Thursday, December 22, 2016

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School @wimpykid #JeffKinney #BookTrailer #Read #TechED

Check out Leo's hilarious trailer for Diary of a Wimpy Kid Old School!!!  This book is from a series that kids just fall in love with!  Enjoy!

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire @jk_rowling #BookTrailer #HarryPotter #Read #VTED

Check out Tessa's suspenseful trailer for Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire!  You won't be able go a day before diving into this incredible book!!!

Too Many Toys: A Book Trailer #BookTrailer #DavidShannon #Read

Check out Makayla's fun book trailer for David Shannon's masterpiece, Too Many Toys!

A Wonderful Afternoon! #BuildingCommunity #WinterWonderland

We had an awesome day!  We got to paint Estelle's bathtub AND have a Fourth Grade Sledding Party that ended with hot chocolate and marshmallows!  Life is good!!!
Link to Slideshow:

We Had A Very Magical Assembly Today #SchoolSpirit #Community #RESVT

We ended our day by coming together as a school community.  Fourth Graders lead the assembly by dancing and singing and leaving many of us in tears!  It was truly magical!

Did You Know You Can TerraCycle Many Care Products? @TerraCycle

Did you know that you can TerraCycle many care products in your home?  The TerraCycle program at RES  accepts makeup containers, shampoo bottles and much more!  Check out this video to learn more!

What Food Packaging Can You TerraCycle At RES?!?! @TerraCycle

Check out this awesome video my students made to help you understand what we TerraCycle at RES!  Remember to save these items from the trash by sending in the packaging/wrappers with your child!
Your thoughtfulness helps the earth and our local food shelf!

Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist: Lunch Walks Among Us @JimBenton #BookTrailer

Check out Estelle's awesome book trailer for a favorite Franny K. Stein book!

Volunteering in Haiti #Haiti #Volunteer

Finn's mom and brother traveled to Haiti to volunteer at an orphanage.  Finn made a video to share their in credible experience with all of you!  Enjoy!

Working Through Math Problems #Perseverance #Math #ProblemSolving

Many students worked on a math problem for over a week during math menu.  When students found the answer after such perseverance, there was an incredible feeling of pride and joy that swept through our classroom!  One student explains how he finally found his way to the correct answer!

Dance Break! #Movement

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Learning About Hanukkah #Celebrations

Estelle's dad, Rich, came in to teach us about the story of Hanukkah!  We learned about the symbolism of light and enjoyed spending time together playing the dreidel game.  Rich, thanks for coming in and sharing a part of your life with us!

Link to slideshow:

Monday, December 19, 2016

We Had The Best Surprise Today! #ASL #Signing #VTED

One day we were at an assembly and noticed Gia signing with a student.  We were mesmerized!  Because we have been learning to sign, I invited Gia into our classroom as a surprise to my students.  Everyone was so excited!  We signed together and learned new signs and techniques!  It was AWESOME!  We loved learning from Gia so much, she promised to come back and teach us more!  We can't wait!
Thanks for sharing your passion and expertise with us Gia!!!

Link to slideshow--Watch it fullscreen:

We are fascinated with fingerspelling.  We asked Gia if she could show us how to fingerspell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! 

Gia said that we can get really strong in fingerspelling by saying simple words as we sign them.  A great way to start is by signing and saying words within a word family like: bat, cat, mat, sat, etc.

Items We No Longer TerraCycle at RES! @TerraCycle

TerraCycle sometimes takes us off brigades, which means we can no longer accept certain items.  Please watch this video to learn what we are no longer TerraCycling at RES!  Thanks for your support!

To stay on top of what we TerraCycle at RES, you can go to our TerraCycle website:
You can find a link to this site on our class blog, and on the school blog under the link for parents.
Thank you for helping to support our earth and our local food shelf by TerraCycling!!!

