Thursday, January 7, 2016

PA and TD for the Week of 1-12

Kindergarten Talent Development will be spending our time with an idea I got from Mrs. Brauer.  We will be writing "sticker stories" for the next two weeks.  The kids and I will be going over the elements of a narrative story and how to develop ideas into complete stories that have a fluent path from beginning to end.  I have a random collection of stickers that I will put on writing paper for each student.  They will use the sticker as the main character in the story they will write after completing a story map to showing the elements all good stories contain.

First and Second Grade Talent Development groups will be working on creative writing as well for the next two weeks.  The students will be working in pairs to write stories using two wildly divergent photographs they will be given randomly.  One example, a very old woman eating an enormous cracker paired with a sumo wrestler walking his chihuahua.  No kidding, I have those pictures.  The kids will map out a story using the two pictures as two main characters, develop story elements on a story map, and begin writing the tales.  This is going to be a lot of fun!

Third Grade PA will begin our Ancient Egypt unit this week.  The class and I will begin by understanding when this civilization began, around 5,000 BC, and how that time period relates to Ancient Greece from last year.  The first Olympic Games were in 776 BC, about 4,200 years after Egypt began.  The week will be spent building background knowledge and introducing the world of Ancient Egypt to the class through a documentary we will be taking notes on as we watch. 

Fourth Grade PA will begin a new unit on neurology this week.  We will be looking at two different interactive maps of the human brain to understand the anatomy of a brain and what the different parts control.  We will also be watching a NOVA documentary that shows just how amazing the brain can be.  All of the sites we will be exploring are listed under "student resources" on the PA website.

Fifth Grade PA will be presenting their TED talks about an inspirational young person beginning on Tuesday. I am so looking forward to seeing how all of the hard work that was put into the research and planning of the presentations has evolved. When we are done presenting all 26 talks early the week after next, we will begin a short unit comparing GMO crops (genetically modified organisms) to organic farming and the farm to table movement.  Last year we had some powerful discussions about the pros and cons of each.  I expect the same will be true for this group as well!

My Wish for my Students