Friday, December 16, 2016

More Amazing Poetry

      These kids are talented writers!

We are so pleased to announce that Indira, Eva, Gardner, Ava, Cristina, and Crosby will all have poems published in the 2016-17 Young Writers of America anthology!  ALL of us will celebrate our poetry publications!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Realistic Fiction Unit

      Our class has worked exceptionally hard on planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing realistic fiction narratives.  Throughout the unit, writing partners supported each other and gave feedback.  Here is a story excerpt from each fourth grade author for you to enjoy.  Notice the careful word choice, descriptive phrases, and expressive reading!

Monday, October 24, 2016

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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Breakout! Library Skills Immersive Game in Fourth Grade Enrichment Library Classes

This is a guest post from our library media specialist, Beth Redford.

Over the past week, RES fourth graders searched for clues, solved puzzles, and practiced their library skills while playing a Breakout immersive game in their enrichment library classes. Our fabulous enrichment teacher, Darcie Rankin, adapted the "Breakout from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" game that was originally created by Amy Williams. The game was particularly good for practicing how to look up books in the library's online catalog, and how to find nonfiction books on the shelves. More information about the original game and the Breakout model of gaming and education can be found at the Breakoutedu website (scroll about 2/3 of the way down the page to see the original Breakout from Mr. Lemoncello's Library game).

Mrs. Rankin put together the video below, of the fourth grade classes during their Breakout game days. Thank you Mrs. Rankin for always bringing so much creativity and engagement to the library!

Dorothy Canfield Fisher reading program for #resvt fourth graders #vted

This is a guest post by our library media specialist, Beth Redford.

Fourth graders intent on their
Dorothy Canfield Fisher books!

Welcome RES fourth graders and families to the 2016-2017 Dorothy Canfield Fisher reading program!

The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award is Vermont's Children's Choice award for books. The award has been in existence since 1957 and is open to Vermont students in grades 4-8. Grade 4 students at Richmond Elementary School are encouraged to participate in the program by reading or listening to the age appropriate DCF titles that are in the library's collection. Other titles from the list can found at the Richmond Free Library.

Grade 4 students who read or listen to at least 5 of the selected books from the list by early April, 2017 are eligible to vote for their favorite in the state-wide program. They will also receive an invitation to our world-famous DCF Pizza Party!

More information about the program is below, or please contact Mrs. Redford if you have any questions or would like more information.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What Did You Do at School Today?

      Sometimes kids don't like to talk about what they do at school, but Ms. Senning's class understands that inquiring minds want to know!  Our fourth graders have been busy these past two weeks, and here are some pictures and student news articles to prove it.  Thank you to our awesome class photographers for capturing some moments!

Job Applications
by Brady and Aiden
 In most classes, you just get assigned a job. In Ms.Senning's class it's different.  We had to apply. We chose a job and then wrote about why we should have that job. We had to have a convincing speech.  Ms.Senning looked over our work and decided who got what job.  Some people had to have a backup job because you might not get your first job pick. If you didn't get the job we wanted, she put us in a job close to the one we wanted. Jobs include Lead the line, Help the teacher, Feed Bubbles (the fish) and Picking up the floor.

Writing Poetry
by River and Gardner
      We worked on similes outside on the sidewalk with chalk. A simile is a type of comparison such as: I'm as fast as a cheetah chasing its prey. Ms. Senning's class wrote poems outside with similes in them.  We also started a poetry unit and that is why we are working on similes.  When we are done, we will put our poems on the poet tree.      


Music with Mrs. D.
by Fredrick and Andrew
      We got a new music teacher named Mrs. D.  Music is FUN because you play instruments.  Music class is on Wednesday so we've already had it twice.  Music is in the music room near the lunch room.  We don't just do music with Mrs. D.  We also do forth grade chorus, too.

Giants, Wizards, and Elves
by Hazel and Christina
      When the fourth grade students played giants, wizards, and elves, they loved it and they wanted to keep playing. Just to let you know we're fourth graders, not news reporters. Anyway, during the game one side was dancing and it's not even part of the game, although I think the teachers set it up to learn to treat other people the way you want to be treated. We played the game in the big field behind then middle school. We did it on the first Friday of school.

A Silly Getting-to-Know-You Activity
by Crosby and Evan
The first week of school we played a silly outside game.  How you played it was you tried to be the first one to get everybody's signature by asking silly questions. For example, one of the questions was "Can I untie your shoe and  then tie it back up?"  We did it so that we could learn more about each other, be brave and talk to new people, and just to get some wiggles out. We did it on the black top.   

