Monthly Archives: May 2013

Resources for “Skylark”

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This week, we are reading Skylark in our Houghton Mifflin reading anthology.  Here are some resources to increase your comprehension and enjoyment of this reading selection.

Click on “Meet the Author” to learn about the author.  Click on Meet the Illustrator to learn about the illustrator.

Click on Prairie Days to take a web field trip and learn more about the American prairie, its settlers, and the challenges they faced.

Click on Flashcards to study our vocabulary words.  Click on Concentration to play a concentration game with our vocabulary words.  Click on Matching Game to play a matching game with our vocabulary words.

Click on e-Word Game to practice the vocabulary words.

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4th-Grade Writers Prepare for the Big Mac Attack!

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Look out for the Big Mac Attack  in a fourth-grade classroom near you!  The upcoming Great Brain Independent Research Project requires a five-paragraph essay about a selected topic of interest.  So, our fourth-grade students are taking their delicious writing skills to the next level by organizing and composing a juicy hamburger essay!    In this post, I will enumerate the  components of a five-paragraph (aka “hamburger”) essayprovide examples of each yummy ingredient, and give you some tools to help you with your writing.

A five-paragraph essay includes an introductory paragraph which grabs the reader’s attention and states the thesis, three topic paragraphs that support the paper’s thesis, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes the paper’s main ideas.  Here is a Hamburger Model for 5 paragraph essay:

  1. The top bun: introduction (the grabber/hook) and thesis
  2. The tomatoes: thesis support 1
  3. The lettuce: thesis support 2
  4. The meat: thesis support 3
  5. The bottom bun:  conclusion

An example of a five paragraph essay is this very blog post (how very clever!).  Look at my introductory paragraph.  Do you see the grabber or hook?  Right..Look out for the Big Mac Attack  in a fourth-grade classroom near you!  Now, do you see the thesis?  …In this post, we will 1) enumerate the  components of a five-paragraph (aka “hamburger”) essay, 2) provide examples of each yummy ingredient, and 3) give you some tools to help you with your writing.  My thesis has 3 topics that I can address in the body of my essay.  In my first thesis-supporting paragraph, I listed the components of a five-paragraph essay.  In my second thesis-supporting paragraph (this one you’re reading now :) ), I give you examples of each component.  In my third paragraph, I share some tools to help you write your hamburger essay.  And lastly, my concluding paragraph summarizes the main ideas of this writing.

Now, here are three handy  cooking utensils to help you in your writing kitchen: a hamburger graphic organizer, aHamburger Model for 5 paragraph essay, and the post “How to Write a Hamburger Essay ~ comparing paragraphs and essays to the beloved hamburger.”  After a few rounds of practice with these tools, you will be able to cook up a scrumptious hamburger essay.

In this post, I shared the ingredients of a five-paragraph hamburger essay, I provided specific examples of each ingredient, and I offered a couple of tools to help cook up a delicious essay.  Writing has never been so tasty.  Bon appetit!

CA History Research Crews

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Howdy, Partners!330px-California_Clipper_500

All aboard!  Full steam ahead!  Open House is comin’ round the mountain!!

This year, our Open House theme is 19th Century California History.  Gold Rush Groups and Transcontinental Railroad Crews are right on track!3018

 

Check out this goldmine of materials for our preparation.

19th Century CA History Research Crews – Research Tasks, Performance Tasks, and Sources

CA History Research Crews – Reflection Paper

CA History Research Crews – Choice Card

CA Timeline

Script Last Spike Ceremony

Start of CA Gold Rush (video)



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Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum

Independent Research Project

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BrainHi Great Brains!

During the next four weeks, you will complete a Great Brain Independent Research Project.  Here are some materials you will need for success:

4th Grade Research Writing (PPT)

101 Research Paper Topics (List)

Bibliography Examples (Examples and Link)

Finding a Passion for Research (Choose a Topic Activity)

Great Brain Independent Research Project (Project Description)

Great Brain Independent Research Project – Spanish (Description in Spanish)

Great Brain Independent Research Project Reflection

GATE Showcase Projects 2012 (PPT)

Independent Study Research Cards (How to Organize Your Folder)

Independent Study Research Folder (Picture of Research Folder)

KWL Chart for Research

Online Essay Map (Website to Make Essay Map)

Outline for a Research Paper

Self Evaluation – 5 Paragraph Essay

Self Evaluation – Bibliography

Self Evaluation – Final

Self Reflection – Index Cards

Self Reflection – KWL Chart

Self Evaluation – Outline

Self Evaluation – Table of Contents and Chapter Notes

What is a periodical?

Writing a Research Report (Example of Writing Stages)

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Here are some videos to get your started:

  1. Choose a writing topic for an informational text
  2. Develop a research question
  3. Find answers to research questions by skimming texts for evidence
  4. Plan writing for an informational text
  5. Group research into categories to plan informational writing
  6. Write an introduction for an informational text
  7. Draft an informational, research-based writing
  8. Organize ideas in informational writing using headingsPicture 3
  9. Write a conclusion for an informational text
  10. Add text features to informational writing

Here are some kid-friendly online research sources:

Awesome Library

Encyclopedia Britannica

Fact Monster

ipl2 for Kids

KidsClick Web Search

National Geographic Kids

Scholastic News Weekly Reader (use Ren login)

Scholastic News (Sweet Sounds of Trash)

Time for Kids

Have fun building greater brains, Great Brains!

Ms. Rankin

Bonus Feature:  http://braingames.nationalgeographic.com (It will blow your mind!)

Resources for “Wildfires”

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This week, we are reading Wildfires in our Houghton Mifflin reading anthology.  Here are some resources to increase your comprehension and enjoyment of this reading selection.

Click on “Meet the Author” to learn about the author.  Click on Seymour Simon to go directly to the author’s cool website.

Click on Crossword Puzzle to download and print a crossword puzzle.

Click on Flashcards to study our vocabulary words and play games.

Click on e-Word Game to practice the vocabulary words.

Click on Wildfires Interactive to learn about wildfires with this National Geographic interactive.

Click on Wildfires: Prescribed Burns to learn  about why and how prescribed burns can help the environment.

Click on Smokey Bear to learn about how to prevent forest fires.

Click on Wildfire Facts for an explanation of wildfires.

Click on Wildfires Spelling for the list of spelling words from our reading.