Learning in the 21st Century


Projects in School

Web Presence
Fourth Grade Blog Page
Fourth Grade Webpage


Monster Project
This year we participated in Mr. Smith's Monster's project.

A brief description by Brooke Holloway
"Mr. Ferguson told us we were doing a monster project. He said we were doing it with schools from most of the United States and other schools around the world like Japan and Pakistan. We would get to work with other kids from all over the world. We communicated with them online about what the monster was supposed to like. Each school got to decide what a certain part would like. Our class got to plan the eye. The eye was supposed to be a hexagon shape, white with a purple pupil, bloodshot, with spiked eyebrows.
First we had to make a model of our monster. Then we had to decide where the monster was going to be. We made the different parts. The whole class helped and so did the parents and teachers. When it was done, it looked scary but funny too, because it has two tails!
My favorite part was at the end when people put all their stuff on the monster. I thought this project was hard, but and so did everybody else."


A photo slide show of the process

Reading
"Readers Make Leaders" Program
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Journey Back to Lumberjack Camp by Janie Lynn Panagopoulos
Podcasts:
Overview of the Program
Week One Introduction
Researching for Books

Rules by Cynthia Lord
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Question from a student to the author:
How much does this story relate to your life? Did you have experience with autistic children?

"I am a mom, as well as a writer. I have a seventeen-year-old daughter and a fifteen-year-old son. My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and a half. So I have had years of experience living with someone who has autism.
My daughter was also a big help while I was writing RULES. She liked to read my drafts and talk to me about what it's like to be a sister of a child with autism. She also liked to point out when she thought I was thinking like a MOM and not a sister :-) I always changed things in the book when she said that, too.
Though the character of David is made up, I did give him some of the behaviors and interests my own son had when he was younger. My son used to repeat lines from books, including Arnold Lobel's books, and he loved to drop toys in our fishtank. It used to drive me crazy. I'd walk by and see a Power Ranger standing on the gravel, etc. But then one day, I realized that I was the only person who minded. He loved doing it and the fish LOVED having company. It got me thinking why it was so important to me that those toys not go in the tank."
-Cynthia Lord


Pages and Pastries
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Loser by Jerry Spinelli

A parent's comment on the blog page:
"I loved the podcast - thanks for doing it!
I would have liked Donald Zinkoff in my class because he would add color and a different perspective. He's the kind of kid that makes you stop and think about things in a different light - what would it be like to walk in his shoes (or under his giraffe hat)? How would you feel if you lived in his house and on his street?
The whole barf thing is a bit of a downer - think about how it would feel if you were him and had to worry about that. "

Monarch Project (Science)
For the past two months, students have been involved in studying the life cycles of the monarch butterfly. As part of this study, we have tagged butterflies for the Kansas University research project, measured and recorded their growth from first stage larvae, sent symbolic butterflies to Mexico as part of the Journey North Program, and talked to Dr. Chip Taylor at Kansas University via IChat. witnessed a live pupation.
To see the live pupation, click here.
To hear part of our chat with Dr. Chip Taylor Click here to listen.
To read poems by the students, click here.
Digital Storytelling
Students in groups have created a digital story in six or less picture frames. The stories below are a culmination of three weeks of hard work and planning. The project began with learning some basic photo tips. (Thanks you Marco Torres and flick school) From there they created a storyboard to map out their ideas. The final step was taking pictures, revising, and more photos. Enjoy and please feel free to leave a comment on our blog/website.
- The Fourth Grade
The Mystery Box by Brianna, Elyssa, and Carolyn external image pdf.png The Mystery Box.pdf


Weekly Challenge
Each week the students are assigned a weekly challenge. The weekly challenge can range from writing a poem to creating a name for the monster. The students submit their work on the fourth grade blog page.
Sample

Resources**

Building Learning Conference '07 - Boston, MA

A video overview of the conference click here

Resources
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The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

Internet and 21st century learning tools
Will Richardson Wiki Page
Keynote Address by Will Richarch at a conference in Maine