Passionate Prickly Pear Jelly!

the juicer to create prickly pear juice

Fourth grade kicked off a new unit on Arizona Native tribes on September 16, 2011 by making prickly pear jelly!  Here are some pictures of the students working.  We paired with Mrs. Martinez’s class to do this project.  She has a video on her site that you can watch it you check her blog out. As soon as I am able to add video to my blog it will be posted here for you to see too!


Mixing the juice with lemon juice and pectin

Cell-o Jell-o

4th grade is learning about living things on a cellular level. A great way to learn about the parts and functions of a cell is to use Jell-o and various candies.  We had so much fun!  Here is what some of my 4th graders had to say about the project:


Rudy Said

Our cell models were really, really cool.
It made me feel silly when I ate the sweet, jiggly dessert.
The brain is the Chocolaty whopper.
The Cell Wall was the fruity Fruit by the Foot.
It was really fun.
I love making Cell Models!


Sully had this description

When I made my cell model I saw nice tasty food. I heard people talking around me I tasted candy.
I smelled nice red JELL-O.I touched a smooth fruit by the foot wrapper. The vacuole was made of sweat tarts.
The cell membrane was made of JELL-O the cytoplasm was also made of JELL-O.

The nucleus was a whopper. The mitochondria were made of 3 Mike and Ike.That was all the parts I used to make my animal cell model.

Cierra added:

On Friday I made a Cell Model.  My favorite part was when I cut all the Jell-o out.  I smelled the Jell-o and it smelled like cherries.  I tasted Jell-o, Mike and Ike, Sweet Tarts, A Whopper, Skittlles, and a Fruit-rollup.  I saw candy, a plastic spoon, a plastic butter knife, and a paper plate.

Jessica described the cell model activity like this:

I like when we had to take my Red Jell-o cup and stick the plastic knife and circle it around the Red Jell-o. That was the really easy part! But then you had to take the plastic knife and then cut the Red top off the Jell-o. Then you had to cut a hole in the middle of the Red Jell-o, then put candy inside the hole, after that you take a Fruit roll-up and put the Fruit roll-up around the Jell-o or the outside of the Jell-o after you do that then you finally put the top on. That`s how you make a Cell Model!



Building Teamwork

To start the school year, Mrs. Goucher’s class created structures out of straws, paperclips, and tape.  In the beginning each group was given 30 straws, 16 paperclips, and 30cm of tape.  Each team had to discuss and draw a blueprint for their structure keeping in mind that the goal of the structure was to be the strongest and the tallest. 

We learned a lot about working with groups and students created some really cool structures.  To test each structure we hung a cup and added pennies to the cup until the structure fell over and the cup touched the table.  Our best structure was able to hold 35 pennies before toppling over.

What a great way to kick off the school year!

Blog First Steps

Today we talked about digital citizenship and internet safety. We talked about being members of our physical community and members of a digital community. In both communities, we have expectations for being a good citizen and being safe.

Some of the safety and citizenship expectations students knew were:

  1. Keep your personal information safe, such as your full name, address, phone number, etc.
  2. Don’t post or comment about where people can find you. For example, don’t share that you will be at soccer practice from 7:00-8:00 tonight at the park.
  3. Be respectful and polite online.
  4. Since blog comments are like friendly letters, we should follow the friendly letter format.
What’s our next step?
  1. Watch a BrainPOP Online Safety video to see what we can add to our list.
  2. Visit one of these blogs and decide how well they follow Internet safety and digital citizenship rules:

What do you think we should add to our Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship expectations?

What did you notice/learn from investigating the above blogs?

What have you learned from this discussion/post, and what questions do you still have?