Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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PA Qualification Letters

On Thursday, the letters with the PA testing results will be sent home.  This is my least favorite day of the school year, because I know there will be many disappointed kids.  I wish PA were like the draft and we just got to pick who to put in the program, but that is not the case.  

There has never been a year that all of the 5th graders moved on to middle school PA, and this year is no exception.  I am not going to speak with the kids in 5PA about the results before the letters go home, but I will be happy to talk with them next week.  It's important for parents to know that students who didn't qualify for 6th grade PA will have the opportunity to test in February of 2020 for 7th grade PA.  

Egyptian Mummy Paintings

I came across this article today that has some beautiful images of paintings found on the sarcophagi in Egyptian tombs.  There is also a short video about the one billion dollar museum being built in Giza.  

Monday, April 15, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 4-15

KTD Lit will be discussing writing stories this week.  We will be reading the book Also An Octopus, a great book that shows all stories begin the same way...with a little bit of nothing. 
Image result for also an Octopus
KTD Math will play the game 101 and Out.  This is a dice game that uses addition and a copy will come home for the kids to play with you. 

1TD will read the book Animal Ark by Kwame Alexander this week.  The kids will be writing poems about animals based on the poetry in the story and photos from the National Geographic book Photo Ark
Image result for animal ark by kwame alexanderThe Photo Ark by Joel Sartore, A National Geographic Book
2TD continues with James and the Giant Peach this week.  The peach is currently in the ocean with no land in sight.  

3PA will take a break from Ancient Egypt this week to explore a topic that came up when we were exploring the Great Pyramids.  The seven wonders of the ancient world.  The kids will have the week to create a visual of some kind that identifies the seven wonders and some of the interesting facts about them.  
Image result for seven wonders of the ancient world
4PA will continue to develop their brain disorder slide shows. Our focus this week will be reading testimonials of people with the disorders and their family members.  I want the kids to tell a human story in their presentations, not just rattle off facts about the disorder.  They need to make it real by sharing all of their research through the eyes of those impacted by the disorder. We will set a due date for this project this week. 

5PA will start the week by discussing how growth promotes change.  We will be watching parts of a NOVA documentary on the Hubble telescope to get the conversation started.  The kids will also have two days for Capstone work.  

Monday, April 8, 2019

New Tomb Discovered in Egypt

3PA might want to check this out.  A new tomb was discovered in Egypt!

5PA Capstone Due Dates

Last week, the fifth graders and I mapped out the final stages of the Capstone project. We spent an hour going over all parts of the project and all questions were answered.  The kids all have the rubric with the expectations and the notes they took about specific details. Here are the due dates:

4-18 research is due and resource inventory shared with Mr. Schumann.

Quality and Depth of Information: Information in your research showed a strong knowledge and understanding of the topic.
Quality of Sources:
Your sources were varied, respectable, and reflect a range of media.
Quantity of Sources: Your bibliography and research log reflect an understanding of the value of using a variety of sources on your topic.

5-16 Visual needs to be complete and shared with Mr. Schumann.

Relevant to Topic: The visuals in your presentation reflect a complete understanding of the theme of your research.
Engages the Audience: Your visual is dynamic, captures the attention of the group, and draws them into your research.
Inspirational: The visual inspires the audience to your idea to impact the world.
Quality of Visual: The visuals selected show a mature understanding of the topic.

5-16 Progress log and bibliographies are due.

Implementation Plan is due the day of the presentation.  Days will be assigned for the last week of May.

Realistic: Your plan has a realistic timeline and the sequence is accurate.
Comprehensive: The plan takes the group from the catalyst to full realization of your idea.
             Evidence from Research: Your plan reflects the research completed with respect to the logistics,                           resources, and materials needed for implementation of your idea.

5-16 Summary is due, in 14 font, shared with Mr. Schumann. 

Clearly Identifies the Problem: Your summary clearly identifies the problem in a clear and complete fashion.
Research is Evident: Your summary is consistently supported with evidence from your research to support your thinking.
Credible Solution: Your summary shows evidence of your thoughtful reflection on the topic to develop a solution that is possible.
  Impact System: Your summary illustrates how your idea will impact a global system in a positive way. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Welcome Back!

