The Fourth Grade Times
"The news must be published on time."

Here's what it looks like on newspaper day.

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Every week my students wrote the newspaper, The Fourth Grade Times. Usually working in pairs, kids wrote notes on paper, then typed the stories on computers.  After checking for mistakes, writers delivered their stories to the kid editors using network folders . Editors did a quick check, then copied files directly into the newspaper document. Finally, the editors arranged the stories,  corrected as many errors as possible, met with the writers as needed, then printed the final copy. This is an authentic learning project much like working for a real newspaper -- all writing, editing, and the final printing must be finished by our deadline, which is about 2 hours! When the paper is published, writers read their stories aloud and explain what fixes or edits might be made. Then the whole class offers comments and questions that the writers must answer. Sample stories from the newspaper were published on this page each week. The goal: improvement with every issue. The newspaper was sent home to parents every Friday.


Mr. Humble is Coming! by Kaitlyn and Hailey

Hey! Guess what? We have teacher called Mr. Humble coming from England to stay with us for a week. Mr. Humble is coming from St. Oswald Primary School in Burneside England on Monday, May 10th. Mr. Humble's class joined in a project during Halloween called the Monster Project.. The project he will be doing with us when he is here is a tree project. We have two places that he will be doing with us and they are going to the Mark Twain Museum and the hike in Fall Creek. We have seen in pictures that he goes rock climbing, has a baking class and has an awesome science class with his students. We think Mr. Humble will be a good hiker because he goes rock climbing and mountain climbing all the time. One question we would like to ask him would be is Hannibal more interesting and more fun as you thought it would be? We will see you in our next story newspaper!!!!!!  [Here is a link to the Woodlands Project with Mr. Humble on the hike: Woodlands Project.]


Tree Science by Shelton and Tyler
We are going to tell you about a project on trees we are doing. Mr. Smith gave us a book called "Fifty Common Trees of Missouri". Mr. Smith brought leaves and things that grow on trees from the Missouri Department of Conservation for information. We are going to do tree science with stuff in the big blue bin. There were three Osage Orange twigs, three Silver Maple twigs, Eastern Redbud leaf, magnifying glasses, books about trees, movies about trees, a tape measure, leaves, twigs, things that grow on trees, seeds, rulers, a game, a box with different leaves, and tree marking tape in the bin .We are going to Fall Creek on Friday May 14 for a field trip. Mr. Humble from England is coming on the hike at Fall Creek with us to study American trees. If Mr. Humble has bad luck he will probably fall down but we don't want that to happen.

The Witches by Todd and Cierra
The story is about a book we are reading called The Witches. The author is Roald Dahl and the book is fiction. The story takes place in England, in Norway, outside Grandmamma's house, and at the Hotel Magnificent. The main characters in the story are Grandmamma and the little boy and we don't know the boy's name. The first main event that happened to the boy's parents was when his parents got in a car wreck and died because they didn't have on a seatbelt. The little boy didn't have a place to live so he had to live with his grandma. Grandmamma told her grandson about witches and how to know one if you saw one! The strange thing about grandmama's hand is that her thumb was missing. We think that the witches cut her thumb off because when she was a little girl the witches got her. We think the story is funny and creepy at the same time because how the witches are bald. We stopped when the little boy was training his white mice in the ball room and the witches had a meeting in the ball room so he had to hide. We will tell more of this creepy story next week.

Chess Tournament by Billy and Tessa

Hello! Everybody are you ready to read our story? This story is about some chess tournaments we have in Mr.Smith's class. We have had two chess tournaments and working on the third. Makay has got second place in both of the chess tournaments. The first time Billy beat Makay. It was by taking every piece but the king. The second time Billy got Makay in check mate. Billy won the tournament by making smart moves and he had some luck. You first want to think for a few seconds before you move. Then try to make a trap and hope they do not see it. Chess makes a kid a better thinker because he thinks ahead for traps. It is good for a chess player to be relaxed because he can think better and see all of the pieces where they can go. Billy is playing Katrell and Makay is playing Abbie. We think that Billy and Makay will face off in the championship match. Makay was the best match Billy has had  in his life.


