Overnight Field Trip Video

The video highlights from the very entertaining and informative fourth grade overnight field trip is finally done. Take a look back on this fantastic trip which featured stops at Fort Clatsop, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Fort Stevens Sate Park, Columbia River Maritime Museum, and Astoria Column. As you will see, we had a great time together and learned a lot about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the history and geography of our region. Thanks to everyone who helped make this trip so successful.

4th Grade Overnight Field Trip 2013 from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

OFB Service Project – Part II

Today, the fourth graders from All Saints made their way back to the Oregon Food Bank for a food repack volunteer shift. The food of the day was pinto beans. We scooped, poured, weighed, tied, and boxed a few thousand pounds of beans over the course of an hour and a half shift.

At the end of our shift, we were given a tour of the Eastside Learning Garden to get a glimpse of how the OFB grows its own food for distribution. Our guide was nice enough to give us a few helpings of vegetables along the way. The samples of purple broccoli and collard greens were quite delicious.

Below is a brief slideshow chronicling the latest visit to our favorite place to volunteer:

Oregon Food Bank Service Project Slideshow from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

Click on the following link to re-visit our first trip to the OFB: Oregon Food Bank Service Project (December 2012)

Earthquake Resistant Buildings

In a recent science class, the fourth graders were asked to create a building that was at least two stories high. They were to use only toothpicks and mini-marshmallows as building materials. Their goal was to have their building withstand an “earthquake”.

Some buildings withstood the earthquake while others had trouble standing on their own, let alone standing during a quake. Either way, we learned some lessons and had fun doing it. In the end, we learned that earthquake resistant designs were aided by a few important engineering techniques: cross bracing, a wide base, and a tapered top.

Check out the video to see the 4A minds at work.

Earthquake Resistant Building Designs from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

Oregon Food Bank Service Project

On December 6, the fourth grade went to the Oregon Food Bank for a community service project. OFB’s mission is to eliminate hunger in Oregon, and we were there to help them fight hunger in our state.

We started with a briefing from our leader, Matt, who had us start our experience by sanitizing and gearing up with hairnets, aprons, and gloves. After that, we began bagging apples from bulk bins into 7 pound bags. The apples we bagged would eventually be included in food boxes that would go out to people from around the state who qualify for food assistance.

An hour and a half later, we cleaned up and took a tour of the warehouse, learning many important facts about the OFB and the people they serve. The highlight, as always, was getting to go inside the giant walk-in freezer.

We had a valuable experience at the OFB and were happy to help in their fight against hunger. We want to send a huge thanks to all the parent helpers and to the always patient, kind, intelligent workers at the Oregon Food Bank.

Learning Through Service from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

Playing With the One World Futbol

After recently learning about the One World Futbol, a few students purchased one. Charlie brought his in this week for everyone to see and, of course, for everyone to play with.

I talked to Charlie about the ball and made a short video of the One World Futbol’s successful debut at All Saints.

If you’d like to read the initial post about our class’s discovery of the One World Futbol, followed by a very nice comment from Tim Jahnigen the inventor of the ball, click here: The Indestructible Soccer Ball

If you’d like to purchase a One World Futbol for yourself (and give one to someone else in the process), click here: Buy One, Give One. They’d make a great Christmas gift.

Note: Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the making of this video, not realizing that filming while holding my phone in portrait mode would cause the editing program to reformat the video and cut off the top half of Charlie’s head during his interview. I apologize for the poor video quality. As I tell my students, I’m learning new things everyday, too.

Playing With the One World Futbol from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

An Attempt at Engineering and Design

Last week, the students of 4A were given a task: design and build a hovercraft with a partner using limited materials. After drawing out plans on Tuesday, students began building their designs on Thursday. The class began buzzing with activity as students brought their designs to life and tested them out. Then they tinkered and tested some more. And again. And again.

Eventually, the building time expired and presentation time began. Each group explained their thought process to the class and tested their hovercrafts out. One failed attempt after another left us all wondering what went wrong.

In the end, we learned that scientists don’t always get it right on their first attempt and that failure is a valuable learning tool.

After it was all said and done, I asked the students a few questions. First, “Before we started building our hovercrafts, how many of you were confident that your design would be successful?” Almost everyone raised their hand, many with sheepish grins on their faces. Then, “If you were given another opportunity to build a hovercraft, how many of you think your second attempt would be successful?” Again, almost everyone raised their hand, many with budding confidence. They were already thinking about what they would do differently if given a second chance. It looks like I might just have to give them that second chance.

Check out the video. Who knew failing could be so fun?

Building Hovercrafts in Fourth Grade Science Class. from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.

Working Together to Understand “Borrowing”


Yesterday, the students of 4A were given a subtraction problem. With a partner, their task was to display their method of problem solving in four ways: 1) with base-ten pieces, 2) by drawing a picture, 3) by writing words, and 4) traditional arithmetic. The idea was to actually see what happens when you “borrow” while doing a subtraction problem rather than just following a process, thus gaining a deeper understanding of subtraction.

As I walked around the room and eavesdropped on conversations, I became more and more impressed with each group I watched. They became completely engaged in their learning; communicating their thinking with their partner and working through struggles.

I was blown away. This level of independent thinking and cooperative learning doesn’t normally happen this early in the school year. I was so proud of what the group accomplished.

Here is a sampling of some of the learning that took place:

Understanding Subtraction from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.