When You Say Thank You To Someone As Innovative As Mrs. Rankin... @darcierankin #iPod #Makerspace #Innovation #VTED #Gratitude

you can't just write your typical love note.  We knew we had to really use our brains and be creative to truly express how deeply excited and grateful we are for OUR NEW IPOD!!!!!!!!
Students brainstormed all the incredible ways they could show their gratitude, then broke into groups and started creating.
Mrs. Rankin, We hope you feel our love!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Expressing Gratitude:

Link to Slideshow:

Friday, December 16, 2016

We Had An Awesome Time Shopping At The Book Sale Last Week! #Read #Books

Not only did we walk away with some interesting books, we also made a lot of money that will help pay for our awesome upcoming field trips!  Thanks for all of the books you donated!

Dance Party!!! #PBIS @RESPEVT @TouchetteWendy

RES earned a dance party with Mr. G! Fourth graders had an awesome time trying out new dance moves!

Reading Party!!! #Read #VTED #ReadingParty

Today we built forts then curled up with our favorite books!  Reading parties are the best!!!

Link to Slideshow:

Cam Jansen & The Mystery Of The U.F.O. #BookTrailer #DavidA.Adler #CamJansen #Read

Check out Namo's thrilling book trailer for one of our favorite Cam Jansen mysteries!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Having A Growth Mindset

Please watch this video!  It can help you feel better about yourself and your child as a math student.  It can also help you understand why our focus in math today is less about memorizing algorithms and more about understanding, seeing patterns and finding multiple ways to approach a problem.
This is a great video to watch and discuss with your child!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Duck, Duck, S-P-E-L-L #Wordstudy #KinestheticLearners #LearningThroughPlay

This week, we have been studying spelling rules in the English language and how to decode syllables.  Today, students applied their learning by playing "Duck, Duck SPELL"!  What better way to get the rules into our bodies and minds and apply them to different words?  It was fun to see kids get creative with CVC, CVCe, CVVC words!  We spelled awesome words like chicken, bulldog, recess and gait!

Link to see slideshow fullscreen:

Ingenuity At It's Best!!! @darcierankin #Makerspace #CreativeThinking #Vlogging

As we gear up to start vlogging, we realized that we needed to create a stand for our new iPod!  In order for students to take long shots for time-lapse and be able to set the iPod down during filming, the iPod needed to be able to stand up on its own!
One student went straight home and created the perfect stand!!!! Wow!  I am so inspired by my passionate, creative, hardworking students!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

We Just Won An iPod!!! #makerspace #Breakout @darcierankin

So it all started when we received this challenge:

We, of course, were up for the challenge!  We went to the makerspace and thought about all of the things that make it an incredible space.  We talked about all of its possibilities and then began designing our movie. Students broke into groups to film different parts.  Then they collaborated to put the pieces together to tell the story of the RES makerspace.
I am amazed by their talents and creativity!  The film turned out beautifully!  

After submitting our film to the competition, we soon heard that WE HAD WON THE iPAD!!!  We were beyond excited!!!

We are lucky enough to have a number of iPads that people donated to my classroom last year.  Sooooo, I asked Darcie Rankin if we could have an iPod instead.  I needed to get an iPod so that my kids can start vlogging!  Do you know what a vlog is?  It's a video blog.  I want to give my kids the opportunity to share their lives with each other through a vlog.  Here's an example of a vlog one of my students made last year:

Darcie was excited for our project and bought us an iPod!!!  But, Darcie is too creative to just hand over the gift.  So she surprised my students with an AMAZING Breakout Session!  Scholars had to solve division problems to break codes that allowed them to unlock the surprise!

Link to slideshow:

We are so thankful to Darcie Rankin for our incredible RES makerspace and for our class's new iPod!  Thank you for all you do to support creativity at Richmond Elementary School!!!!

Ripples of Kindness #Kindness #RipplesOfKindness #Gratitude

One day my students were talking about how kind my son Teo is.  That lead me to tell them about how he had comforted his sister the night before when she realized her treasured bracelet had been taken.  As you know, I have the most thoughtful, kind, generous students in the world; so it should come as no surprise that they got together and bought Amelie a new bracelet!  The very one she had lost.  Their top secret gesture brought both Amelie and me to tears.  
The next day she couldn't eat, all she could do was write and write as she tried to put her deep gratitude into words.  I tried to explain to my students how AMAZING they are, and how their kindness will create ripples of kindness.  We talked about how we have the power to create ripples of kindness all through the day, each and every day!  
Students then traced their hands and wrote words inside that represented what they could do to create more love and kindness in the world.
I am very thankful to be your children's teacher!


