Friday, October 2, 2015

PA and TD for the Week of 10-5

Kindergarten Talent Development students will continue their work with the five senses this week.  Last week we used books on the farm and the observations the kids made on their field trip to compare how a book and a real experience are different.  This week, the kids will be writing sensory poems about one word, "Happiness sounds like..." using all of the five senses.

First Grade Talent Development is going strong with Frindle.  This week, we will be reading more of the book as a group and playing some dictionary games searching for specific words or for a word that means the same as _____. 

Second Grade Talent Development will be comparing the research we did last week with picture books on the same subject to see if authors really use facts when they write fiction.  What in the book is accurate and what is made up?  

Third Grade PA will have one more week to work on their team projects based on The Green Book.  The groups had some really good conversations as they developed the course descriptions and essential questions for the school on Shine.  I am excited to see what the schools they design next week will look like. 

Fourth Grade PA is doing great work with The Secret Garden. The discussion at our first Socratic Seminar was really impressive.  One of the kids connected the metaphor of "closed doors" in The Secret Garden to Paulo Levi's mother's closed violin case in The Mozart Question AND last year's book The Tiger Rising with Rob's closed suitcase of emotions after his mother's death.  I was blown away with the quality of thinking on display.  This week we will continue reading, discussing, comparing characters, and examining conflict and change in this classic.  I hope to have the kids finish the novel this week. 

Fifth Grade PA will continue our exploration of Ray Bradbury this week with two more short stories, "The Rocket" about a father giving his kids the trip of a lifetime to Mars, and "August 2026, There Will Come Soft Rains" about a house of the future.  The class will also be reading an article from The New York Times about "Marginalia" or the practice of writing thoughts all over texts, a fancy name for annotating the text.  Our Capstone explorations of passions will continue on Wednesday this week.  Last week, kids explored clean water, string theory, protective clothing for athletes, animal poaching, rebuilding after natural disasters, and theater programs for kids with Downs Syndrome.  It was pretty awesome!  On Friday we will have a Socratic Seminar, the first that kids will evaluate each other using our rubric, on what the father in "The Veldt" could learn from the father in "The Rocket." I want to thank Bill Follin for sharing "The Rocket" with me, what an amazing story!

Welcome Back

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...