Scratch Programming by James and Markeleous

Today we are going to talk about Scratch. The name of the program is Scratch. This is a kid program because it helps kids learn graphic arts and computer programing. You get to build projects by yourself with modules. There are four menus that are called scripts, backgrounds, sounds and costumes. You can make them move 10 steps, move 15 degrees, and you can also have them talk. You can make them talk by getting a purple module and typing in the words you want. Then you drag it and stick it on to another module to make the program work. You upload your program to your page on All kids can go to this website and see all the projects. James has a favorite Scratch  project called "CRAZY CACTUS". This is a FREE program so get it for yourself! Here is the link to James' Scratch project page.

Math problems in the News!

Marbles Math Problem 
Tessa has five times as many marbles as Hailey. Cierra has four times as many marbles as Hailey. Hailey has 75 marbles. How many marbles do Tessa, Cierra and Hailey have all together?

(34 x 27) + (legs on 5 boys) = 
Pencils fit 30 to a box. Katrell has 240 pencils. How many boxes does he need for them? 



Quest Atlantis: Drakos by Marissa and Makay

Our class has been on Quest Atlantis for 8 months now. This is a 3D multiuser virtual environment (MUVE) where we explore and do missions. Well Makay's avatar’s name is Rocketman and his avatar has black hair and brown eyes. Marissa's avatar's name is Missma and she has brown eyes and black hair and her hair is in pony tails. To go from world to world you have to go to this crystal with a light on it and it is called a teleport crystal. You are always on a mission and to find out about your mission you have to click on this spinner right by your avatar's face on your home page. Marissa is working on Drakos M3 and Makay is on Drakos M4. Marissa and Makay have to go to Healthy world and meet Delon, Xinga, Ekon, Uther, and Ithnus. They want us to catch and breed dragonflies to make a medicine to help people. The ways we breed them is one is to mate naturally and another is to mate in a lab. We use a punnet square to find out what offspring we might get. For example, if we wanted to get an all blue dragonfly but the parents were both red, we could look at the genotypes. That tells you some dominant and the recessive genes. The hardest part of Drakos so far is to pack your drakos in your Q-Pack where you keep things. We feel like QA is like the real world but being in the virtual world.

Augmented Reality by James and Mariah 

I am going to tell you about Augumented Reality. We got the Augmented Reality paper tags from a web site for an experiment. We had to print them. The Augmented Reality tags have a circle and a solar panel picture on them. James put his tag on his forehead, HOW FUNNY!! Mariah put hers on her belly. In regular reality it stayed the same, but when we put the tag in front of the web cam the farm windmills popped out just like floating in the air!!!  A little land popped out ,but you could not feel it if you tried to touch it. It does this. The tag folds out to a make a little farm land. When you tried to touch the image it stays the same and folds back into the tag. There were two different lands. There was a dessert and a farm. It was fun doing the experiments with the tags. Just go to to see a video of it.


Ingolstadt Update By Kaitlyn and Hailey 
This story is about a computer game called Quest Atlantis and we are going to Ingolstadt which is a place in the virtual world. Hailey is on a mission finding evidents for Dr. Frank. Kaitlyn is on a mission finding the harbor master's daughter. The last place Hailey was at was the school so she could show all the evidents to an old pro. The last place Kaitlyn was at was returning the package to Dr. Frank at his Frank manor mansion in Ingolstadt. Hailey last talked to a school teacher also known as an old pro. Kaitlyn last talked to Dr. Frank to talk about his creation and the package. In the package for Dr. Frank that Kaitlyn had to give to him had a pink, goosey take one guess........BRAIN!! Guess what Dr. Frank is? He is our daddy in QA. Who is your mama? Ours is Maggie in QA. The main problem is that they don't have enough medicine for sick people and kids with the plague. A lot of people have been dying too. When you first enter Ingolstadt you see a train station and a bunch of buildings and a Tavern, Village Smithy, Police Station, The Bungle, Fabric Shoppe and the Post Office. When you get to the middle there is a water fountain with a cat and Mayor Grimm by it. The cat is black and the water fountain is made of stone. Would you like to know how many lumins and cols we have? Well Kaitlyn has 36 lumins and 49 cols. Hailey has 49 lumins and 49 cols. Kaitlyn's avatar has brown hair. Her clothes are blue jeans and a green sweater. Hailey has goldish brown hair. Her clothes are purple jeans and purple spotted blue shirt. And that is the wonderful and magnificent Ingolstadt.