Welcome back everyone.  I hope a restful spring break was had by all.  Here is what we will be working on during our short first week of 4th quarter.

KTD Lit be be seeing me in one large group this Friday to play a game using the dictionary, listening to clues about words, figuring out what word the clue points to, and then finding the word in the dictionary.  First team to shout out the page number gets a point.  We did this once before and the kids had a blast and did really great thinking. 

KTD Math will meet on Wednesday to have a whole group flash card battle using addition, subtraction and multiplication facts.  Teams will compete in several rounds featuring progressively more challenging facts.

1st Creativity Development will imagine what might crawl out of a broken crayon this week.  Inspired by illustrator Debbie Ohi, these pictures will show the potential hidden inside a single crayon.  The kids will be seeing me all three days this week. 
Image result for broken crayon art OhiImage result for broken crayon art Ohi

2TD started off James and the Giant Peach before break, and they continue to do a beautiful job developing fluency, dissecting characters, drawing parallels between this novel and Charlie, going deeper into different perspectives, and discussing predictions about where this adventure will take us. 

3PA will only meet on Wednesday and Friday this week.  Thursday, the kids will be working in their classrooms on tutorials for next week's IAR testing.  There are several tutorials the classes need to go through to make sure all of the kids are comfortable with the online format of the different tests that will be administered next week.  During our time, we will create cartouches of our names using hieroglyphics. 
Image result for cartouche
4PA will begin exploratory research on different neurological disorders this week for a research project we will be working on for the next several weeks. Under the "4PA Neuroscience" section of the website, I have dozens different disorders for the kids to explore.  The final project will be a TED style talk, that will inform the group about the disorder, how it is diagnosed, current research being done on the disorder, and, most importantly, sharing it through the eyes of people who have the disorder.  We will be "humanizing" the research by focusing on telling stories of people's lives, not regurgitating facts.

5PA will present their final autobiography group projects today.  The class did a stellar job linking the lives of the authors they read about to the fiction that the authors wrote and I am looking forward to seeing their final projects today.  On Thursday, we will create a timeline for the final quarter of the Capstone project.  We will develop a week by week "to do" list that will ease anxiety and have concrete dates to complete the final stages of this project we have been working on since October.  I will post the timeline on the site on Thursday after we meet.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

PA Progress Reports

PA Progress reports will be given to the kids on Friday to bring home via backpack mail.  Our reports are not online with the other report card grades.  Please look for them on Friday. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 3-18

KTD Math will continue to explore problem solving and multiplication this week.  The kids and I will tackle a problem involving a carnival ride with about 20 steps to find the answer.

KTD Literature will read the picture book Orion and the Dark, a nod to their visit to the planetarium.  In this book, a child is afraid of the dark, and the constellation Orion comes into his room and the two become friends.  This is a great book to teach perspective, which is what we will be discussing.  The kids are going to do a short writing prompt, but they will write from the perspective of the sun.
Image result for orion and the dark

1TD will continue to explore different picture books, looking for examples of different types of symbiotic relationships during our time together.

2TD is doing an excellent job of working together on their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character posters.  We should finish up by mid week, and then begin our next book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.  
James and the Giant Peach - Class Pack
3PA has worked so hard on their Egyptian slide shows.  I am very proud of the work that went into the process of this project.  Last week, the kids wrote the rubric we will use to assess the final project.  The kids will use the rubric to assess each other, rotating around the room to view each project and grade the work.  When this is complete, the kids will be creating a cartouche of their name and we will learn how to write using hieroglyphics. 
Image result for cartouche
4PA will finish their human brain model this week, complete with labels, a color and a symbol that represent the function of each part.  We will end the week with parts of a PBS NOVA documentary on how the brain works.  This is a fun one that will spark lots of discussion.
Image result for nova brain documentary
5PA will complete their work using their autobiography and fiction books early this week.  The remainder of the week, at their request, will be spent working on the Capstone projects.  The final push will begin after spring break.  Nine weeks to go. 

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