Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PA and TD for the Week of 11-30

Kindergarten Talent Development will be reading a short story by A. A. Milne titled "Eeyore has a Birthday" together in class.  We will be looking for clues to uncover the truth about Pooh...is he a "bear of very little brain" or is he one of the smartest of the bunch? We will also be trying to figure out why Piglet wants to be first with his present and what we would do with an empty pot. 

First Grade Talent Development will be reading one of the Nate the Great books together and then diving into a much more challenging text.  The kids asked that we read Superfudge by Judy Blume as a follow-up to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that we read last year in Kindergarten, but after rereading the novel myself, I found a few questionable items in the text so I picked another classic.  We will begin Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach as a vehicle to understand character traits and an amazing adventure story. 

Second Grade Talent Development will be finishing up our work with Mr. Popper's Penguins this week by discussing the answers to the questions the group has been working on.  The main focus will be the multiple perspectives found in the answers and if a question can have more than one "right" answer.  I will also be showing the group how hearing another student's ideas can shape their own thinking about a topic or a story in a new way. 

Third Grade PA will be creating a Google Slide presentation to give to the class about their plan for a new city based on the novel The Girl Who Owned a City. Teams will be planning for food and supplies, defense of their new city, the location of their city, writing a constitution and set of laws for the city, and developing slides that show how the team's original ideas and thinking would make their city truly work.  

Fourth Grade PA will be developing questions for their Socratic Seminar on all the possible Newbery books we have been reading.  Then, we are going to switch gears and examine a period of U.S. history that brought about a revolution of sorts with the arts. The fourth graders and I will begin learning about the Harlem Renaissance.  To build some background on our PA themes of conflict and how that leads to change, we will be learning about Jim Crow laws that followed slavery in the south and how that led to large migrations of black people to places like Harlem where a rebirth of the arts took place in painting, jazz, and poetry.  Our first poet will be Langston Hughes.   I have 18 pages of his poetry that we will be reading and discussing. 

Fifth Grade PA will have until Wednesday the 2nd to complete the questions about our two poetry novels.  Then, we will be developing questions for a multi-day Socratic Seminar comparing the two books using the 12 pages of writing the kids have completed. The students have done an amazing job with all of this work!!!

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...