England Video Conference by Davion

Do you know how to talk to people around the world? On the video conference we talked to Mr.Higgs class. Mr. Higgs is in England in a town called Reading, England near London. The name of his school is BATTLE PRIMARY. Mr. Higgs was wearing head phones on his head when we saw him on the screen. At the beginning of the conference we skyped about the monster project. The file we sent them was the 4th grade zombies by Hailey, Marissa, and Kaitlyn it was a mp3 file they made about the Zombies from the Dead. And the day we talked to the class was Monday it was very fun and cool. Mr. Smith's class is fun because you learn about technology. After the video confrence the project Mr. Smith and Mr. Higgs talked about was the step by step project its about telling people to do things for EXAMPLE: To get a giant to be your pet. step 1, 2, 3..... do you get it that's what the project is? Go to the Higgs blog on the web: 

Air Bag Cave By Mariah

Yesterday we went to second floor into an airbag cave made from plastic. It was a big airbag cave in the little class room . It looked so awesome inside the airbag . It stood up from a fan blowing into one end. It was tall enough that you could stand up inside it. When I first saw the big black airbag I thought it was a jumping thing. The airbag looked like a tepee inside the cave. It felt cold and awesome and dark. Mr. Smith told other kids that were talking to quiet down so we could hear the people that were talking for the video. The funny stars of the videos are Kaitlyn and Katrell, the spooky stars are Billy and Aaron. If I wanted to change the airbag I would add things hanging from down so you could find your way through it. I would add more scary stuff like a possum and a spider . I would also make it crazy by having lights hypnotize kids!


Santana in Class by Kaitlyn 
Hey guess what we have a teacher helper and her name is Santana! It is important to have Santana in our class because she helps us learn more and because Mr. Smith might need a hand. Santana is a high school group cheerleader. Some special other things that Santana does at high school is going to science and lab. Some of the things that Santana does to help us learn is help us spell word, figure out some problems, or she helps us when we don't understand a sentence. I think Santana is a super nice person. I think she is a smart person. I think Mr. Smith thinks she is a super smart person too. Did you know that Santana dyed her hair blond! And she was a student in Mr. Smith's 4th grade class a long time ago!!


     Ingolstadt World by Anjanaya

Hey In Quest Atlantis I am doing a mission called Ingolstadt. Ingolstadt is a part of Quest Atlantis which is a 3D world where you go in and move your avatar around to do missions. When you get there you have to talk first to the Mayor Grimm, Gene, Stan, and Henry. You find out that Henry has a disease called the plague. You can see green stuff every where. In Ingolstadt it is dark and dreary. For one quest I have finished Henry's story for him. Henry's story was about school uniforms because kids were fighting about whose clothes were the best. I also had to talk to Dr. Frank. People are disagreeing with Dr. Frank because he had made Frankinstein and some people don't want him to experiment on Frankinstein. Really Dr. Frank is making Frankinstien so that he can do experiments on him and cure the disease so that might be good. But it might not be good for the monster. I am just now starting on this mission and I have a lot more levels in Ingolstadt. 

  Giant Peach Videos by Abbie and Cierra
We are reading James And The Giant Peach. We are on chapter 21. We watched about three giant peach movies from youtube in our class and they were not really like the book. The movies were animated and part real.   They were real people in New York and when they go in to the giant peach they turn fake or animated. An exciting thing that happened when the peach was floating was James got some string from the spider to catch 5 hundred seagulls so they could get away from the sharks . The sharks were trying to eat them and the giant peach! The seagulls lifted the peach way out of the water. The bugs inside the peach are always turning to James for answers when they have a problem because the bugs know that James is smart and will help them.

Chinese Words by Todd and Tessa
Ni hao. We are writing about Chinese words that we learn in class. We had four Chinese words in our vocabulary this week. Here are some Chinese words. Wo yao zao dian -I want breakfast. Wo bu yao xi gua -I don't want watermelon. Qing wen, wo yao mian baw -I would like some bread please. Wo bu yao cha - I don't want tea. It is important to say the Chinese words correctly. If you don't say them correctly people will not understand you. If we go to Taiwan we want to make sense. 



