Monday, October 18, 2021

PA for the Week of 10-18

 3PA will be ending the 1st quarter of school with Lisa, Todd, Julie, Charlie, and Tom Logan. This week we will continue our reading and analysis of Girl Who Owned a City. There is a graphic novel version of this book that would make a fantastic gift for a 3rd grader reader, built in desire to read the whole book! The cover of the graphic novel is pictured here...

4PA will spend the week working on their Harlem Renaissance Google Slide project. The kids and I went through what should be included in this project and I dropped it into Google Classroom for everyone to use as they create their slides. Because of the web filter at school, inserting a YouTube video is difficult. A video will enhance the presentation so adding one as homework this week would be a great activity.

5PA will be continuing our work with Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" about an incident that took place at a school on Venus on a very special day. This week, pairs of kids will be acting as the school's disciplinary committee using specific evidence from the story to determine the intentions of the students who locked Margot in the closet. The pairs will make a determination about who was at fault and assign any appropriate consequences for the choices made by the group of students led by William.  At the end of the week, we will be reading about time travel and dinosaurs in Bradbury's story "A Sound of Thunder." 

TD for the Week of 10-18

 KTD  is going to have a really Creepy Week! The kids and I will be reading two fantastic October picture books, Creepy Carrots and Creepy Pair of Underwear! We will discuss the similarities and differences Jasper experiences in both stories, the kids and I will create frightening fruit, and we will be inventing an alternate use for Creepy underwear on Friday. 

1TD will continue reading the chapter books we checked out last week. I will be meeting with the kids to have reading conferences to discuss the stories, make predictions, discuss main idea, and work on retelling what they've read so far. At the end of the week, we will be sharing oral book commercials. This is something I did in the classroom to replace book reports. Just stand up, tell us about your book and why others might enjoy reading it as well.

2TD is 1/2 way through Frindle! We had fun using a calligraphy frindle last week, and this week we will continue to learn more about the battle between Mrs. Granger and Nick, what happens after the newspaper article is published, and what happens when the word goes nation-wide!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

PA for the Week of 10-12

 3PA began a journal writing activity last week focused on how characters respond to challenging situations in our novel The Girl Who Owned a City. This week we will discover what happens at the militia meeting, if the Jewel warehouse is all they imagined, and how to protect Grand Avenue. The kids will be reading independently, writing in their journals, and reading together as we continue to discuss all of the examples of change in this page turner. 

4PA will begin the week working on analyzing a second Langston Hughes poem using the tool I put into Google Classroom. Later in the week, we will transition to a new project focused on the Harlem Renaissance. Writing and poetry were only a small part of what was going on in 1920's Harlem, so we need to explore some of the other artists who were working in Harlem at the same times Langston Hughes was writing. The kids will explore a variety of musicians, singers, dancers, poets, actors, painters, or photographers who were contemporaries of Hughes. A Google Slide project will be developed based on what interests each student.         
5PA will be finishing up the writing project we began last week comparing "The Veldt" to the Brother's Grimm version of "Little Red Riding Hood." Then, we will begin a new Ray Bradbury short story, "All Summer in a Day" about a day on Venus that a group of children will never forget. 


TD for the Week of 10-12

 KTD will continue to explore wordless picture books this week. The week will begin with the conclusion of Mr. Wuffles, your average aliens vs cat story. The kids and I will also be reading Sector 7, the story of a boy who goes on a field trip to New York City and ends up in a factory in the sky where all of the clouds are made. If the weather cooperates, we will go outside to read the book It Looked like Spilt Milk and do an activity where we reimagine clouds.  

1TD will be going to the LMC with me on Wednesday to browse through the beginning chapter book section. I'm going to let the kids check out a book that they want to read, and we will work on some story structure mini-lessons so I can have reading conferences with each of the kids a few times this week. 

2TD will continue reading Frindle this week, but we will also be using a new kind of frindle for a fun lesson on calligraphy. Since Nick is so into pens, and we learned about the history of the pen going back to quills, I bought calligraphy markers! We are going to watch a few videos in class and experiment with fancy frindle fun! The kids will get to keep the markers and bring them home on Friday.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Talent Development for 10-4

 KTD will be coming back to our wordless picture books soon, but this week, we will spend some time learning about words. We will read The Word Collector by Peter Reynolds and go on a word hunt. We are going to learn about the dictionary while we play a game based on alphabetical order, and we will be learning about nouns and verbs using high frequency sight words. 

1TD will read another book with Maxine from last week's invention themed work. Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever is a book that shows Maxine's creativity outside, with a new garden. We will learn about schools that have vegetable gardens that students work in during class, skills the kids learn while gardening, and we will be reading two articles about how to create a garden. 
2TD will continue reading the novel Frindle this week. The students will create character webs for Nick and Mrs. Granger that we will color code. The kids will have three colors to reflect the beginning, middle, and end of the story to show how the two main characters change throughout the book. 

PA for the Week of 10-4

 3PA has been captivated by The Girl Who Owned a City! This week, we will continue to read, discuss and record how Lisa and Todd are responding to challenges, we will meet the antagonist Tom Logan, and teams will be adding details to the change generalizations we started last week.

