The Scientific Method

Students in both classes are learning how to use the scientific method to perform an experiment.  For this lesson, students focused on the hydrogen bond of water and how it related to the cohesion and surface tension of water.  Students were given materials (an eyedropper, coins, cup, and water) and challenged to design an experiment.  They had to list the hypothesis, materials, steps, results, and conclusion.

Every student did a great job rising to the challenge!


Our all school Field Trip is this Monday 9/24. We are going to the Plumpton Park Zoo and Herrs.

*If packing a lunch make sure it is in a Ziploc or brown paper bag with your student’s name on it.

*It looks like it might be chilly and rainy on Monday! Please make sure your student is dressed for the weather.


4th Grade and 40 Books!

This year students have been tasked with reading 40 books! The goal of reading such a large collection of books is to assist in guiding students down a path of reading self-discovery.

By the end of the year they will experience different genres, discover new writing styles, and possibly have a new favorite author. Who knows, they may even find a new favorite book. Included in their folder is a list of 200 books that are suggested for 4th grade readers. However, they don’t have to read books just off this list. You can read any book approved by a teacher and parent. All they have to do is select a book and fill out their “Reading Life Log”. When done with a book he/she will be able to talk about it with the class and have a book brunch with me.

This is in place of a reading log that is signed everyday. Students will read about 15 minutes a night, but given how busy life becomes it is not always the easy to accomplish nightly. Therefore, some students will read 30 minutes some days or read more on the weekends. Parents sign when students finish a book. I encourage you to talk about the book with your student. For example, find out their favorite part, and least favorite part of the book. Who was their favorite character? Who was their least favorite? Please let me know if you have any questions and happy reading!

Mr. T

Save Wilmer the Worm!

For a quick STEM activity, students were asked to save a worm whose boat (cup) had capsized, trapping the worm on top of the overturned boat and his life vest (life saver candy) under the boat.  The students worked in teams to devise a plan to retrieve the life vest and place it on the worm without the worm falling off the cup.  The other constraint was that students could only use one hand, and must do all of this with one toothpick per team member.  There was no poking Wilbur the Worm, as he would surely perish! 

“Because of Winn-Dixie” Book Box

Shoe box
Shoebox for Book Box Project

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Friday, September 14th, our class will begin a book box project.  This project will last one week (presentations will start on September 21st) and will center on the book “Because of Winn-Dixie”, by Kate DiCamillo.  We are reading the book as a class, and students will have time work on their project. 

The Book Box is created after finishing the book.  It is made from a shoebox or box of similar dimensions. It is a two part process: first covering the outside of the box and second filling the inside of the box.

For the outside of the box, students decorate it to resemble the book.  They must include the author’s name, the book title, and their own name on the top of the box.  The entire box (except the bottom) must be decorated, including the lid.  Decorating the box normally includes depicting the settings and important scenes from the book on the outside of their box. Sometimes students make the boxes look like the cover art of their books.

The inside of the box must include their chapter report summary and character depiction (provided by Mr. Thompson) and five artifacts that represent their book.  For example, if their assigned chapter focused on Otis and the Pet Store, artifacts may include a guitar, a picture of Elvis, a parrot, a dog collar, or much more.  Students must be able to explain the importance of each artifact and why they chose it.

Finally, students will present their Book Boxes to classmates and give a review of their present their chapter summaries.  They are allowed to read from their reports or use notecards.

If you have extra shoe boxes, please send them to school as they would be greatly appreciated.


Mr. Thompson