Thursday, September 24, 2015

PA and TD for the Week of 9-28

Thanks to all the parents who came out to Curriculum Night on Wednesday.  As always, if you have any questions about what was covered, please send me an email.  Here is what we will be working on...

Kindergarten Talent Development will spend the week investigating the farm and the five senses using informational texts as the kids get ready for their first field trip to the farm.  When they come back, we are going to make a big Venn Diagram comparing how the books showed how things on the farm look, smell, feel, and sound to what they experienced with their own senses.  I should have said four senses as we will not be tasting any farm things in class.

First Grade Talent Development will continue reading the novel Frindle together in class.  What is Mrs. Granger going to do to try to knock the silliness out of Nick? How are words created? What is Nick going to do this year in school?  All will be answered next week.

Second Grade Talent Development  will spend the week researching a topic of their choice using www.instagrok.com. This is a wonderful research tool that creates mind maps with layers of information.  We will be doing a lesson comparing the usable information found in a Google search to the information found when Groking.  I will be following the research strategy learned in the LMC of plan, do review.  The kids will also be comparing the information found online to a literary text on the same topic.  

Third Grade PA will be continuing our work on the Shine school project this week.  The kids have been working on developing a list of the materials available on Shine before any more planning is done, good idea Joey! Once the lists of what is available are complete, teams will begin designing and planning the school and the classes the kids will be taking up in this strange new world.  Don't be surprised if some of the kids want to do some at home research on the uses of jellyfish!

Fourth Grade PA will be learning about Socratic Seminars this week.  We will be going over the guidelines for a seminar, learning the difference between open and closed questions, and developing questions we will use in our first seminar on chapters 1-15 of The Secret Garden. The students will be given a few choices for an essay on the novel on Friday, but the essay won't be written until we complete the book.  I want the kids to have the questions now so they can gather relevant evidence from the text to support their thinking when it comes time to do the writing.

Fifth Grade PA will be reading the Ray Bradbury short story "The Veldt" this week to examine the role of technology in our lives. The students will be selecting one of the following essay questions write about in class:
  1. Do you think this story would work the same if it were literally about TV in the 1950s instead of the virtual reality nursery? What would be different about that version of this story? Is this story really about TV or is it about some larger issue?


  1. The virtual reality room is important, but what about the rest of the technology? How does the house interact with the family? What other gadgets does Bradbury mention? Is there a pattern to what gadgets the Hadleys have in their house?


  1. Do you feel like you're really there in Africa when Bradbury describes the scene? How does Bradbury describe it? We think he describes a lot of smells (possibly just because the word "odorophonic" is funny and starts with "odor"). But maybe you noticed other senses he uses. How do his descriptions affect your reading?

 We will be having a "Genius Hour" on Wednesday to explore passions for The Capstone project.  The students will be going deeper into their passions to find examples of what breaks their hearts about the topics.  

An Update from Mr. Schumann

As you all know, two weeks ago I fell down the stairs at my house. During the fall I fractured the femoral head of my right thigh bone, disl...