Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Decimal to Fractions Videos and Song

Cool and fun way to practice multiplication facts!

Team 16 is creative!

Thanks to Alek, Mason, and Olivia, we have a new and FUN way to practice our multiplication facts.  Our class enjoys building and hands-on learning.  They placed a big pile of lego's in the middle of them.  They would ask each other a multiplication fact and if they got it correct, they got to pick a lego out and start building something.  Every time, they answered right, they chose another lego.  They were building houses and forts while practicing math facts!  Way to go!

Thanks for sharing this with us!  This is a great way to practice at home or on a play date!

Language Arts Apps- Grades 3-5

Click on the link below to see recommended Apps for Langauge Arts:  Reading, writing, phonics, word work, digital literacy, visual reading, etc...

Language Arts Apps- Grades 3-5

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We started our immigration/ culture project today!

Click on the link below to find out more about our immigration project.  We started today.  The students are excited and working hard.

Immigration- Culture Project

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ask your child what he/ she likes best about school


Ask your child what he/ she likes best about school. Ask them what they like least and why.  Have them describe their "ideal" school setting.  Their answers may surprise you.  I would love to hear what the children have to say!

Adding/ Subtracting Decimals~ Videos and Songs

New Scratch Projects/ Games- Check them out!

Scratch Projects

Click on the link above to see Team 16's new Scratch games.  Are you ready to laugh?  Have fun?


Monday, January 21, 2013

Electromagnet Pictures- 4th grade students from Ms. Devlin and Mr. Moynihan's rooms

To view pictures of 4th graders creating electromagnets, click on the link below.  Most of the pictures are from Ms. Devlin's and Mr. Moynihan's class.  I will add to the album and re-post when I have pictures from all the classes.  Enjoy!

Electromagnet Pictures- 4th Graders

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Design Master Dylan- Just Like Me Design Challenge

Dylan's creative convenient carrier

Dr. Martin Luther King Posters designed with our buddies

The Eiffel Tower Built by Caterina and Michelle

All About Cats by Alice and Nadia

Flag of Italy ~ Created by Ava and Sophia

Team 16 Project Updates ~ And YES...all projects completed by 4th grade students...NOT professionals

Team 16 is busy working on many different projects.  Students pick projects based on what they are passionate about learning.  It is amazing to be a part of this team of 24 "coaches."  We all have 23 people we can turn to and ask for help if we need it.  Students celebrate their strengths daily by helping others and we all are continuously learning every minute of everyday something new.


*Scratch Programming games created alone or with a partner.  Check out our class link below and play the games.  Let us know what you think.

Team 16 Scratch Projects

There are mazes, soccer games, football games, track races, basketball games, songs, dancing, research games, and more!  Enjoy!

*Sketch-Up- 3D modeling program and video game design (Students designing using this real- life professional program.)

Students created houses, towns, pools, buildings, stores, furniture, etc...using Sketch Up.  We are working on uploading our projects to the blog soon.  Check back here shortly to view.

*Research Projects- Books, Posters, Slideshows, Movies, 3D artifacts, Scratch

Students studied cats, parrots, dogs, Marco Polo, the Eiffel Tower, tigers, China, Dominican Republic, the red panda, the history of Apple, owls, the Colosseum, space, gorillas, the history of dance, the Pacific Ocean, bull sharks, etc...

Click on the link below to see!

Team 16 Interactive Projects

*Minecraft- Students are working in pairs or small groups and creating challenging roller coasters, houses, islands, towns, suspension bridges, Dr. Martin Luther King posters, goodbye messages to Ms. Crowley, and more.  Miranda is working on filming the projects so we can post on the blog.  Check back soon to view!  A big thanks to Miranda for being our class videographer.

*Other Projects:
~ How to make paper, 3D Italian flag, Design Squad Challenges, 3D suspension bridge, how to draw an eye (art- how to video), the history of the Olympics, Dominican Republic dance, online class newsletter/ blog, photography, videography, learning new languages, sewing, and more...

