Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome Back!

I hope this message finds you all well rested and ready to begin 2015.  Here is what we will be working on this week...

Kindergarten talent development will be diving into the world of A. A. Milne this week.  The kids and I will be reading "The Four Friends" with the classic characters of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. We will be charting details about each character found in the text and then naming categories for the character traits.

First grade talent development students will begin the new year investigating how the rest of the world rings in the new year.  The kids and I will be reading different news articles about how other countries celebrate the coming of a new year.  This will provide opportunities to learn about geography, new cultures, and to talk about how you and your family celebrate.

Second grade PA students will be reading a wide variety of poetry this week to better understand how words create visual images.  The kids and I will be reading works by E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, and even the lyrics of a certain chilly Disney song. 

Third Grade Project Arrow will continue our reading of The Girl Who Owned a City this week.  I am confident that none of the kids skipped ahead and read over break, a real exercise in self control!!! The kids will be developing a plan, similar to Lisa and Todd's in the text, for where to move their neighborhood if the events in the book took place in the Brookdale neighborhood. 

Fourth grade PA will be looking at song lyrics as poetry this week.  We will be reading and listening to two different songs by 1970's singer songwriter Harry Chapin.  We will be discussing the ideas of a central theme, imagery, figurative language, metaphor, and how the two poems/songs illustrate the central theme of change.  We will also be reading a short story titled "Lenny's Red Letter Day" if time allows.

Fifth grade PA students will be discussing how young people have changed systems on a global scale.  This investigation connects nicely to our Capstone Project and one of the main themes of Project Arrow, change.  The kids will begin a mini-research project about a young person who has changed the world that will culminate in a TED talk to be given in class in a few weeks.

Grammar is coming!!!  I told everyone that grammar would begin after Halloween, which I guess is still true, but I wanted to explain the delay.  After speaking with other PA teachers in the district, I was told that the program has better impact if it is done all at once, rather than once a week as was my plan.  We will begin all grammar all the time for a few weeks in the new year.

What is Creative Problem Solving?