Monday, October 29, 2012

Safe and cozy at home - maybe watch a math video?

I hope everyone is home safe and with power.  We will be writing our "100% Poetry about me" this week and wrapping up graphing.  If you have extra time, feel free to start watching the addition using partial sums and regrouping videos and songs I posted several days ago.  These videos will give you a nice preview of what's to come next in math.

Stay warm, safe, and comfortable with your families tonight!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Technology in the classroom ~ Light and Powerful

Smile~ Laugh~ Welcome to our Future!

 Why teachers use Technology in the classroom...What teachers want for Technology in the classroom...The benefits of using Technology in the classroom...

                          Technology is a driving force for student learning. 

                      Students are:  ENGAGED~ MOTIVATED~INSPIRED~ CREATIVE

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Team 16 New Table Group Names LIVE!

Team 16 created new table group names LIVE!  Be on the look-out for one more table group added soon.  Jocelyn and Sophia will be added as soon as they arrive back in school.  Watch and Be Inspired by Team 16's creativity!

                                        FRIENDS~ ATHLETIC~ CREATIVE~ DISCOVERY

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Friday ~ Field Trip ~ UPDATED INFORMATION!

This Friday morning, Team 16 will be going to Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary.  We will be leaving promptly at 9am and returning to school before lunch time.  Please make sure your child arrives to school by 8:45am at the latest.  Students should dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes.  Also, have your child bring a snack/drink in a disposable bag.  Students will have a chance to eat their snacks when we arrive at Broadmoor.  Due to our early Friday lunch schedule, all 4th grade students MUST bring a bagged lunch to school since we will be missing our 11:00am lunch time in the cafetaria.  Team16 will be back in plenty of time to eat our bagged lunches at Happy Hollow.  Mrs. Aidala will be our chaperone. Thank you to all the parents who volunteered.  There will be plenty of field trips in the future which we would love for you to accompany us on. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Thank you!

Preview of Addition using partial sums and column addition with regrouping Videos

Monday, October 22, 2012

Educating Students on Online Safety and Security is Essential in Today's Digital World

Educational computer games that introduce kids to key ideas in media and digital literacy. These games are a great way to start a conversation on media issues in the home or classroom, and you can play most of them right here on our website.
Cyber Security is essential for teachers and parents to start educating children on how to be safe online.  There are countless free games online that teach students internet safety.  Below is a link to a site that offers many free games.  I highlighted two games below that I will start with in my classroom.  I will continue posting new games each week.  Parents, feel free to have your children play at home.  Team 16 will be playing in school and having class discussions of the importance of being safe online.

Privacy Playground: The First Adventure of the Three CyberPigs

In this game, designed for ages 8-10, the CyberPigs play on their favourite website and encounter marketing ploys, spam and a close encounter with a not-too-friendly wolf.
The purpose of the game is to teach kids how to spot online marketing strategies, protect their personal information and avoid online predators.

CyberSense and Nonsense: The Second Adventure of The Three CyberPigs

In this sequel to Privacy Playground, for ages 9-12, the three CyberPigs learn some important lessons about authenticating online information and observing rules of netiquette. They also learn how to distinguish between fact and opinion and how to recognize bias and harmful stereotyping in online content. As Les, Mo and Lil discover, "just because it's on the Internet, doesn't mean it's true."

Field trip this Friday ~ Mrs. Lori Aidala is our chaperone

This Friday is our field trip to Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick.  Detailed information will be sent home shortly.  Please remember to bring back signed permission slips if you haven't done so yet.  Mrs. Aidala, Ava'a mother, will be our chaperone for the trip.  Thank you to all the parents who volunteered to chaperone.  There will be many other chances this year for you to chaperone.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Teachers and Students = Students and Teachers

Teachers are teachers and we work hard at teaching students.  Students are learners and they work hard at learning new things.  On the flip side, teachers are students and learn a lot from their own class.  Students are teachers and can teach other students and teachers things they know a lot about.  Does this sound confusing?