*New Projects/ Pictures posted weekly*

Friday, January 18, 2013

LEGO Education ~ Build To Express

A LEGO way to teach
"It's all about a new way, a new approach to teaching and really introducing the teachers as more of a facilitator in the classroom." 
– Erin Hardy

"BuildToExpress is a groundbreaking teaching process that combines a facilitative teaching method with hands-on manipulatives. The technique engages students in higher-order thinking by combining LEGO model building with open-ended, nonjudgmental questions. Learners are challenged with building tasks related to a subject area and then use reflective language to explain what they have built and how it applies to the topic at hand. This process of hands-on building combined with dialogue and reflection enables students to develop a deeper understanding of what they are learning. The BuildToExpress process helps engage students with multiple learning styles."

LEGO Education has come up with another innovative program that is research- based and lends itself to teachers being "coaches."  This program, along with LEGO Story Starter, boosts creativity in students.  It is aligned with the common core standards and just screams STUDENT ENGAGEMENT!  Click on the link below to learn more.  

LEGO Build To Express

I am already thinking about grants that I would like to write for next year.  I can see students thriving using both LEGO Build to Express and LEGO Story Starter.  Check out the link.  I would love feedback.  What do YOU think about these 2 programs?

I am brainstorming ideas on how to get both programs in my classroom this year...It all begins with a dream...

No Fear...Go After Your Dreams!

Team 16 ~ Think about the movie we watched today about Dr. Martin Luther King.  What is YOUR dream?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Check out the new students who made electromagnets at home

3 more students creating electromagnets at home and sharing with us!

I love the energy, drive, passion, excitement, and engagement of the students!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Comparing and Ordering Decimals- 2 Videos

Decimal Place Value Videos

Introduction to Decimals- Videos and Songs

Making Math Meaningful with Online Games and Videos

Click on the link below to read the article.  It's a great read with many links and activities for students to try at home.  These are fun, engaging, challenging, and real-world learning experiences.  Enjoy!

Making Math Meaningful

Team 16 Update

Hello Team 16!

 I have been out at a writing workshop for the past 2 days.  I learned a lot and will pass it on to you and the students as we go forward.

I updated the homework link, I apologize about not updating it the past 2 days when I was away.  Students, think about the design squad challenge! I would love to see what you come up with.  Dylan did an amazing job and I will post pictures soon.  I am behind on posting projects/ pictures to the blog...I will catch up soon.

We are hoping to wrap-up our personal narratives this week.  We will be editing, revising, and publishing just one of our stories.  Next, we will move on to writing opinion pieces.

The specialists have been assessing all the students for the past 2 weeks and the 4th grade team is meeting soon to look at the results.  We also just finished up the GRADE, another reading assessment.  Our whole team looks at the data and from there, we create our RTI groups based on what the students need.  We are moving on from asking questions to discussing inferences in our texts during reading time.  This can be a challenge for some at first.

In Math, we started fractions and decimals.  We will continue learning more about them.  The students will learn how to compare and order decimals, estimate decimals, add and subtract decimals, etc...I will post some videos on the blog for students to watch for extra help and guidance.  I will try to get them posted this week.

The immigration project will start in full force next week.  We will discuss it more tomorrow and I will send you a link to the project website after I show the students tomorrow.  They all seem very excited to start this project!

Our class has started learning about landforms with Mr. Moynihan during Science rotations.  Ask your child what they learned yesterday.  They will meet again this Friday afternoon to learn more.

Math RTI is going well.  Again, we are starting to look at assessment data and change our groups if needed.

The flu is going around Happy Hollow.  Try and get plenty of sleep, exercise, and wash your hands a lot!  We want to stay as healthy as possible.

Have a wonderful evening!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Team 16 Update

Team 16 Update:

We are starting Unit 4 in Math tomorrow which focuses on big numbers, estimation, and computation.  I will post several you tube videos this week as a preview for students to watch.  Mr. McCann, our math coach, will be starting to come in every other week to help us with problem solving.  We were supposed to start this week, but due to Just Like Me on Wednesday, we had to reschedule.

We are wrapping up our personal narrative writing unit this week.  Next week, each student will pick 1 story to revise, edit, and publish.  We will be updating our Google sites this week and the students will post their final draft by next Friday.  They will also take home a paper copy of their published stories.

We started Science rotations last Friday.  Our class is learning about weather with Ms. Rogers first. We are still working on electromagnets in our class when we have extra time.

We will be starting an Immigration/ Culture project this week.  Details will be sent home tomorrow.  Most of the work will be completed in school.  This is a fun and engaging project for students.

We are wrapping up asking questions during Literacy Studio.  Book groups are finishing up and new ones will be starting shortly.  We will move on to learning about making inferences next week.