Forces in Science! 

by Anjanaya and James
Did you know that when you are standing on a wood floor and you press down you do not fall through the floor? This is because the forces are balanced. You push down and the floor pushes up. We used our class web page to do the science lesson. The main topic that we were studying was about forces. A force is like when you push somebody and they move. Forces are measured by newtons named after a famous scientist. When forces are balanced they are the same weight. The two main rules are unbalanced forces do change the way something is moving. Unbalanced forces can make objects start to move, speed up, slow down or change directions. Do you think gravity is a force?

    Billy Bug by Mark and Hailey

This story is about a computer game called Billy bug. This story shows kids how to find the grub on a grid which is Billy Bug's food. The square patterns on the game are called a grid. The numbers start in the middle at zero. From the middle the negitive numbers go down. The positive numbers go up from the middle. On each turn the kids do two numbers. The first numbers goes side to side and the second go up and down. (For example go up three down two up.) The fastest kids in the class were Hailey, Markeleous, Makay and Marissa was the fastest people that could beat two minutes and thrity seconds. Hailey had one minute and two seconds, Markeleous had one minute and ten seconds, Marrisa had a minute and twelve seconds and Makay had a minute and fourteen seconds getting Billy to move around the grid to get his food.

Spinach Problem 
Todd ate twice as many servings of spinach as Makay. Hailey ate four times as many servings of spinach as Makay. Makay ate 15 servings of spinach. How many servings of spinach did Todd, Hailey and Makay eat all together?



The “How To” Project
by Kaitlyn and James

Have you ever heard of the How To Project? We started the project on Monday and we did it with Mr. Higgs class from England. Students are supposed to brain storm ideas for which they will write at least 5 sequintel steps, write the step-by-step directions for the idea and draw a diagram or picture to go with the directions. We are working on a wiki page to share it all. We are supposed to draw a picture about our ideas. One of the examples is how to get spinach out of your teeth. James made a description about how to teach a chihuahua martial arts. Can you believe that? Kaitlyn's was about how to teach a talking bird to blow a bubble. We think this project is teaching us how to write better but it is fun too.

Final Monster Votes by Marissa and Katrell
The Monster project is over! In the monster web site the monsters that were in the final votings were 38 monsters. The top five monsters names are Wee Nit Wit got 65 votes, Mr.Watermelonfunkentitus got 52, Tookie Puffie (from Africa)  got 46, Bloody Mary got 44 and Oma-see-ko-way-chick-a-boom got 39. We are number 18 (Mr. Psyco Maniac) out of 38 monsters. Wee Nit Wit is special because he is on wheels and he is 3D. The Africa kids maybe feel really happy because they got in 3rd place. I am happy with the winning monster but it could be a different name. We don't know what a Wee Nit Wit is.

Using the Digital Camera By Davion and Aaron
CLICK!!!We just took your picture with our digital camera. A picture I took was A picture of Naruto. Naruto was a baby that had a Nine tailed demon sealed within his body and also we took a picture of the book for my African E-mail pal. Our classes camera is light blue. It has a name on it called Carl Zeiss. To turn on the power you press the On Off button. The back of the camera has a 3 inch Screen. If you want to take a picture you press the picture button. And to be safe you put the silver strap on your hand. You put it around your wrist. The camera is AWESOME!!!!!!! I hope we can get a camera at my house. And Aaron says be safe with a camera. We sent a camera just like the one in class to Mrs. Namata Africa so they can take pictures and send them back to us!




Old North Bridge  by Kaitlynn and James
This is about the Old North Bridge. Mr. Smith went to Boston to see the Old North Bridge. Mr. Smith went last week. The bridge is near Concord, Mashuchsuts. The bridge is famous because tt started the battle of Concord. We watched a vidio of the battle of Concord. The year was 1775. The British started coming across the bridge and they were wearing red coats. The farmers got their things ready to shoot in 1 minute. The farmers were called Minute men. This was called "the shot heard around the world" and this place became the 1st land of America!


Making Scary MP3s! by Abbie and Mark
This story is about making scary mp3s for the Monster project . We made scary mp3s with scary back ground sounds. They are the Knock knock, Wolves in the graveyard, Coming in, The Killer Rats, Don't anwser the door , and Zombies from the dead. Marks scary mp3 is Wolves in the Grave yard and Abbies is Knock Knock. Abbie has women screaming a lot of times at the end and Mark has thunder at the end of his. And we both use scary voices. You go to our blog and go to monster project and go to monster 2009 and look for Mr.Psycho maniac.You use a microphone and go to Audacity and it is free so you can get on it by downloading it on your computer at your house its free! It records your voice. 

