monday, March 27, 2017

Music Monday #25 (Shooting Star by Owl City)


"Shooting Star" by Owl City

*The other week I presented a song by Owl City called "Fireflies".  It was so well received by my fourth graders that I thought it would be cool to present them with another selection by the same band.

*We have had a few artists this year that we have heard more than one song from them and it is always a fun occurrence.

*This video was actually filmed right here in Minneapolis which is cool because we are a district just outside of the city.

*Today is our Twenty-Fifth Monday together and that means it is time for another 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 this 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 Monday Selections for 2016-2017 
Week #1 - "What I Am" by will.i.am                                                    Click Here for Week #1 Music
Week #2 - "Clay" by Grace VanderWaal                                               Click Here for Week #2 Music
Week #3 - "One Voice" by Billy Gilman                                               Click Here for Week #3 Music
Week #4 - "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace VanderWaal                Click Here for Week #4 Music
Week #5 - "Proud" by Heather Small                                                    Click Here for Week #5 Music
Week #6 - "There's a Hero" by Billy Gilman                                        Click Here for Week #6 Music
Week #7 - "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake                    Click Here for Week #7 Music
Week #8 - "Thriller" by Michael Jackson                                             Click Here for Week #8 Music
Week #9 - "Beautiful Thing" by Grace VanderWaal                            Click Here for Week #9 Music
Week #10 - "Live Like a Warrior" by Matisyahu                               Click Here for Week #10 Music
Week #11 - "Thankful" by Josh Groban                                             Click Here for Week #11 Music
Week #12 - "Hall of Fame" by The Script and will.i.am                    Click Here for Week #12 Music
Week #13 - "Clouds" by Zach Sobiach                                               Click Here for Week #13 Music
Week #14 - "Hopeful" by Bars & Melody                                          Click Here for Week #14 Music
Week #15 - "Do They Know Its Christmas" by BandAid                   Click Here for Week #15 Music
Week #16 - "My Hero" by Harris J.                                                    Click Here for Week #16 Music
Week #17 - "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong             Click Here for Week #17 Music
Week #18 - "Be Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw                         Click Here for Week #18 Music
Week #19 - "Dreamer" by Chris Brown                                              Click Here for Week #19 Music
Week #20 - "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth                                    Click Here for Week #20 Music
Week #21 - "I Lived" by One Republic                                               Click Here for Week #21 Music
Week #22 - "One Shining Moment" by Luther Vandross                    Click Here to Week #22 Music
Week #23 - "Fireflies" by Owl City                                                     Click Here for Week #23 Music
Week #24 - "Rise Up" by Andra Day                                                  Click Here for Week #24 Music