Videos For A Snowy Day

It’s a blustery, snowy day out there and, if you are anything like me, (and I know I am) you are curled up on your couch in front of the fire. Well then. I have the perfect thing for you to do.

Here are some neat videos on a variety of things. We will start off with a new Kid President video and work our way from there. Enjoy!


NASA’s Mission to Jupiter with Bill Nye

I love space and I love Bill Nye (If my Grandma heard me say that she would have gotten very upset and said, “Noooo! You like space and you only like Bill Nye. You LOVE your grandma!)

So, when I saw this new compilation of Bill Nye videos on NASA’s mission to Jupiter, I put on the popcorn, the fuzzy rabbit slippers and settled down to enjoy! By the way…classic line in one of the videos…”If you are anything like me, and I know I am…”

Here they are! (If you need fuzzy bunny slippers let me know!):

What’s Up in Grade 4? (Psst! There’s Videos!)

So, I wanted to share some things that we have been doing in school lately. It’s been awhile and, while I am sure you have been hearing lots and lots about school at home (especially about my evil twin brother, Bob), I thought I would share some things with you. But don’t think that this is just for the parents. Au contraire, mon frere! Gather the kids and check it out!

In Language Arts, we have been doing a author study on the really cool and very interesting author, Chris Van Allsberg. He writes these fascinating books that are fantasy based. As part of this, we have been learning that fantasy books have three characteristics: they are usually based in the present, they take place in normal places but strange things happen and they have an element of magic in them like animals that talk. We have read a number of his books in class and have also talked about theme where the author writes a book to share a main idea. This is a tougher concept for the students to grasp as it is not very easily discerned. However, the books are a lot of fun with just enough of a twist to them to keep the kids interested. After the Thanksgiving break we will be starting our Home Reading program.

In Science, as you probably know, our class is doing a unit on Animal Habitats and Communities. As part of this unit, students are going to be assembling terrariums. The terrariums are homes for various plants and animals that typically live in or on the forest floor. Observing what happens in the terrariums gives students a chance to learn about the habitats and adaptations of animals that live in this type of environment as well as gain knowledge about the role these plants and animals play in the larger ecosystem.

We need your help in making this the best learning experience possible. Your child will need a variety of supplies in order to build their terrariums. The supplies they will need are inexpensive but I wanted to give you a heads up so you will have time to collect the items to send with your child. As you collect the items, you can send them with your child so they are ready to go once we begin to build the terrariums.

For Tuesday, Oct. 15th

Your child will need:

  • A small trowel
  • Boots
  • A small plant
  • Small amount of grass seed or birdseed
  • 1 small plant such as strawberry plant, sweet alyssum, violets or other small garden plants which you can get fairly cheaply at Home depot, Walmart, Rona or a garden place.

We started today looking at the soil that your child brought in. We found some very cool things in the soil which were unexpected. We will talking more about soil and the importance of soil in the food chain, setting up an experiment with soil and starting our Terrarium habitats on Tuesday.

Here are some pictures from our look at soil:

Speaking of habitats, we have learned a lot about habitats and I found this cool video that I thought everyone would enjoy!

Finally, I found this awesome video on Science experiments you can do at home…and it has Oobleck in it!!! I don’t think you are ever too old for Sesame Street, especially when it’s done this way!

Fire Balloons

We were reading in Language Arts today, a new book called Danny the Champion of the World. This book is one my father read to me when I was little and it is a great book for fathers and sons.

Anyway, in the book it talks about the father making fire balloons with his son and some of the students didn’t know what that was so I thought I would post a video about it along with a really cool experiment I saw with fire, water and balloons. But don’t do these without a parent around!

Fun Science Pages

Last week, we had some great fun putting together some models of Mars Landers. We were talking about how scientists use models to help study things that are way too big to study up close. For examples, planets are too huge and far away to study up close, so we use models to help learn about how they work. Afterwards we made some Mars Landers as models and launched them from up in the High School lobby. It was great fun. You can see the pictures below.

I have also included a copy of the model. If you want to make another one, just print out a copy and make your own. I would suggest you print it on heavy paper so that it is not as floppy.

Sounds From Space!!

We saw a really cool video in Science today! As you know, we are starting our Space unit and for fun, I had found a really cool video that played the sounds of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

Now, I know what you are saying. You’re shaking your head in sadness, thinking that Poor Mr.H has finally lost his marbles and thinks that we can hear sounds in space, when everyone knows that you can not hear sounds in space. There’s no air and sound needs air to travel through.

Well, dear children and parents, you are right and wrong. While you are right in that there is no sound in space due to the lack of air, the satellite that recorded the sounds from Jupiter actually recorded the electro-magnetic field that was hitting the satellite as it passed by. The scientists then converted those signals to sound. And that is what the video is playing. So you are actually listening to the sound that a planet 100’s of thousands of miles away is making right now!

How cool is that!

A Video, News and Spelling For Week of Nov. 28

Just a reminder that this Friday is a Half Day of school with students being dismissed at 12:15.

It is also Pajama Day. Students are encouraged to wear their favorite appropriate pajamas.

On Wednesday, students will be having their Science test in the morning. They should have brought home a study guide. If you have not seen it, you can find one on the previous blog post or pick another one up from me.

On Wednesday afternoon, students have earned enough stars to have a class party. We will be having the class party on Wednesday afternoon. If you would like to send something for a snack for the class, that would be appreciated. However there is no obligation to provide snacks as I will provide the majority of the snacks for the students.

Here is the spelling for the week:

Here is the link to the Spelling City list. Remember, if you bring in your list with 100% correct, you can receive an extra point for your spelling test!


Finally, here is video from one of my favorite cats. I love these videos. They always remind me of my cat, Gaston. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Day Math and Science Fun – 2011 Edition

Well. Another Pumpkin Day is here and gone. It always seems to come up so quickly and then pass just as quickly. The kids had a great morning of Math and Science fun!

The students did a lot of work in a very short amount of time. Much to there surprise, students were not just carving pumpkins any ol’ way they wanted too. Pumpkins are amazing plants and we took a lot of time practicing our observation skills and learning how God’s creations are all wondrously and perfectly made.

We started off with looking at the outside of the pumpkin asking the big question: Does the weight and circumference of the pumpkin have any relation to the number of seeds inside?

Students weighed and measured, then got to go inside the pumpkin to look at how the seeds were arranged. Counting the seeds was the next challenge as students worked hard to find the fastest way to count seeds. Once all that information was recorded, students went up to the smartboard and entered their data into a special Google Docs spreadsheet where a graph of their results was automatically created. It was really cool. Finally, students planned and carved polygons into their pumpkins as a pattern as they learned that polygons were shapes consisting of more than one connected straight line.

The students had a lot of fun. I have placed the spreadsheet of our results below. You will probably have to scroll through it.