4th Grade Mindful August

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Our fourth grade class has had a busy, exciting first week and a half of school! A big theme for our first week that we will carry throughout the year was mindfulness. This includes being mindful community members, mindful partners in groups and mindful as individuals.

We started off the first day with a challenging, collaborative, team building activity called Saving Fred. Since we will be working in groups all year, it is an important skill to begin working on right away.  Students strategized and worked as a team to help save Fred. They were first told the problem and the rules. After they had talked together about how they wanted to approach the task and written out a game plan, they were given their materials. Fred, the worm, was riding in his boat, the cup, when it tipped over. Fred is on top of the boat and he doesn’t know how to swim. Luckily, he has a life jacket, the lifesaver. Unfortunately, it’s stuck under the boat. Using only 4 paperclips, not their hands, to touch Fred, the boat, and the life jacket, they were tasked with getting Fred into his life jacket without him falling in the water. Throughout the process, they were laughing, planning, revising, and working together.

Saving Fred 2

Saving Fred

Saving Fred 3

We also began our first class novel, Wonder. We’ve had many interesting discussions in class thus far, focusing on making text to text connections, text to self-connections and identifying character traits. We’ve also begun writing about text using reading menus. The menus provide 9 different question choices that students can choose from to write about Wonder. Empowering the students to make this choice usually leads to an overall greater quality of work because students are working on tasks they feel most confident with. We’re really focusing on using evidence and examples from the text to support our answers. There is a rubric for these reading menus that allows the students to self-check and make sure everything is included in their responses.

Our class study of the human body also began the first week of school. Currently, we are studying cells and will then dive into the various body systems. Our learning objective that we’re working towards is to describe the different systems within the body and how they work independently and together to form a functioning human body. We have some amazing labs in store for September and October. This week we got to visit Ms. Rosenmann in The Science & Innovation Center where we looked at our cheek cells and onion cells under a microscope. In some of the students’ slides you could identify the nucleus of the cells. We were also able to look at healthy lung cells and cancerous lung cells under a microscope.

Cell lab 2 cell lab 3 cell lab 5 Cell lab 7 Cell Lab


To share pictures from our classroom, I am going to be posting pictures of our class’s adventures to Instagram. This account is set to private, so I have to approve anyone who would like to see the pictures. We would love to have you follow our class! Here is a link - https://www.instagram.com/ms.burkly/. You can also just search for ms.burkly to find my page on Instagram.

I look forward to a wonderful year ahead!

Meg Burkly