Last week in our class, unbelievable teaching was going on.  I was learning just as much from the students as they were learning from me.  It became very nice and comfortable to share our strengths and knowledge with each other.  Students would ask me for help, I would direct them to a classmate who knew how to help them.  I would teach one student something, like how to save an image to their documents.  Next, that same student would go and teach the same skill to another student.  It was amazing to watch.  I teach you, you teach someone else, and the cycle keeps going around.

We all learn from each other and this is amazing to watch and experience.  It is the way learning should be happening in the classroom.  I am excited to learn how to program and I have a bunch of students who are capable and willing to teach me!  Let the learning begin!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project Based Learning in Classrooms ~ Watch, Learn, and Think

Study Ladder

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner:
2.11.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
2.4.4 Develop directions for future investigations.
3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

StudyLadder, geared for elementary and junior high/middle grades, lends itself to being an interesting, ready to use stock of activities to reinforce many content standards from a wide range of curricula. Many of the activities offer a game-like feeling, while building conceptual understanding. The site is also supportive of the flipped classroom concept, and a variety of different user account options are available, including parent accounts. Tip: Set up a station with a white board at a parent open house that showcases this site as something parents can use at home, too.

Students were introduced to Study Ladder last week.  They have their own accounts and I have created playlists for the students in all content areas.  This site allows me to monitor individual student progress that will help guide my instruction.

I am already hearing great feedback from the students. "I love study Ladder."  "It's so fun!"  "I think this is my favorite site and I just started using it today!"

Students should love learning and finding various avenues to create happy and engaged learners is a priority for teachers today.

Team 16 families,
I would love any feedback from you if you had a chance to explore Study Ladder.
Thank you,
Susan Cherwinski

Friday, October 19, 2012

Field Trip Permission Slips ~ Projects ~ Math Videos

Hello Team 16 Families! We have had a busy and productive week in 4th grade. We have 4 students who have not yet handed in the permission slip and money for the field trip to the Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. I put new permission slips in the mailboxes of the students who haven't passed it in yet. Please try and bring it back to school as soon as you can. Thank you for your help with this.

 Team 16 has been busy working hard on their projects. If you explore the blog, you will see Casey's Glogster poster and her slideshow about the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Ava and Tali finished up their interactive poster on the history of paper and how to make your own paper. They plan on making their own paper next week in school. Nice job girls!

 If you scroll down a bit, I posted several math videos and songs about graphing data. Please remind your child to watch them when they have some free time. Next week in Math, we will be graphing data and finding the median, mode, and range. The videos and songs will preview our lesson. We will also be doing addition with regrouping later on next week. Be on the lookout for posted videos and songs to teach regrouping. I have been hearing good feedback about the videos and songs posted. I am happy to hear the students are watching, learning, and enjoying them!

Interactive Paper Project by Tali and Ava

Watch and listen to this amazing interactive project to learn about paper and how to make your own. Tali and Ava created their project using Glogster. They worked together to learn how to use this interactive program. They even learned how to record audio. Wonderful job girls! Enjoy!

Casey's Slideshow about the Pacific Ocean

Wow! Amazing job Casey! Enjoy watching and learning about the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Organizing and Graphing Data Videos and Songs

Here are videos and songs to teach how to organize and graph data using tally marks. Also, there are songs to teach about finding the maximum, minimum, range, median, and mode from a set of data. Happy Learning!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Word Tamer ~ An Interactive Story Builder

Word Tamer - An Interactive Story Builder

Word Tamer is a neat site for learning the process of developing characters, settings, and plots in creative writing. Word Tamer is set up as an interactive journey through a carnival of literary devices. As students move through the carnival they develop characters, develop a setting, and develop a plot for their stories. At each stop in the Word Tamer carnival students can print out the words they have written. Along the way there are videos to help students understand the roles of characters, settings, and plot development in crafting a good story.

After we finish our Poetry writing unit, Team 16 will move on to writing personal narratives.  Check out this amazing, engaging, creative, and fun story building website.  In the next few weeks, I will introduce this to the students in school.  I wanted to provide this resource to families now due to many concerns I have heard from parents about struggling writers.  Feel free to preview and try out at home with your child now.  I hope this site will provide excitement and enthusiasm for all reluctant and/ or struggling writers.  If you do try at home, please share your experiences with me.  Thank you!

