The fourth graders continued their unit on Goldilocks and the Three Bears and engaged in two group projects. Students broke into groups and each group was given a different version of the three bears. They were responsible for becoming the "experts" on their book. After reading the story and completing a rubric, each group presented to the class and was able to talk about the similarities and differences in their story as compared to the original and also talked about other things that made their book unique or different such as illustrations, a change in characters (three dinosaurs instead of bears, Goatilocks the goat instead of Goldilocks a girl, etc.). A second group project was the writing of their own version of something and the three somethings...it was their choice what the story would be about and though it was a collaborative effort, each student in the group worked "alone" so to speak. A flip book was given to each group and a title was agreed upon. One student then wrote the first page of the story and passed it to the next person in the group. That person read the first page and continued the story then passed it to the next student who could only read THAT page and continue on. Some stories turned out very silly since students were not allowed to read EVERYTHING that came before what they wrote!
With the majority of our State Fair research behind us, students were able to being typing up their final projects and creating their bibliographies. Through the "magic" of the Google apps, students were able to easily create their bibliography right within their document...in the past we've had to go out to a web site to do this, print it out, and add it as an additional page to the project. They were also able to easily add pictures without having to leave their document and go out to a web site. Isn't technology great?!
Toward the end of the month we began our final unit of the year which is a fun fairy tale unit on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Students read the original version of The Three Bears and then heard some variations including Dusty Locks and the Three Bears and Goldilocks and the Three Hares. Similarities and differences between the three versions were discussed.
The State Fair projects are an enormous part of what we do in the library during 4th grade. This is a huge research project with many components to it and it's great to be able to work with the students on it during school time. This year we started using Google Classroom / Google Docs for the first time to complete this project so there has been a lot of computer learning to be done by the students. They have done a great job adapting to this new technology, learning how to take notes, how to easily toggle back and forth between their document and a web site and much more. Most of their note taking for their questions is complete and this month they have been working on their WOW facts and learning some other aspects of Google Classroom and Google docs to get them ready to type up their final projects.
The fourth graders continue to do research for their State Fair projects. During the month of January they learned how to access the Grolier website where we have a subscription to America the Beautiful. This web site gave them a great deal of additional information for their projects.
Fourth graders are off to a GREAT start with their state research projects. Using Google Classroom they have received their first research question and are busy reading and taking notes to answer it. Even though we spent time learning note taking skills through underlining, highlighting and sticky noting, ALL students have opted to take notes directly into their Google doc as they are reading from their state books. They are doing a fantastic job and if they keep up this pace, will be well ahead of schedule with their research!
In December the fourth graders learned how to use Google classroom. They were given an assignment within Google classroom and were amazed at how quickly and easily they could access it, how they didn't have to worry about saving their work and how I could make comments on their work all on the computer. This year's research portion of the State Fair project will be completed entirely in Google Classroom to make for less paper waste and much easier use of technology and other resources needed.
Throughout the month the fourth graders continued to focus on note taking skills and learned how to do bullet points as they read to find the most important information to answer a specific question that was given to them. Students also set up accounts in Google Classroom to prepare for their State Fair project.
During the month of October, students learned note taking skills and participated in several different note taking exercises to prepare them for their State Fair projects later in the year. They explored note taking as a whole class, in small groups and as individuals learning to pick out only the important information in passages they read and only the information that would answer specific questions posed to them.
Fourth graders were stunned to start off the year learning that Our Librarian Won't Tell us Anything! Well, that's not completely true...but it was the title of the book they read. While the librarian in the story would not TELL students the answers to their questions, she would TEACH them how to find them. This theme sets the tone for the 4th grade library year where they become much more independent in their use of the library, access to information and their research. Their librarian will not TELL them anything but she will TEACH them all they need to know to complete the assignments they will be given throughout the year. Later in the month students had a review of Destiny, our on-line circulation program, and were then introduced to Destiny Quest. Destiny Quest is a function within Destiny that allows students to write book reviews and share book recommendations with their classmates as well as place holds on books they want to read and keep track of their own library books. The fourth grade students have enjoyed learning how to use this and have been writing some great book reviews.
Fourth grader students were also introduced to the 2015 Nutmeg Nominated books and have been eagerly reading them in order to vote for their favorite in the spring.