Friday, October 30, 2015

PA and TD for the Week of 11-2

Project Arrow progress reports were sent home on Friday in an envelope that will be in your son or daughter's backpack.  Here is the plan for next week...

Kindergarten Talent Development will continue to work on a few logic puzzles this week, but we will also begin something new.  The kids and I will explore three books this week, Dr. Ted by Brookdale's resident author Andrea Beaty, Peanut Butter and Cupcake, and a version of The Three Little Pigs. We will be working on a three stage story map that will compare story elements from all three books and lead to a good discussion about how books can be different.

First Grade Talent Development finished the "Frightening Fruit" stories last week, shared them with the class, and they were brought home.  This week, we will try to finish reading Frindle and work on mapping examples of change in the text. 

Second Grade Talent Development will be finishing their butterfly effect timelines that we have been working on, and then we will be discussing interdependence, a topic being explored in the classrooms.  We will be learning about natural disasters and how the rescue efforts are an example of interdependence.  I have three information articles about responses to different disasters that illustrate how people work together in times of need that we will be reading together. 

3PA will only see me three days this week because of an assembly on Thursday and conferences on Friday.  We will be learning more about how adjectives modify nouns and learning about articles and how they act as adjectives as well.  Then the kids will begin reading a new novel written by O. T. Nelson titled The Girl Who Owned a City. This book is special to me because it is set in Glen Ellyn, IL where I grew up.  The main character's house is only a few blocks away from my childhood home.  The story begins at the end of a plague that killed everyone in the world over 12 years of age, so the kids are left alone to try to figure out how to make things work again.  The narrative fits in perfectly with our themes of change, conflict, and systems as well as our learning about complex story elements.  I've used this book for years and the kids LOVE the novel so I cannot wait to get started. 

4PA will continue with grammar, but we will also start a new project that I am excited to introduce.  The class will be reading the 1941 Newbery Medal winner Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry.  It is an adventure story about a boy's journey to find courage on an isolated island.  The kids will all be given the Newbery criteria that are used to select the winning book each year and deciding if the committee made the right choice in awarding the medal to this title.  I am anticipating great Socratic Seminars discussing how books for younger readers have evolved since the 1940's, and given the high quality of literature for kids now, if this book would even be a consideration today.  This will lead into a mock Newbery award book club.  Mrs. Furstenau and I have teamed up for this idea.  She bought twelve books that are up for the 2016 Newbery that students will be reading, not all of them, but a few.  The class and I will be evaluating the texts using the Newbery criteria and discussing which text is most worthy of the award.

5PA will be continuing our grammar voyage this week, taking an assessment on theme, and then we get to start a great novel project!  My thanks goes out to the parent who purchased 16 copies of two books I had on my Amazon wish list last year, because without the donation I would not have been able to do this unit.  The class will be reading two different award winning novels that were published last year, Crossover by Kwame Alexander and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.  Both are amazing, and both are written in verse.  We will be using the following questions, pulled from 6th grade ELA standards, to guide our reading:

  1. Describe how each story's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
2. What is the central idea/theme of the text? How do you know?


3) How do the author’s choices impact the development of a text?


4)  How does word choice affect the reader’s understanding of the text?

5)   How does the structure of a text contribute to my understanding?

6) How do the characters evolve from the beginning of the story to the end?



Hello Again...

It's been some time since I've posted anything, and I wanted to share a few things before the end of the year.  First, Betty Slater....