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It was the perfect day for a mostly outdoor field trip. We visited George Washington Carver National Monument where students had a guided tour of the trail, made peanut milk in the science lab, visited the interactive exhibits, and had a picnic lunch on the grounds. Students visited the footprint of the cabin where George was born and the cemetery where many members of the Moses Carver family are buried. We listened to a recording of a poem Dr. Carver read during a commencement address in 1942 at Selma University. The poem, called Equipment, was written by Edgar A. Guest.

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Being a Mystery Reader is an easy way for parents, grandparents, siblings, and other extended family to become involved in our classroom. What is a Mystery Reader? A read-aloud activity where guest readers visit our classroom to share a favorite book. The identity of the reader is kept a secret until he/she enters our classroom. Today, Madison’s mom, Heather, was our FIRST Mystery Reader. How do you become a Mystery Reader? Check the available dates and sign up!  Prior to the date you visit our classroom, send me 5 clues about yourself. The most important part? Don’t tell your student! On the day of your visit, I’ll read the clues throughout the day. Students love trying to guess the identity of the Mystery Reader! After our Mystery Reader has read their book to our class, they are asked to answer this question: How is reading important to your job or to your daily life?




Madison was our Star Student this week. Classmates wrote compliments for her special poster. Her dad brought her a special lunch on Thursday, and her mom surprised her today as our Mystery Reader.

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This year students will ‘tour’ different regions of the United States to learn more about our great country. In each region, we stop at many famous landmarks, cities, and attractions. Each student is creating a scrapbook that highlights each stop. We are currently traveling through the Northeast region which began with a stop at West Quoddy Head. We learned the lighthouse is located on the easternmost point of the United States. Wondering why it’s called WEST Quoddy Head? Ask your student for an explanation. Our next stop was Mt. Washington. It is the tallest mountain in the Northeast region and held the world record for the fastest wind gust ever recorded on Earth (231 mph recorded in 1934). We traveled on to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Mayflower landed in 1620. We did a virtual tour of Plimouth Plantation, a re-creation of the 17th-century English village built by the Pilgrims. There is also a replica of the Mayflower that we included in our tour. Our visit to Boston Common, established in 1634, was perfectly timed with our classmate, Tristan’s, visit there this week! From Boston, we went to the Erie Canal. We found out this amazing connection from the Hudson River to the Great Lakes was dug by hand and took 8 years to complete. We had fun learning the song, Low Bridge, Everybody Down. We are looking forward to our next stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania!

Students are loving our Global Read Aloud book, The Wild Robot. This novel is about a shipwrecked robot who learns to survive by observing and befriending the animals native to her new island. We’ve enjoyed reading responses on Padlet from our own classmates and also our Argentina partners to the question, What items would you choose to take on a deserted island and why? We used our writing journals to write the rough drafts for the postcards we will be completing this week. Students included at least one sentence in Spanish, and we are taking our journals to Senora Leighninger for a final proofreading before putting our comments on the postcards that will be mailed to Argentina.


Today students read articles about Christopher Columbus and answered the following question: Do you think Columbus was a hero or not? Write your opinion and make sure to explain your answer. Here are some of the responses.

I think Columbus was a hero in a some ways and in others he wasn’t. The reason why Columbus was not a hero is because of the way he treated the Indians. He was a hero though, because he discovered a new land.

I don’t think he was a hero because he mistreated the “Indians”, stole their land, and avoided compromise.

I couldn’t really say one or the other because he brought Europeans and Americans into contact for the first time but he treated them horribly.

I think that Columbus was a hero. Because he discovered the Bahamas he lead to more expeditions to what is now North America and if he had not discovered North America I would probably be living in England right now and I like living in a free country.

I think Columbus is a hero. He discovered new land (even if he didn’t know it at first) and was brave to go across the ocean.

I think Columbus was not a hero. He mistreated the ”Indians” by taking their land and abusing them.

I think he should be remembered for many reasons. But you should not always remember him as a hero.


We LOVE Math



Twenty-four Summit students chose to spend last Saturday participating in a math contest held on the campus of SBU in Bolivar, Missouri. Fourth graders attending were Grayson, Levi, Leah, Cadence, Sydney, and Emily. Cadence took 8th place in the Number Sense test. Fourth graders took the same test as fifth and sixth graders, and the test is designed to be difficult for sixth graders. It was very difficult for fourth graders, but everyone had such a good time that the students have decided they want to attend another contest. As soon as the registration opens up for the February 4, 2018, contest in Republic, I’ll sign us up.

I’m very proud of all our participating Summit students!

Thank you 4th grade families for all the wonderful birthday gifts. A giant balloon bouquet, flowers, cupcakes, candy, a very generous gift card to my favorite restaurant, and some homemade cards made it a very special day.  IMG_4745 IMG_4747 IMG_4743-1


A HUGE thank you to Kristin Walker for contacting the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau about postcards. The Bureau donated enough postcards to send to each of the 21 students we are partnering with in Argentina for the Global Read Aloud!


I am beyond excited that today is the FIRST day of the 2017 Global Read AloudThe project, which began in 2010, was the brainstorm of a 4th/5th grade Wisconsin teacher, Pernille Ripp, with the idea of one book to connect the world. The purpose of GRA was for students to make global connections. The project has been expanded in 2017 to four books and one author study to fit a wider range of grade levels.There are an estimated 2,000,000 students participating this year!  TWO MILLION! I find it mind boggling that our class will join hundreds of thousands of children around the world listening to their teacher read Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot during a six week time period. Our class is partnering with twenty-one fourth graders in Argentina. Tomorrow, my students and the students from the Argentine classroom will post their responses to this question on Padlet (Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location.): What items would you choose to take on a deserted island and why? The students from both classrooms will be able to read all the responses. Additionally, students from these two continents will have an opportunity to meet each other via Skype or Google Hangout. We are going to send postcards to our partner class in Argentina. We would appreciate everyone being on the lookout for postcards that depict the Missouri Ozarks.  We would love postcard donations!