"Words are wild creatures which need careful handling."  Enter if you dare...

Happy Exploring!

Weekly Homework ~ Team 16

Dear Team 16 Families,

I just wanted to clarify our homework for each week. Students are expected to do 40 minutes of homework a night. Students should be reading every night. Good readers are happy readers so I don't place a time limit on reading. Some kids will choose to read longer than 40 minutes.

Students should be practicing math facts every night. I had sent home a packet of different ways to practice a few weeks ago. Students can practice the way that works best for them.

Spelling homework is due on Fridays. Students can choose (1) 100 point choice or (2) 50 point spelling choices from the sheet that went home. If you don't have a spelling sheet in a plastic sleeve at home, please let me know and I will send another one home.

Reading letters are due every Friday. Students can write in google docs or hand write their letters. They can choose from the story response starters that the students should have brought home last week in a plastic sleeve. Please remind them to include evidence in their letters. A sample evidence sheet and sample format of a letter was also sent home last week for reference.

Depending on what we are learning in Math, a study link may be assigned. When a study link is assigned, it is due back the following day. Check your child's agenda book every night to make sure. Ms. Crowley and I are trying our best to check each child's agenda book everyday to make sure they have written down all the assignments. There are some days we run out of time.

Students have accounts on scootpad (reading and math), mangahigh (math), and power my learning (all content areas). All of the sites follow the core curriculum standards. These are great "fun and engaging" sites to practice skills. Some nights, specific games/ sites may be assigned for students to complete. Feel free to have your child go on these sites as much as possible. I can monitor their progress and I am happy to share the game reports with you.

*If any homework assigned is too difficult for your child or is taking too long, please let me know. Stop after 40 minutes and just write or email me a short blurb explaining. This way I can pull the students during the school day and provide them with additional help and teaching.

**We will be putting together a sheet with all the sites we have accounts with, usernames, and passwords. Students will keep a copy at home and a copy at school. This will help parents, students, and teachers. It can get very confusing trying to remember different passwords and usernames.

***The levels in scootpad can be modified to meet your child's needs. I can change their level to a lower or a higher level if needed. Please let me know if you feel your child's level is not a good match. Thank you for your help with this.

****I will be adding 2 more sites where Team 16 will have accounts with in the next few weeks. They are both based on the core curriculum standards. One of the sites will focus on math facts and the other site has practice in all content areas. They are both sites I can monitor for progress and can print out individual student reports to share with families. My rationale for adding more sites is that all students learn differently and have different interests. Similar to how we teach children different ways to solve a math problem. Students arrive at the correct answer, but many solved the problem using different strategies. I won't be expecting the students to use ALL of the sites we will have accounts with. I want them to try them all out and find which ones they enjoy the most. Students learn best when they are engaged and happy. Please contact me if you want to discuss this further.

*****There is a lot of homework assigned online. Please let me know if you do not have internet access or have limited access. I will modify and make arrangements for students to complete online assignments in school. I understand this can be a challenge to some families.

 Please contact me if you have any questions.
Thank you,
Susan Cherwinski

Monday, October 15, 2012

Team 16 Mini- Newsletter

Busy Day! No time for Agenda book!

Team 16's Homework tonight: * Read * Power My learning- Go to the Math Place Value playlist and play a place value game * If you didn't finish watching all the place value videos in school this morning, please watch them tonight. Thanks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Native American Word Cloud ~ Created by Will Obar

4th Grade had our 2nd day of Social Studies Rotations today. I spent the afternoon with Ms. Devlin's class. The students wrote a letter about the day in a life of a Native American child. They had previously researched and discovered facts about the Native Americans from the Plains region on Tuesday on an i-Adventure. This afternoon, they worked hard using that information to write a paragraph or two. If students finished early, they could create a word cloud from their stories. Here is an example of Will Obar's word cloud. Will took his story and copied it into Wordle. He then played with color and fonts. It came out wonderful! Great work Will! Enjoy! Wordle: plains

