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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Memories: Pi Days of the Past

In my school we are no longer allowed to have food.  So one of my favorite activities from the past is now someonthing I am not allowed to do.  :0(  

Take a walk with me down memory lane for my delicious, edible, and enjoyable Pi Day. 
Pi Day Revisited

The Reading Buddies

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Northeast Road Trip- Hershey Park

Fourth Grade in my district studies the regions of the United States in Social Studies.  That meant, being new to 4th grade, I was going to have to figure out a way to make the regions more fun than they seem at first sight.  After some creative juices got flowing I saw the entire year as one massive Road Trip.  This marking period we have been studying the Northeast region.  After I introduced the region via a Prezi I created, my kids dove into research about the points of interest in the various Northeast states, what would need to be packed for the trip, and much more. 

One day, since I couldn't actually take my kids on a Road Trip, I brought the Road Trip to my kids.  We took a trip to Hershey Park.  I started by making Hershey Park uniforms (aprons and bandanas) for myself, my para, and my co-teacher.  I also littered the room with Hershey Kisses. 

When the kids came in that morning they had no idea what was going on, but the excitement was off the charts.  

We started the day doing some nonfiction reading about Milton Hershey, the man who created Hershey Park.  We learned quite a few interesting facts and focused on applying our questioning and predictions strategies to nonfiction.  We also identified the theme and made sure to have text evidence for the theme. 
The Milton Hershey article projected on my SMART Board
with my kids jotting their predictions. 

Here is the organizer we used.

Next, we watched a video on how Hershey Park makes their chocolate and how Hershey Kisses are made.  
Papers in hand as they documented what they believed to be the most important
thing they learned from the video.
At this point the room smelled like chocolate, we had been reading about chocolate, and watching chocolate being made.  I was SERIOUSLY craving some chocolate and so were my kids.  So, we broke some rules and had some treats.  We dove into some of the Hersehy Kisses on the conveyor belt (thrown on every clean surface of the room) and had a Chocolate Milk break.  

Good to the LAST drop!
Now it was time to take write about our trip in our Social Studies scrapbooks.  The whole goal of the entry was to write as if we have actually been to Hershey Park.  We reflected on the activities we've done and what we learned throughout our Hershey Park experience. 

Rubric says points off for spelling mistakes- hope
she caught her oops in "journal".

After lunch we went back to work. It was time for Math and I told the class that in Math today they would be spending time as Hershey Kiss factory workers.  I opened the activity by showing them a clip from the most famous chocolate factory worker I know. We watched I Love Lucy and her famous chocolate factory scene.  You have to love Lucy, every person in the room was laughing as the chocolates came speeding down the factory belt. 

Next it was time to get to work. I had previously cut small aluminum foil squares for my kids to use to wrap Hershey Kisses. We set the timer for one minute and collected the data from our experiment. 

The data from 1 minute of wrapping. 
Then we got our multiplication on by finding out: 
-How many Kisses each student could wrap in one hour?
-How many Kisses the class could wrap in one minute?
-How many Kisses the class could wrap in one hour? 

It was some SERIOUS multiplication but they really worked very hard on it.  We ended the day by riding a virtual rollercoaster from Hershey Park!

All-in-all it was a really GREAT day. Nothing beats when learning can be accomplished in a fun and exciting way.  I think one of my kids summed it up best by saying "I can't believe how much fun I had in school today. I can't wait to see what we do next."

I'll leave you with some finished journal entries from our Hershey Park day. 

Have a SWEET day!