Thursday, February 13, 2020

4PA Seeing Sound: How Synesthesia Can Change Our Thinking | Annie Dickinson ...

HBO "I Have Tourettes But Tourette Doesnt Have Me" 4PA

Chris Rosati, man with ALS, pens "Note to Self"

On the Road: Grand theft donut, 4PA

PA and TD for the Week of 2-18

I apologize for not updating the website last week, the flu has been running through Brookdale, and it ran into me.  Here is what we will be doing next week in PA and TD.

KTD Literature will read the book Perfect by Max Amato.  We will talk about how making mistakes is just another way to learn things and creating a fun picture using big pink erasers!
Image result for perfect book by max amato
KTD Math will be working on estimation using two different three act video problems.  First we will try to estimate how many small bottles of ketchup can be filled by a whole bottle, and then we will try to extend patterns using post-it notes using mental estimation.  then, the kids will all build the pattern with their own post it notes to see if their estimations were correct.

1TD will use their imaginations next week as we discuss all the things that can pour out of a broken crayon.  We will use the pictures the kids create for an upcoming writing lesson as well.  We will also go to the LMC to fill up book boxes.  I am so excited to see the growth in their choices in what texts they want to check out.  

2TD has shown a lot of growth over the last few weeks.  They have been working in teams on posters of lesser known civil rights activists, and we talked a lot about revising, organizing, and listening to their partner's ideas.  It was a nice evolution to see.  This week, we will be generating a list of long words they know, with as many letters that they can think of.  Teams will pick two of the words to write a "Lemonade" poem, a poem where all of the words in the poem have to be squeezed from the big words, and the poem needs to be all about the big word.  This activity was inpired by the book Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word which we will be reading as well.
Image result for lemonade and other poems
3PA has been doing a wonderful job researching many parts of Ancient Egypt and the Pyramids at Giza.  Pairs of students are now using all of their newly learned information to create a Google Slide Show.  I am very impressed with how well they are following the only direction I gave them for this project, organize it as a story.  The show should take the audience on a journey that follows a narrative and the organization of the ideas should be logical.  I am excited to see them continue their adventures through the world of Ancient Egypt.

4PA began doing some exploratory research on different neurological disorders last week.  This week, each student will select one of the three disorders they explored to go deeper into researching.  This research project will not be about the disorder, simply stating facts and checking requirements off of a list.  Instead, the kids will tell stories about the people and families affected by the disorder and share the facts and statistics through the eyes of people who have the disorder.  We have watched a few stories in class, and they made quite an impact.  I shared the story of one man who was diagnosed with ALS, but wanted the end of his life to be about kindness, so he drove around in a Krispie Kreme bus and gave donuts to people and spoke to them about kindness.  I've posted the clip above. 

5PA has been reading an annotating their autobiographies and are doing a fantastic job.  This week, we will finish reading the autobiographies and move onto a piece of fiction written by their author, this time annotating for examples of how the life of the author can be found in the pages of their fiction.  We will also work on Capstone projects on Thursday.

PA Middle School Transition Night

The PA PTA holds a middle school transition night every year for students and their families.  The middle school PA program is described by a panel of current middle school PA students, and it's the best way to really know what middle school PA is like, what the workload feels like, how much homework to expect and more.  This year, the event will be held at Gregory Middle School on March 10th at 6:30 pm.  I highly recommend attending with your child. I'm sending home a flyer today with the 5th graders.

Monday, February 3, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 2-3

The kids did a great job last week with PA testing.  The 3rd and 4th graders still have to take the CogAT this week, but then we are done.  Results will be sent home this spring.  Now, here's what we will be up to this week!

KTD Lit spent some time with the book Anamalia last week learning about alliteration, and we will be continue to explore this book and concept this week during TD. 
Image result for animalia book
KTD Math will be exploring geometry this week, learning about the properties of ten different shapes, their sides and the number of verticies each shape has. The kids and I will be going an a shape hunt around the school looking for examples of each shape.

1TD will be learning about conflict in the stories they are reading.  We will be discussing internal and external conflict and mapping examples found in the books they have in their book boxes. 

2TD began researching lesser known civil rights leaders before and after 1945 during their last week with me.  This week, teams of kids will be using their research to create posters that teach about this icons.  

3PA did an outstanding job learning about the pyramids of ancient Egypt.  last week, when I was testing, the kids explored a book about the pyramids, and this week, we will use all of the notes taken to create a Google Slide show in pairs.  The kids took over 12 pages of notes each, so they have a lot of information to share.

4PA  will create a model of the human brain this week.  I have a blank template for the kids, and they will be using a variety of online sources and interactive brain maps, to label the different parts of the brain, and come up with a color and a symbol that reflect the functions of all the parts.
Image result for human brain anatomy
5PA will be annotating their autobiographies using a guide we will review today.  The kids are all reading an autobiography written by an author of children's fiction. When the students are done with the autobiographies, they will move on to read a piece of fiction by the same author to see how the life of the writer becomes part of their fiction writing.  We will also have Capstone Thursday.  


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 1-21

KTD Lit will be doing a shared reading of Rumpelstiltskin this week.  This is a more complex text, so we will be reading it together, making predictions, and identifying major story elements.

KTD Math is gong to work on converting two dimensional pictures into 3D structures using Brain Builders.  This should be a fun week of creative thinking and teamwork.  
1TD will spend half of our time learning about captions in nonfiction texts, and writing some of our own using unique snowmen images. We will also be going to the library to fill up book boxes with some new books.

2TD will be using a variety of online sources to research some of the key events and people involved in the civil rights movement for a writing activity.

3PA remains in Egypt this week.  Now that we know the story behind the Great Pyramid at Giza, we will learn about the construction process.  How the stone was quarried, moved across the Nile to the building site, and how the stones were put into place.
Image result for great pyramid of giza
4PA will finish Broken Arrow Boy this week.  Adam's story has showed the kids so much about how the brain works and what happens when part of it is damaged.  At the end of the week, we will begin an essay about his story and what it taught the class about traumatic brain injuries. 

5PA will be starting a new unit this week centered around autobiographies written by authors of children's literature. The goal of the unit will be to understand how the life experiences of writers find their way into the characters and fiction stories they created.  Kids will be picking their books on Tuesday from a collection of about ten titles I have in the PA library.  

Friday, January 10, 2020

PA Progress Reports

PA progress reports will come home with the kids today in backpacks.  I will be giving them to the kids in PA.  Have a safe wintry weekend. 
Image result for progress reports

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

PA for the Week of 1-7

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a nice two weeks off and is ready to begin 2020.

3PA will begin to explore Ancient Egypt this week.  We will be learning about the pyramids at Giza, what they represent, how they were built, who built them, and what mysteries they hold.  This is a great introduction to Egyptian societal structure, religion, and mythology.  

Pyramid by David Macaulay - Used (Acceptable) - 0395214076 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company |
4PA will begin our neuroscience unit this week by learning about a 4th grade boy named Adam Moore. Adam had an accident when he was at a Boy Scout camp that changed his life forever.  Listening to Adam's story will introduce the kids to the brain, what different parts of the brain do, and what happens when the brain experiences trauma.  
Image result for adam moore broken arrow boy

5PA will continue their research on genetically modified organisms in the human food system.  The kids will be working in pairs to finish their research and develop arguments both for and against the use of these products for a Socratic Seminar and a class tug of war using post it notes.