4PA will spend most of the week with the poem "Freedom's Plow" by Langston Hughes. This is a longer poem that the students will be examining for figurative language, themes, and how the text connects to historical events. The kids have several poems by Hughes in their Google Classroom that we will also be reading.

5PA continues to explore the world of Ray Bradbury. This week, most of our time will be spent with "The Veldt" and the nursery that comes to life. We will compare the experience of reading a story to a reading done by Steven Colbert. Does the performance of a story change the experience as a consumer of stories? The class will also be working with a visible thinking strategy, "See, Think, Wonder" that will kick off with an abstract art Google Slide show. Last week we used symphonic music in a grammar lesson and now I'm using abstract art to examine how we think about and discuss literature. It's going to be a fun week!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Talent Development for the Week of 9-27

 Letters were given to a small group of K-2 students on Friday who will be in the first small group Talent Development class. The students were selected using a variety of data we have on our youngest learners as well as teacher observations. These groups will be flexible and we will rotate kids a number of times during the school year. I am excited to get started!

KTD will begin our journey using a variety of wordless picture books by David Wiesner, a three-time Caldecott winning illustrator. The kids and I will learn about print concepts, story elements, and story progression as we read these wordless tales. This week, we will begin with Free Fall and by the end of the week, we will be ready for the story Tuesday. 

1TD will be reading about inventions this week as we begin. We will read the picture book Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro, the story of a first grader who needs to invent a way for her goldfish to be in the school's pet parade. How can a fish be in a parade? We will read the story, discuss the process Maxine went through to invent her "fish float", and then we will be reading about real life inventors. I have an article abut inventing a longer lasting popsicle and an article about a summer camp for kids all about inventing new things. On Friday, the kids will create their own invention.
2TD will start the year off with a good read, Frindle by Andrew Clements. This story is about a boy named Nick and his idea for a new word. His teacher, Mrs. Granger, is not a fan of inventing new words it seems, and many conflicts arise over this key issue. The kids and I will be examining how characters respond to change throughout the book as we read. This week, we will get to know the characters, and we will be making notes about how they act at the beginning of the story so we can compare this to how the characters evolve in the book. 

PA for the Week of 9-27

 3PA will begin our first novel of the year. We will be reading The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson. The story begins in the suburb of Glen Ellyn, IL, where I grew up, after a global plague leaves only children under the age of 12 left alive. The kids need to figure out how to survive in a world with no adults. How will the characters get food? What will the future look like? How do children care for their younger siblings? All of these questions will ignite powerful conversations as we go through this tale of survival and change.

4PA will begin learning about The Harlem Renaissance and the poetry of Langston Hughes this week. The week will begin with some background knowledge building about the great migration, Jim Crow laws, and why Harlem became the center of an artistic explosion 100 years ago. We will be reading a variety of poetry by Hughes to begin with, but in the coming weeks, the kids will be able to explore the work of musicians, dancers, actors, writers, and artists who were all a part of this movement. 
5PA began our second Ray Bradbury short story last week, "The Scythe." This is a story set on a dust bowl ravaged farm during the great depression. A family of four, down on their luck, find an abandoned farm house next to a field of wheat with many secrets to share. The kids will focus on how Bradbury uses implicit meaning to drive his narrative, and we will examine Bradbury's writing style to see if he uses any conventions that are unique to his style. By the end of the week, we will move onto "The Veldt", a story about a kid's room no parent would ever want in their home.

Monday, September 20, 2021

PA and TD for the Week of 9-20

 KTD will see their last week of whole group lessons with me this week. Next week, we will begin small group Talent Development for K-2 classes. For our last Peter Reynolds book, we will be reading Ish. This is a favorite of mine to share with kindergarten students because it is all about where every kindergarten student starts an Ish way. 

1TD will be ending their whole groups lesson on making inferences in two ways. Some classes will be finishing up the page for the whole class The Z Was Zapped book, but we will also discuss another book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Wreck of the Zephyr to apply what we have been learning about reading between the lines and making inferences.  
2TD will be reading another book by The Fan Brothers during our time together this week. Ocean Meets Sky is the text that we will use to discuss the similarities and differences found in the two books by these three brothers.
3PA will be working on annotating the text of "The Green Man" this week using an interactive document that the kids have in Google Classroom. The kids began reading and marking up the text last week looking for evidence that Claude is the Green Man, important ideas in the story, and any questions that came up when reading. We will be discussing the questions that students had, reviewing the important points, and then we will be examining the text for evidence of internal vs. external change. The kids and I will also be discussing the idea of protection as we finish up with this story on Friday.
4PA began reading a novella last week titled The Mozart Question. This is a fictional tale of the most famous musician in the world, and why he never plays Mozart. There are many connections between this story and "The Power of Light" that we will be looking for together as we finish this story this week. We will also be reading a picture book titled Rose Blanche, another story of light overcoming darkness during World War Two. The week will end with a group discussion that will link the three stories together.   
5PA has begun exploring the world of Ray Bradbury. Our first story is 1950's "The Rocket", a story about the lengths a father will go to do help his children dream. The kids and I will focus on pulling implicit and explicit evidence from the text, determining the theme of a text, and how specific passages in the text contribute to the development of the theme. 

PA for the Week of 10-18

  3PA will be ending the 1st quarter of school with Lisa, Todd, Julie, Charlie, and Tom Logan. This week we will continue our reading and an...