Saturday, August 29, 2015

PA and TD for the Week of 8-31

Our first week back went very well.  The kids were all ready to get back to business and had great enthusiasm each day.  Here is what we will be working on this week.

Kindergarten Talent Development: This week, I will be meeting with small groups of kindergarteners to create a dot.  This project was inspired by the picture book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.  You can watch the book here: The Dot YouTube  The kids will be coming to the PA room to make a unique dot that will be on display outside of my classroom.

First Grade Talent Development: The first grade classes were all very engaged last week when I shared the Chris Van Allsburg book Bad Day at Riverbend, so this week I plan to use another of his books to get the first graders to think outside the box.  I will be sharing pages from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a book where only the title, a picture, and a caption is given on each page with all of the first grade classes.  Teams of students will be working together to try to figure out what the story could be about.  

Second Grade Talent Development students will continue to investigate figurative language.  Last week we reviewed imagery and personification, and this week we will dive into hyperbole and symbolism.  We will be reading Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and Chicken Big by Kieth Graves to further our understanding of language. 

Third Grade Project Arrow will be focused on the central idea of a text, or the theme.  This is an abstract concept for students and so it can be a challenge for literal thinkers.  Theme is not a summary, or a main idea, it's the heart of the message in the text that articulates the purpose that author had in writing the piece.  We will revisit the short story "Shells" from last week, and then dive into the 1844 version of "The Ugly Duckling" by Hans Christian Andersen. The students will be looking for the elements in the text that contribute to the theme and using the idea of multiple perspectives to see story elements through the eyes of different characters. 

Fourth Grade PA will be reading a novella about a group of musicians in a concentration camp during World War II titled The Mozart Question preview.  I had this book out on my table this week, and last year's fourth graders got so excited and asked me to read it again, so I guess it made an impression.  We will be using the text to connect to last week's story "The Power of Light" and a poem we read titled "The Butterfly." The kids will be looking for thematic threads that run between all three texts.  The week will end with the class discussing dilemmas faced by the characters, dilemmas kids face today, and a dilemma that will pop up in the text we will be exploring next week. 

Fifth Grade PA will be spending our week with an amazing book called The Collector of Moments by Quint Buchholtz. I can't give too much away here, but I will say that our work with this text last year inspired my students and acted as a catalyst for some profound changes in how kids viewed everyday beauty.  I'm really excited to see where it takes the fifth graders this week.  

My Wish for my Students