Cameras to Africa. By Shelton and Makay
This story is about a camera going to Africa. We wrote "Guess what? We are sending a blue small Sony camera to your school". The name of the school is Sancta Maria. The teacher's name is Mrs. Namata. They will send us a picture of the monster. They sent us three pictures so far. One showed two people by their building, another was a group of kids at their school ,and the last one showed their city of Kampala crammed together with cars. We sent them six pictures. Five had kids eating spaghitti, green beans and bread rolls and the last one had Marrisa on the computer typing her letter to Nina. We think they are happy that they got their new camera. 




Computer Boy Milo by Tessa and Cierra 
We are writing about a computer boy named Milo. Milo is different because Milo can see us from out of the computer screen. Milo is an avatar in a 3D computer world. Milo can talk to others from out of the computer screen. Milo might help with math and help the teacher with questions in school. Milo seems like a real computer avatar. Milo can get a peace of paper when someone draws a picture and puts the picture in the computer screen. Milo is not a regular computer character. Milo can see our emotions. 

Monster Project Update by Marissa and Katrell
Our story is about The Monster Project. There is 25 Monsters on the Website. Three names I really like is Wee Nit Wit, Scooting crazy face and Mr. PsychoManic. I choose them because I thought they were real Monster names. Miss Knight sent a Monster mp3 file to us. The New Zealand kids talked about their Monster named Einkenstein. In our class we made some in mp3s podcasts too and you can find them on the writing and story page. The stories that they made were Monster Podcats from Mr. Smith Class and Three Sons and the lion from Uganda by Mrs. Namata , and the story of the Scarecrow came from Turkey. Mr. Greenberg made a cool  a video about Where the Wild Things Are. I am enjoying the Monster Project so far. We would like Mr. PsychoManic to win.




Quest Atlantis by Hailey and Tyler
Quest Atlantis is a computer game that we play on in centers. Quest Atlantis is about doing missions it is also in 3D. Quest Atlantis is very interesting because it helps the class learn while our class plays Quest Atlantis. Our login names are super hj and mister td. When we first logged in we were wearing white shirts and shorts. When we change our clothes we have to click on our faces on the right side of the computer then you can change your avatar clothes. As soon as we get in we have to talk to Lara and then talk to Maq. In Quest Atlantis we use the arrow keys to move around Quest Atlantis and try to find missions and transportels.To get back to Otak hub we have to go back through the transportel. QA is very popular in our class room. Why, because it helps us learn.



Livewires Blogs by Davion and Katrell
The story is about the Live Wires. They are class that have blogs like us. On a blog people write about important things.The Live Wires are in New Zealand. The Live Wires have 29 kids in thier class. When they talk they sound differnt. They have alot of pictures on our web page.I commented about two Tigers taking a splash in a tub. I don't think they figured out what "The machine" video on our blog was yet. The Live wires rule in school!! The Live Wires also communacate with our class. Livewires blog.

African E-Mail  by Billy and James 
This is about African Emails.We are writing to Sancta Maria school in Uganda, Africa.Their adress of thier web page is .Their parents died in war. The kids live at school.Their teachers name is Mrs.Namata.They like their teacher.They sent us two letters.This is our turn for writing back.They are in the monster project with us right now.They have the toe ring for the monster project. 

Mr. Smith Goes to LA by Anjanaya and Mark
Mr. Smith was gone four days in Los Angeles, California on a plane. He was studying tecnology and learning at Pepperdine Universty. I think the work was hard for Mr. Smith because he was working with 14 people on his i phone programs and Quest Atlantis. The class was called Human Computer Interaction. He will be going back to Pepperdine this year in November 3,4,5, and 6. It is better when Mr. Smith is here.


Monster Project by Mariah, Aaron, and Cierra 
This story is about a Monster Project. It is fun with a lot of schools around the world because we see who worked the best. Every body has to look on the descrirtion chart on the monster web page.We have 38 body parts. We have the lips they are Light -Blue 43 cm long,25 cm tall ,red -orange flames,cracked and bloody.There are other countries and states that are in the monster project too like Taiwan, Burnside England, Buffalo New York,and Durham, NC. The Monster project is Due October 31-2009. Monster Link


Mr. Smith's Home Page