Friday, October 17, 2014

PA for the Week of 10-20

Kindergarten and first grade talent development time this week is going to be spent crafting poems about Autumn.  Last week I took the groups outside and we recorded what we saw, felt, heard, and smelled during the peak of fall.  We will be using these sensory images to write poems about the season.  Later in the week, the kids and I will be reading an Iroquois folk tale titled "Chestnut Pudding" which has some similarities to the Tomie De Paola classic Strega Nona, so we will soon be drawing the parallels between the two tales.

Second Grade PA really got into the Haiku writing we worked on in class, so we are going to make a short book featuring the poetry styles of the Brookdale 7 in 2PA.  The kids will also begin working on a change matrix showing how characters in Frindle changed and how a character in the other Andrew Clements novel each second grader read changed.  The main focus of this activity will be to pull specific evidence from the text to illustrate the change in the author's own words, not simply an opinion held by the reader.

Third Grade PA will have Monday to rehearse their presentations based on The Green Book and the informational text Off to Class.  The teamwork, emerging leadership skills, effective communication, and planning I have observed in the kids has been the main focus of this project and the kids have done a great job. The kids will have work to do for this project over the weekend to be ready, so please help your son or daughter to remember their part.  Once the presentations are complete, the class will be reading several examples of poetry about Autumn.  I have assembled a collection of poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Slaughter, Gulliver Gimble, and a great poem about paying attention to the day by Eileen Spinelli that will be the jumping off point for a poem of their own creation that will be written in class next week.

The Fourth graders will have Monday-Thursday in class to complete their Secret Garden essays using their Google accounts.  The Google drive is cloud based so the kids can, and should, be working on this project at home for homework.  On Friday, we will be reading the Chris Van Allsburg picture book The Widow's Broom. This is a great picture book about a witches' broom that looses its power of flight and moves in with a widowed farmer and ends up causing quite the stir in the small town.

Fifth grade PA will be writing the proposal for their Capstone project this week.  This project is going to be due in May, but the planning, research, and critical thinking is going to take that long to complete.  The final presentation is going to be in the style of a TED talk. "TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world." The quote is from the TED mission statement and is at the heart of this project designed to have the students develop an idea that can change the world. Not all TED talks are appropriate for school, so I will be sharing a few with the kids in class and post links next week to a few that will, I hope, provide inspiration for the students to use as they begin the real work of this project.  Here is an example we will watch in class: http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pritchard_invents_a_water_filter

Have a great week everyone!

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So, it’s been a while friends, and the new school year awaits.  I’ve had a difficult and remarkable recovery from a horrible fall and severa...