Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer Reading List

Last year, the 4PA students created a summer reading list for K-5 students based on their own recommendations. The complete list can be found here: http://www.brookdalepa.com/2015/06/summer-reading-list.html 

Have fun reading this summer!!!


Capstone Projects

Before the school year ends, I wanted to praise the fifth graders for their outstanding work on this year's Capstone Project.  I was so impressed with the confidence and innovation shown by all of the kids.  Very well done 5PA!!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

6th Grade PA

For the 5th graders moving forward in PA next year, the 6th grade team at Hill asked that I pass these links on for summer practice.  Everyone should spend some time this summer reviewing grammar topics.  
Here are the websites they recommend. They are listed in order of difficulty, so I suggest you to begin with the first website and follow in a progressive order.
 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Last Week of PA and TD

The final day of PA and TD this year will be May 23rd.  It's been a great year with the kids, but we still have a few things we will be doing next week...

Kindergarten TD will be working on something special to share with their teachers during the final week of school.  

First Grade TD really blew my mind last week with their fairy tale mash-up stories.  The way the pairs were working together, the conversations they had, and their ability to truly listen to each others' ideas was impressive.  We will be working on these stories all week long.

Second Grade TD will complete the Athenian Secret problem solving challenge during out time together.

3PA will finish reading the Kate DiCamillo novel The Tiger Rising during the last days of PA.  We are following the trail of three metaphors in this piece of prose and trying to figure out how they connect.  What do the suitcase, Rob's Legs, and the tiger represent?

4PA will be making our own version of an art instillation done in Emily Dickinson's hometown of Amherst, MA.  The kids are going to make a "little white house" that shows the meaning of one of Dickinson's poems.  The conversations we have had about the messages of her poetry have been impressive.  

5PA has reached the finish line of the Capstone project!  I will have the fifth graders all day on the 18th and 19th.  This was the only way to get through 27 20-30 minute presentations. I am so proud of the work that the kids have done on this year-long project and I cannot wait to celebrate all of the amazing work this group has done.  

Presenting on the 18th: 
Maggie, Liam, Matthew, Teagan, Catherine, Aarushi, Anthony, Aadit, Dylan, Madoc, Jash, Jack, Ana, and Eliza.

Presenting on the 19th:
Claire, Patrick, Grace, Corinne, Achint, Katie, Asher, Connor, Zachary, Jayden, Kate, , Daniel, and Arkesh.


Friday, May 6, 2016

PA and TD for the Week of 5-9

Thank you all so very much for making this past week so special.  Teaching is a great way to spend a day, especially when the students love to learn and think as much as the little people I see every day do. Next year will be my 20th year as a teacher, so I have some experience with teacher appreciation weeks. The thoughtful notes from you and your children recharge that 22year old who set up his first classroom at Brokdale in 1996. Books I buy using your generous Amazon gift card will be added to my collection, some will sit next to books from my first students. There are three dozen roses in my dining room, several Target gift cards, and a month of free coffee from your kindness. Thank you. 
    

Kindergarten TD will be having fun with two picture books this week.  Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothes is a silly collection of animals struggling to wear human clothing.  The kids will be adding their own page to this book.  The other story, The Book of Bad Ideas, is a humorous collection of "errors in judgment" that many kids make. The kids will also be creating a page for this book.  

First Grade TD have been split into pairs for the final activity of the year. The groups will be taking two fairy tales and writing a "Fairy Tale Mash-Up" using the best parts of both books.  I wonder what the three little pigs would do with Cinderella???

Second Grade TD will be working in two teams to solve puzzles inspired by Ancient Greek mathematicians.  The "Flaming Lightning Bolts" and "The Greeks" are the two team names the kids selected, and they will be competing against each other doing some out of the box higher-level problem solving.  

Third Grade PA will finish their Egypt assessment this week and then move on to the final project of the year.  We will be reading the novel The Tiger Rising by Kate Di Camillo.  This is a wonderful piece of prose that layers many themes and metaphors that we will be discussing as a group. 

Fourth Grade PA will continue our investigation of the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson this week.  

Fifth Grade PA has our last five days of Capstone time before the presentations begin on the 18th.  The summary should be completed by Monday or Tuesday, and then the group will work on finishing up their implementation plans, the visual, and then the speeches.  It is an expectation that the kids be working on this at home each night to get the final parts of the project ready to go.  I am thrilled with what I have seen so far from this amazing group of independent learners!  

What is Creative Problem Solving?