The projects students are working on are amazing!  We have so many talented students (or should I call them teachers).  It is amazing to watch them work.  Everyone is willing to help each other and offer ideas.  I have learned so much for all the students in Team 16 myself.

Ms. Crowley is no longer with us.  First grade needed her more.  We will miss her, but we understand that her talents are needed more in first grade.  We will still see her in the halls, at lunch, and on the playground.

We will be making Dr. Martin Luther King posters with our buddies on Thursday.  We are going to try to create posters using Technology this year.  Students are excited and have been thinking about what program they will use.

That's all for now.  Email or call with any questions.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Dear Team 16 Families,

Thank you very much for the class gift.  The game Morphology from the Marble Store that you purchased for our class is amazing and so much fun.  Our whole class got a chance to play the last day before vacation.  We broke up into 2 groups.  The students had a lot of fun.  In addition, thank you for the American Express gift card.  I treated myself to several books.  I love to read and I enjoyed relaxing over the break reading my new books.

Thank you for all your support this year.  I hope every family had a wonderful holiday season and a relaxing break.  I am excited to see what 2013 will bring with Team 16’s learning!

Thank you,
Susan Cherwinski

(Paper copy in student mailboxes to go home)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Powerful Graphic about the importance of STEM education

How Creativity Changes the Game- Click on the graphic to enlarge

Build- It- Yourself...Sounds exciting ~ Check out this new site

I was researching ways to incorporate more STEM activities into our daily curriculum.  I found this amazing website (link below) that offers a unique program for students.  Their mission is to guide and inspire the next generation of builders.  Check them out.  They offer camps, after- school programs, AND online learning via webcam by a MIT, Cornell, or Harvard LIVE builder.  It is a new company that I believe offers amazing membership options that many of the students in Team 16 would love!  They can learn to build complex artwork, toys, machines, robots, software programs and games quickly.  Check it out!

The Benefits:

"Build-It-Yourself is an enrichment program designed to foster the natural interest in art and technology that young boys and girls have. Its goal is to give your child a set of basic building and high-tech skills that will enhance their traditional educational experience and position them for the long term pursuit of high level academic and career success. We are building lifelong learners, as well as lifelong builders.
Most of these skills will be transferable to other areas of interest that your child may have. For example, each of our activities subtly stresses organizational, documentation and presentation skills - teaching and using MicroSoft PowerPoint as an essential tool. Our modular building approach allows kids to develop a sense that the solutions to any problem require a view of both the "big picture" and its component parts. Our program is also unique in its emphasis on art and creativity. We provide the tools and incentives for your child to draw on the creative juices that can separate them from the pack.
Besides specific technical skills, Build-It-Yourself strives to build both a social consciousness and socialization skills into each of its activities. The playful scenarios that kick off each Mission make children aware - in a non-political way - that technology can be used to solve large scale social problems. Many of our activities involve teamwork, all of our Homecasts and Workshops instill collaboration as a key component and our members develop a strong sense of community - a community that literally extends around the globe.
Our Homecasts are not canned videos, but are guided by live, highly engaged and motivated mentors, who are either graduates of or currently attending the top art and engineering universities in the country (and the world).
Finally, we never lose sight of the fact that extracurricular programs such as Build-It-Yourself must be fun and constantly encourage the engagement of the members. Our program is NOT school. The "pace" of learning is strictly determined by the participant and his or her level of interest and enjoyment. We have a program that can and has supported that interest and enjoyment through elementary school, through middle-school, through high-school (our Internship Program) and into the top college programs."

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!

I hope all families had a wonderful holiday season and a relaxing vacation. Team 16 is back in full swing. We read a TIME for Kids about polar bears, had Math RTI, and even had time to correct the Unit 3 Math test in small groups. Tests should be coming home today. Part A is the most important part that students understand. Please review the test with your child.

There will be NO reading letter due this week.  We will be working on writing our resolutions for the new year.  Brainstorm with your child different ideas.

Homework this week:
*Word of the Week sheet- due Friday (possible word choices listed on the back)
*Math- Practice facts and choose 1 Study Link from Unit 3 to work on that you haven't completed- due tomorrow
*Optional Math Enrichment:  5 Short puzzles went home today- Students can choose to try them all or just pick and choose (due Friday)

Happy New Year!