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

8 Word Cloud Sites!

Hello Team 16, There are now 8 different word cloud links you can try out if Wordle isn't working. If you scroll down under the Math links, you will see the Word Cloud links. Happy Exploring! If you try one out, please share with the class. Let us know which ones you like. Thank you! Wordle: spelling

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Movement Break Pictures ~ Mix it up relays

Just Like Me Pictures

New Site to Boost Kids’ Creativity and Self-Esteem Launches

Click on link below to read an article about Nanoogo

New Site to Boost Kids’ Creativity and Self-Esteem Launches

Nanoogo ~ Home of the most creative kids on the planet!


Nanooga is the home of the most creative kids on the planet!

Some key features:

* Nanoogo’s powerful digital canvas allows students to find their own personal way of creating and sharing their knowledge and ideas. The platform promotes positive feedback among peers, as a way to foster encouragement and social learning.

* Safely saves and stores all projects and creations in one place! Easily demonstrate previous work to your class and tracks the progress of all students.

* Using technology, students can share their knowledge with others and learn from their classmates. Nanoogo’s fun interactive features keep them engaged and motivated to always improve alongside their peers.

* Nanoogo makes it easier to engage parents with their child’s work outside of the classroom, greatly increasing involvement and encouragement.

* Teachers have complete control in providing secure access to parents and students, as well as the ability to moderate and/or suggest changes to all content before it’s posted on the site.

Check the site out!  I have created accounts for Team 16.  We will explore next week!

Sign-up for a Conference!

Dear Team 16 Families,

Please sign-up for a parent/ teacher conference on the link below.  So far, only 11 families have signed up.  If none of the dates/ times work for you, please email me 3 alternative dates/ times that do work for you.  I am looking forward to meeting with all families.  Thank you for your help!

Power My Learning ~ Fun+ Standards Based = Engaged Successful Students 

 Power My Learning is the destination for the BEST in FUN, FREE, online educational activities!

* is a groundbreaking learning platform that makes the best free digital learning activities on the web easily accessible and usable to meet the full range of K-12 learning needs.

 * Standards Alignment:  All of CFY’s Lesson Plans in Math and English Language Arts are aligned to Common Core standards, making it easy to search, choose and create playlists which support Common Core Standards.

I have created a class on Power My Learning.  This allows me to create playlists of games and activities that go along with our curriculum  and what we are studying now.  The playlists will change as we learn new things.  Our class name is team16hh.  Students can add themselves to the class and parents can enter their own email addresses to monitor your child's progress.

To join our class:
Go to 
Click Sign-Up
Click Student
Enter your information (choose a username and password that you will remember)
Click join a class
Enter class code:  119456
Join the class team16hh

Please let me know if you have any problems joining.  After joining, students have access to all the playlists I have created.  There are playlist in all content areas.  We will be using this in school AND this is a great way to practice skills at home too.  The games are fun and engaging.

What attracts and "glues" kids to today's video and computer games is neither the violence, nor even the subject matter, but rather the learning the games provide. Kids like, and all humans love, to learn when it isn't forced on them."

~ Marc Prensky

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blended Learning ~ The "Flipped Classroom"

Watch, wonder, ask questions... Team 16 is going to "flip" our classroom next week for Math. More information coming soon...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

21st Century Learners ~ Powerful videos

Team 16 Families, When you have time, please watch the videos below. Have a discussion with your child. Is your child happy and engaged in school? Are they collaborating, creating, thinking, contributing, conversing, connecting, and passionate about their learning? I would love to hear feedback. Thank you! Enjoy!

Similies and Metaphors

We will be starting our Poetry writing unit next week. Watch and Learn!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Parent/ Teacher Conference Doodle Sign-Up

Please click on the link above to sign-up for a conference.  They will start next week.  If there are no available dates/ times that work for you, please email me three dates/ times that do work for you and hopefully I can make one of them work.

I look forward to speaking with all of you!

Thank you,
Susan Cherwinski