We Like To Move It, MOVE IT! #MovementBreaks

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Wonderful Adventures! #Writing #Bookmaking #Makerspace #MovementBreaks

Our week was filled with wonderful adventures!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!  (I had some tech difficulties trying to make this slideshow using two different programs.  There is a moment where the slideshow slows as it begins to play the song again; it's worth waiting through this moment, because the slideshow starts back up again with many more wonderful photos to look at!  Sorry for the technical glitch!)

Link to slideshow:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge: Book Trailer #MemFox #BookTrailer #WilfridGordonMcDonaldPartridge #Read #TechEd

Check out Brady's moving book trailer for Mem Fox's beloved book, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.

Learning About Circuits, Switches & Computer Chips #TechEd #VTEd #Makerspace

Tessa's dad took time to come into our classroom to teach us about the incredible work he does!  He left us deeply amazed and inspired!  I have to wonder if some of my students will follow in his footsteps!  Thank you Geoff!!!

Link to video:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Nest: A Book Trailer @kennethoppel @dorothyslist #TheNest #DCFBook #Read #BookTrailer

Check out Sawyer's riveting book trailer for Kenneth Oppel's novel, The Nest!  The Nest is a DCF book this year and an awesome read!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another Kind Of Hurricane: A Book Trailer @tsesmith #BookTrailer #AnotherKindOfHurricane #Read #Loss

Estelle and Niko teamed up to make this touching book trailer for a favorite novel, Another Kind Of Hurricane.  As you know we have a special place in our hearts for this book and its author, Tamara Ellis Smith.  It didn't seem right to only allow one student to make a trailer.  Enjoy!  

You can learn more about Tam Smith and her work by going to her website and following her blog!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Time to Publish!!! #Bookmaking #Write #Design #Art

Students finished writing their realistic fiction stories last Friday!  Today, students made their book structures and began designing and creating their books!  We can't wait to read and admire everyone's amazing creations!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Illuminating The Night @GowriSavoor @darcierankin #ArtistInResidency #Lanterns

Coming together to celebrate light, the coming winter and our incredible community!  Thanks Mrs. Aucter and Mrs. Rankin for making it all possible!
Link to video:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

School Store!!! @RESPEVT #SchoolStore #PBIS #SchoolSpirit

Hi Everyone!
Brian Godfrey has set up an online school store for RES!  It has lots of fun options, so check it out!  Also, if you order before November 24th, you will get the items before the holidays!

Link to our new school store:
Short Sleeve Essential T-Shirt         Beanie with Inner Lining, White Stripe

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets: A Book Trailer @HarryPotterFilm @jk_rowling #HarryPotter #Read #BookTrailer

Ben just finished his awesome book trailer for the second Harry Potter book, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets!  Can you tell where he utilized the magic of a green screen?

Because of Winn-Dixie: A Book Review #KateDiCamillo #BecauseOfWinnDixie #BookReview #Read

Check out this incredible book review of a beloved book, Because of Winn-Dixie!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul #BookTrailer @wimpykid @wimpykidmovie #DiaryOfAWimpyKid #Read

Check out Andrew's awesome book trailer for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, then dive into this playful series!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Today's The Big Day! Who Will Become Our Next President? And...How Does It All Work? #President #ElectoralCollege #Clinton #Trump

Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?  Sue Minter or Phil Scott?
Our results are in!

President of The United States:
Donald Trump: 3 votes
Hillary Clinton: 15 votes

Governor of Vermont:
Phil Scott: 4 votes
Sue Minter: 14 votes

And the winners in our classroom are:
Hillary Clinton & Sue Minter

We're excited to see how our outcomes compare to the voters in Vermont and the voters across the United States!

