Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Yesterday we went on our first field trip of the year - bowling!  We went to a local bowling alley for a fun-filled hour of five pin action.  There are some amazing bowlers in Grade 4 this year!  (I think a lot of them could beat me in a game).  It was also great to see such great sportsmanship with everyone cheering each other on.  A special thank you to our parent volunteer drivers who made it possible for us to go on this field trip.  :-)  Check out some photos of the fun below:  


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sum It Up

In Math right now we are learning to add numbers in the thousands.  Adding is a skill that gets better and better with practice, so on Friday, we played a card game called Sum It Up.  It gave us some practice and we had fun at the same time!

It's easy to play at home and you can have as many players as you like.  The goal of the game is to make the biggest sum (answer to an adding question) possible.  Here's how to play:

1)  Make a game board for each person that looks like this:
  ___  ___  ___  ___
+___  ___  ___  ___
  ___  ___  ___  ___

2)  Get a deck of cards and remove all of the face cards and 10s.  (You only need Ace - 9 for this game.  Aces = 1).

3)  Place the cards face down.

4)  The first player chooses a card from the deck and shows all the other players.

5)  Each person decides where to put the number shown on the card.  For example, if the number chosen was 4, your gameboard might look like this:

  ___  ___   4     ___
+___  ___  ___  ___
  ___  ___  ___  ___

6)  Once you have written down a number you cannot move it (write in pen if you think you might be tempted!).

7)  Continue choosing cards and writing the numbers down until all the lines on the game board are filled up.

8)  When all the lines are filled, each player adds up their numbers to get their sum.

9)  Whoever gets the greatest sum wins that round and gets a point.

Do you know any other fun math games?  What other ways do you like to practice math skills?

Happy adding!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Camouflaging Potatoes

In Science we continue to learn about different adaptations that help plants and animals survive in their habitats.  One adaptation that we have discussed recently is camouflage.  Camouflage is when an animal blends into its environment, usually to hide from predators (so it doesn't get eaten) or to sneak up on prey (so it can eat!).  It blends in by being a similar colour to the surrounding habitat.

This weekend's homework was for students to put their knowledge of camouflage into practice.  The task:  camouflage a potato to blend in with our school yard.  As you can see from the photos below, they had many creative ideas about how to do this!  

 After we placed the potatoes in their "environment" we invited the other Grade 4 class to come and find them.  They were good potato hunters, but it took them a while to find them all since they were so well camouflaged!

The potato below was the most difficult one to find.  (It's a lot easier to see on this desk!)

What animals do you know that use camouflage to help them survive?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sensational Similes

This week, we have been learning about similes.  A simile is a writing technique where you compare two things using the words "like" or "as" in the sentence.  First we read the wonderful book Crazy Like a Fox written by Loreen Leedy.  It is a story written completely in similes, so it gave us a really good idea of what a simile was.
Next, it was time to write some similes of our own.  To get started, we needed to think of some common similes.  Examples might be "as hot as the sun" or "as dark as night".  Then came the fun part.  We needed to think of the most creative, unique similes we could.  Below are some of the sensational similes we created!
- as funny as a cat slapping another cat with a fish
-hot like a french fry fryer
-as angry as a lion getting robbed by a hyena
-hot like my forehead when I'm in Asia
-as brave as a dad
-white like a camouflaged polar bear
-as loud as an orchestra
-slow like my baby sister walking in the park
-quiet like kids napping after playing
-as hot as burning metal
-as fast as Usain Bolt
-annoying like a snoring dad
-as loud as little kids screaming at recess
-as angry as a cat when you pull its tail
-annoying like female mosquitoes (they're the ones who bite!)
-as slow as the solar system
-as brave as someone who fights a rhino
-as cold as the tundra
-hot like chili peppers
-annoying like forgetting to save in a video game

Friday, 5 October 2012

What Would We Do Without a Thumb?!?

In Science, we are currently learning about adaptations.  Adaptations are things that help an animal or plant survive in its habitat.  For example, a polar bear has thick fur to help it survive in its cold Arctic habitat.  We discussed several amazing animal adaptations, but then we realized, we're animals too.  We must have adaptations to help us survive!  This is when Ms. Birdsall pulled out a roll of masking tape. (We thought she was a little bit crazy).  She explained that humans have opposable thumbs, thumbs that are placed opposite to the rest of the fingers.  They help us hold things.
Humans have opposable thumbs.
We decided to find out what life would be like without our opposable thumbs.  First, we taped down our thumbs so they couldn't move.  Then we tried things like . . .
Tying our shoes.
Buttoning our coats.
Zipping our hoodies.
Grasping our water bottles.

We found that while we could still do many of the actions, they were a lot more difficult and took a lot longer.  We definitely appreciate this "handy" adaptation!