Multiplication  Math Class
by Ava and Eva
We made array posters. In math class, Ms.Senning would tell us our partners and give us a number. Then we would make multiplication arrays. Just in case you don't know what an array is, this is what it is.  It's a rectangular arrangement of objects and if your array is 1 by 2, there would be 1 row and 2 objects in each row, or the other way around.  We would also tell the factors of a number. Also, on the first day of school we made posters saying what we think multiplication is. We worked with our tablemates and made a poster with illustrations.  In it we had to say what it is, an example of an equation, what the x sign means, and make a model. 

Morning Meeting Games
by Lida and Sydney
Every morning in Ms. Senning's class we do morning meeting games.  Some games are...... 
Koosh tabletop: You go on the table and throw the koosh to someone else.  If the person throws it and they do not catch it, then they are out!
Koosh toss: You play it by tossing the ball to someone else and greeting them.  Then they throw it to someone else. The challenge is to do the entire greeting order backwards, and it's timed. 
Chef salad: You have a recipe and everybody is an ingredient and if the chef calls your food, you have to switch seats.  Whoever is not seated at the end of the round is the next chef. You could also say chef salad which means the whole class gets up and tries for a new a seat.

Quotes to Live By
by Indira and Katie
 Howdy!  This is Indira and Katie.  We are sharing about our inspirational posters. The class thought of quotes to live by and put them on posters that we made. Others worked on quotes they already knew. For example, Christina wrote, "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile!" And we wrote (Indira and Katie), "Don't let dark clouds take away your inner blue sky!" It makes our classroom look very pretty. We used construction paper, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. It gives us good thoughts as we work on hard things. The whole class had a good time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Dear Fourth Graders,

I hope that you’re having a wonderful summer!  We have had beautiful, sunny weather here in Vermont, and I sincerely hope that you’ve gotten outside and enjoyed it with your friends and families.  I certainly have!

I know that you’ve still got a few more weeks of vacation left to enjoy, but I wanted to send this letter letting you know that I’m really looking forward to seeing all of you on the first day of school.  We’re going to have a busy year with tons of exciting learning activities and fun challenges that will help us grow.  Get lots of rest and be ready to dive right in when school starts!   

Here is a list of school supplies that you’ll use throughout the year.  I always have some extras in the classroom, but if your family is able to supply these items, it would be helpful.  Make sure to put your name on all of your notebooks and personal items before coming to school.

  • 1 plain white t-shirt (name on the tag with permanent marker)
  • 1 set of comfortable earbuds/headphones for use with Chromebook
  • 1 1” 3-ring binder (no velcro or fancy closures)
  • 1 set of 3-ring binder dividers with tabs
  • 1 durable two-pocket home/school folder (plastic holds up best)
  • 1 single-subject spiral-bound wide ruled notebook
  • 1 hardcover composition notebook*
  • 1 hardcover graph paper notebook
  • 1 pencil pouch (for inside your desk, so it must be small)
  • 1 pack of #2 pencils and/or a few mechanical pencils with lead
  • 1 or 2 ball point pens

*This hardcover composition notebook will be your writer’s notebook, so make sure that the lines are a good fit for your handwriting.  If you prefer writing without lines, this notebook could be filled with blank pages instead.  Feel free to decorate it with personal photos, drawings, magazine clippings, or words that inspire you!

Our classroom is going to be an exciting and busy place!  I hope to incorporate many opportunities for you to explore, experiment, and create projects, so if your families would like to add to the tools and supplies in our classroom, here are some ideas of things you can bring in.  These items will be shared among students, so please don’t send in anything you or your families want back.  Thanks for your support!  

  • Old cameras with chargers, memory cards and USB cords
  • Webcams (to help our Chromebooks work like iPads)
  • 1.5-3V mini motors (with about a 7mm shaft is great)
  • 3V lithium batteries (“coin” or circle batteries)
  • Electrical tape
  • Small electrical switches
  • Battery holders with wires
  • Duct tape
  • Toys for building: Legos, K’NEX, Polydrons, marble machines, etc.
  • Tools: hammers, pliers, wire strippers, glue guns with sticks, etc.
  • Art project supplies: pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, cardstock, tissue paper, etc.

To keep up our energy for all of this hard work and creativity, we will have a designated snack time everyday.  It is important that you eat healthy foods to help refuel your body, so pack something nutritious or opt for a tasty and healthy RES snack bag!  You might also want to bring a spill-proof water bottle to keep at your desk to stay hydrated throughout the day.
I hope that the rest of your summer is filled with sunshine and fun! See you on Wednesday, August 31, 2016!

Ms. Portia Senning

P.S.  Please have a parent or guardian fill out the forms sent home this summer and bring them with you on the first day of school!