Friday, November 4, 2016

What Is It Like To Run... When You Can't See? #Trust #BuildingCommunity #WritingPartners

So much depends upon trust!  Today for Fabulously Fun Friday, we did an activity that would help us build trust with our writing partners.  Students took turns being blindfolded while their partners challenged them and kept the safe.  We started by walking together holding hands, that lead to skipping and running and finally reaching a place where we could let go and run into the darkness.
After this experience, students shared how they started off feeling nervous and maybe not trusting their partners fully.  But now, on such a beautifully deep level, they know they can trust their partners.
Next week students will be relying on their partners to help them revise stories that they hold dear.  This trust will enable them to work together in a more meaningful way that will help them strengthen their writing even more.
The trust we gained today is something they will always be able to hold onto.  It was a beautiful way to end our week together!

Link to view slideshow:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Another Kind of Hurricane: A Book Trailer @tsesmith #BookTrailer #AnotherKindOfHurricane #Read

After listening to Tamara Ellis Smith share her journey as a writer, many students couldn't wait to dive into her book!  We all feel so connected to Tam, her characters, and her story.  Finn did a beautiful job of bringing the emotions you feel when you read her book into his book trailer.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Come To The Lantern Parade This Thursday, November 10th!!! @darcierankin @GowriSavoor #Art #LanternParade

Darcie Rankin and Kim Aucter brought visual artist Gowri Savoor to RES to work with students!  She taught them how to make beautiful lanterns.  Our artists have worked so hard and are excited to illuminate and share their sculpted lanterns Thursday evening.  Not only will we walk together, but we will come together to sing and enjoy the beautiful evening; our class will be helping to lead the sing along!  
Please come Thursday evening to RES at 6:00.  Come and walk and sing with us as we celebrate the arrival of winter and the beautiful work our scholars have created! 
Thank you to Darcie and Kim for making this residency possible, and to Gowri Savoor for sharing her gifts with us!

The Land of Stories: A Book Trailer @chriscolfer #TheLandOfStories #BookTrailer #Read

Estelle created a suspenseful book trailer; it makes you want to fall right into the book, alongside Alex and her brother Conner!  Check it out!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Princess in Black: A Book Trailer @haleshannon #DeanHale #BookTrailer

Namo just finished her AMAZING book trailer for The Princess in Black!  You can see all of the time and care that she put into this film!  Please check out her trailer and then dive into this wonderful book!

Movement Breaks @HemmettHealth @jratey #Spark #MovementBreaks

Thanks to the generosity of Hemmett Health, Alli Bologna came in again this week to teach us even more of her awesome focused movement breaks!  Alli has been creating routines that will help my students get their heart rates up while also working on balance and focusing their minds and bodies.
We use Alli's exercise routines throughout the day when we need to move and get our minds ready for learning.  Students have become so good at mastering many of these exercises, they now do a routine independently when they enter the classroom each morning!  I know my mind and body feels refreshed every time I do this work with my kids!  Thank you Erik & Vicki Hemmett and Alli Bologna from Hemmett Health for making our movement breaks so meaningful and helpful.  We LOVE them!!!

Check out Alli's latest visit:
Make the slideshow bigger:

Below you can see some kids working through one of Alli's movement breaks as they start the day:
(Students come into the classroom at different times, so you will see some kids entering the room, while others exercise, then get to work.)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Another Kind of Hurricane: Author Tamara Ellis Smith Visits Our Classroom @tsesmith #Read #Write #Perseverance

We had the honor of learning about the writing process from local author, Tamara Ellis Smith!  It was truly incredible to hear the amount of years and work that went into publishing her first book!  Her story was inspiring and full of grit!  Tam, thank you for the taking the time to share your incredible journey with us!

Link to video:

Research and Digital Citizenship in Fourth Grade Enrichment Library Classes

This is a guest post from our enrichment teacher, Darcie Rankin and our library media specialist, Beth Redford.

