Monday, November 28, 2016

Designing for virtual reality and the impact on education | Alex Faaborg...

PA and TD for the Week of 11-28

Kindergarten Talent Development will be focusing on story elements this week using a deck of "Story Cards" that have different elements that make up a story. We will be learning about the oral tradition where stories were passed down from generation to generation. Pairs of students will be given different cards that they will put together to create a story they can share orally with the class.  

First Grade Talent Development will be researching a topic that the kids will pick based on their interests.  We will learn about infographics, pictures that are annotated with information, and then create one based on the topic that was researched. Here is an example that I will be sharing in class:
Second Grade Talent Development will begin reading a novel by Dan Gutman titled The Homework Machine, and then we will work in groups to create a machine that will do something else that needs to be done, but might not be the most fun to do.  
3PA will finish our virtual reality models of Grandville, and then move on to part two of our book.  The "City" in The Girl Who Owned a City will be revealed and kids will be taking detailed notes to create a virtual reality model of the second part of this engaging tale. 

4PA will finish up the virtual reality models of our Newbery books this week in class.  The kids will be creating a rubric for assessing the project, and then, using Google Cardboard, walk through each project and assess them.  The kids will also be developing questions for a Socratic seminar comparing books for kids written in the 1940's to the contemporary books we just finished reading. 

5PA will continue to work on our TED talk about a young person who was a catalyst for change.  The students will begin presenting their TED talks next week. You can see a TED talk about Google Cardboard at the top of the PA site.  

Friday, November 18, 2016

How to Develop Creative and Critical Thinking in Your Child

This is a great resource that Amber Morgan, Instructional Specialist in District 204, sent all the PA teachers today.  I wanted to pass it on. 

PA and TD for the Week of 11-21

Kindergarten TD will be reading two different books on caterpillars this week.  The kids and I will be looking for similarities and differences between the two fiction stories.

First Grade TD will be working on how to have partner discussions based on the Eric Carle picture book The Tiny Seed. I created a Google slide presentation with scaffolded questions that get progressively more challenging for the kids to discuss in pairs. 
Second Grade TD will spend our two days this week with an article about a group of ice cream shops.  The article is filled with tables and graphs that we will analyze, looking for customer trends like which day of the week is the most popular, what flavors people buy, and we will make generalizations about the businesses based on the data presented. 

Third Grade PA will continue our journey with Lisa and Todd while we discuss how characters respond to change.  The class will also begin creating a virtual model of Grandville using CoSpaces

Fourth Grade PA will also be using CoSpaces to recreate the world described in their Newbery books.  This world will show the setting, characters, important events, and it will be annotated for classmates to get an idea of what the book is all about and why the reader believes it was worthy of the award.

Fifth Grade PA will be using our two days for Capstone research. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

PA and TD for the Week of 11-14

Kindergarten TD will spend this week looking for sounds we hear in words.  This is an extension of the Jolly Phonics work the kids do in their classrooms, but with a twist.  The kids and I will go on a tour of the school looking for sounds and we will explore books searching for different sounds.  On Friday, I will be trying out a math puzzle the K team asked me to test out.

First Grade TD did a great job last week taking notes about two different picture books, and this week we will use those notes to write a book critique. Later in the week, we will be examining text features in informational books and literary books. 

Second Grade TD spent last week reading two different versions of "Little Red Riding Hood."  This week, students will be making Venn Diagrams in teams comparing the different stories.  Later in the week, we will begin to explore the elements of tone and mood in the books we read. 

Third Grade PA will continue to explore how character's experiences shape their identity using the novel The Girl Who Owned a City.  This week we will "step inside" the characters and think about what Lisa and Todd might be thinking about with these questions:

  • What can this person see, observe, or notice?
  • What might this person know, understand, hold true, or believe?
  • What might this person care deeply about?
  • What might this person wonder about or question?
Fourth Grade PA will finish reading Call it Courage this week.  Some of the kids have already picked a modern Newbery Award winning book to read and analyze, for the next step in this unit.  We will be examining the similarities and differences in writing for young people in the 1940's compared to contemporary fiction. We will also be picking a color, a symbol, and an image to summarize Call it Courage. 

Fifth Grade PA will continue our close read of a chapter from Little Women on Monday as we try to make sense of the vocabulary and writing style of Louisa May Alcott.  On Tuesday, I will be introducing a new unit to the fifth graders inspired by young people making a difference in the world.  The fifth graders will be writing and giving a TED Talk based on a young person who tried to make the world a better place.  The kids will pick a person from a list I have, or pick someone they are inspired by, to research and share with the class.  I have posted two TED Talks that I will be sharing with the kids this week to get the kids excited. 

A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez

What's wrong with our food system | Birke Baehr | TEDxNextGenerationAshe...

Friday, November 4, 2016

PA and TD for the Week of 11-7

Please bring your son or daughter to our conferences on Monday and Thursday evening.

Kindergarten TD will be working on several logic problems this week to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. 

First Grade TD will be learning about how to write an opinion piece that is supported by direct evidence from a book.  The kids will become book critics as they evaluate two different picture books, form an opinion about which book was better, and writing a paragraph that explains their choice. 

Second Grade TD will be reading the 1857 Grimm story "Little Red Cap" and comparing it to a Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood titled Lon Po Po.  

Third Grade PA will continue reading The Girl Who Owned a City.  Our focus is how experiences characters have shape their identity and lead to change. 

Fourth Grade PA began reading the 1941 winner of the Newbery Medal last week, and we will continue to read this short novel in class this week.  As we read, we will be discussing the criteria used in the selection process for the award as well as how Mafatu's journey creates change.

Fifth Grade PA will begin the research for the Capstone Project on Wednesday.  I'm going to share a few forms with the class for recording the sources found as well as a progress log that will track their work.  On Thursday, we will be reading a chapter from the classic novel Little Women. We will focus on how Jo's writing impacts the family system.    

My Wish for my Students