For the past several weeks, fourth graders have been learning and practicing research and digital citizenship skills in their enrichment library classes. The scholars are working through a series of three interest-based projects for which they get to choose the topics themselves (see the examples below):

Quote Posters,

Google Documents with freely reusable images and citations,

and Mini Research Projects

In the process of creating these projects, the scholars are learning and practicing these important skills:
  • how to find information in a book
  • how to find images online that are free to reuse in school projects
  • how to create citations for books and online images
  • how to use Google Documents and the online tool
They are also learning more about topics they are interested in, from East Indian dance to Humvees to legendary monsters and much more! We are very proud of the fourth graders' hard work and perseverance on these projects.

- Darcie Rankin, RES enrichment teacher and Beth Redford, RES library media specialist

The One About The Muskrat! @SuptAlberghini #VTED #write #storytelling

Mr. Alberghini came into our classroom last week to share his love of story with us!  He is an incredibly gifted storyteller!  Mr. Alberghini left us in awe, and inspired to make our stories come alive!  I hope this video captures the heart of his story and the gift that he is to our students; enjoy!

Double Dog Dare: A Book Trailer @lisagraff #BookTrailer #DoubleDogDare #Read

It is so exciting to see all of these amazing book trailers coming to life!
If you liked Absolutely Almost, you are going to love Double Dog Dare!  Check out Liam's awesome book trailer to get hooked on this book!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wonder: A Book Trailer @RJPalacio #Wonder #Read #BookTrailer

I am so amazed by my student's passion for reading and their ability to share the heart of their books through powerful book trailers!  Here is Sonya's incredible trailer for the book Wonder, by Raquel J. Palacio.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Terrible Two: A Book Trailer @joryjohn @macbarnett @dorothyslist #DCF #Read

Students have been falling in love with books and learning how to share their passions through book trailers!  Finn is our first student to finish his book trailer, and it is AMAZING!  The Terrible Two is not only a DCF book this year, it is a hilarious must read!

Telling Our Stories #Storytelling #writing

Students practiced telling their stories, getting feedback from their friends on how to make their stories even more deliciously descriptive!  This work helped us sit down and write our stories by heart--letting our thoughts and ideas flow beautifully!

Link to video:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Looking Deeply At The Ecosystems In Our Forests #NGSS #Science #Interdependence

Today, we explored the forest in our backyard.  I was so impressed by the students' wonder and thinking as they noticed each detail that surrounded them.  A person heard a woodpecker, then noticed holes in a tree, then wondered about the insects inside the tree that called to the woodpecker.  Our morning was filled with many magical discoveries like this one!  We had such an incredible time, it was hard to stop--even with recess awaiting our return!

Make the slideshow fullscreen:

Monday, October 17, 2016

TerraCycle @TerraCycle #MovementBreak #RichmondFoodShelf

Susan Whitman stopped by to collect our TerraCycle!  She couldn't help joining students who were starting their day with a dance break!  So fun!
Susan left with a HUGE bag of TerraCycle from our wing!  Way to go RES!  
She and Lars just packaged up and sent out 62 POUNDS of items to TerraCycle!  Thanks for helping to make a difference in our world and in our community!  TerraCycle will then give us money that Susan donates to the Richmond Food Shelf! Keep up the great work!
For more information about TerraCycle at RES and what items can be TerraCycled, 

This is what 62 POUNDS of TerraCycle looks like!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Squishy Pumpkins #focus #BuildingCommunity

Liam decided that everyone needed their own squishy balls!  Thanks for thinking of everyone Liam, and for filling our room with even more ORANGE!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Beautiful Day For An Outdoor Movement Break! #MovementBreak #GetOutside

We decided to take in the sun's energy by taking our movement break outside!  We danced, we leaped and we ran as our ribbons swirled around us!

Click here to make the slideshow full screen:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We Learned A New Food Chain Song Today... #Science #Interdependence #song

thanks to this very talented student!

We Had Visitors!!!

We were so excited to start our morning with these FABULOUS ladies!

Learning About Interdependence: Food Chains #Science #Interdependence #NGSS

Yesterday, we played "Run for the Sun"!  Through this game, we learned how energy flows through a given food chain.  Students saw that it takes more energy to feed omnivores and carnivores than it does to feed herbivores.