Thank you so much for all the amazing treats, gifts, notes, and gift cards! Your generosity amazes me. To all my students and to their families, have a wonderful break and enjoy the holidays! See you in January! All my best, Mr. Schumann
Kindergarten and First Grade TD will end the year using their creativity and holiday spirit to create their own version of a house in a really wonderful book for this time of year, The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza by David Shannon. The story is about over-doing holiday lights and making the neighbors a bit cranky. We will read the book, design a light display, and then we will watch a few short videos of over the top light displays...just some fun to end 2016. All of the first graders can take Frindle home over break to finish, if they are not done by Monday.
Second Grade TD will finish our presentations on natural disasters on Tuesday, I hope, and then share them with the group. This may carry over into the first week we are back in 2017. The pairs have been doing an excellent job on this project!
3PA will end 2016 with one of my favorite books, The 11th Hour by Graeme Base. The story follows a mystery at the 11th birthday of an elephant held at the 11th hour of the day. He prepares a feast for the party, but when the time comes to dine, the feast is gone! There are over 1,000 clues hidden in the pictures that lead to discovering who ate the feast. The kids will be using Morse Code, using mirrors to read da Vinci writing, reading the roots of plants, and many more unconventional methods of reading to find out who ate the feast.
4PA will stay in the 1920's for the last week of 2016, continuing to explore the Harlem Renaissance through the poetry of Langston Hughes. We will be expanding our work to look at visual artists and we will be listening to some amazing music from Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong to round out the year.
5PA will continue researching the good and bad of using GMO's in the human food chain for the three days we will be having PA this week. The kids and I have had some good conversations about the six articles I gave them to read. This week, the kids will be finding their own sources to help solidify which side of this issue they side with.
Kindergarten TD will be introduced to a new reading strategy this week, one that their classmates will be learning the the weeks to come. I will be explaining using context clues in a sentence to figure out what unknown words mean. The K team calls this strategy "Tryin' Lion" and I'm doing the same. We will play some games on the Smartboard using context clues, and I have some big books that will will be using to cover up key words in sentences. We will have to work together to determine a replacement word that makes sense. First Grade TD will continue our work with Frindle by Andrew Clements. Last week, we began writing 7 word summaries of each chapter as we read. This is harder than you might think for the 1st graders, condensing an entire chapter of a book into exactly 7 words. The group will continue to write summaries and we will examine how conflict leads to change in this novel. For more books by this author, check out his website: andrewclements.com
Second Grade TD will continue to research one of three natural disasters: lahars, tsunami, or sinkholes. The kids are working in pairs to find facts, record them, and then we will be learning about Google Slides. The kids will be creating a presentation to share with the class. We are using an great research tool in class, InstaGrok. Have your son or daughter show you how this search engine works and how it is different from/better than Google. 3PA will spend our week on a theme scavenger hunt of sorts. I have several cards with short literary passages that the kids will be reading to determine the theme of the text. We will compare our themes and determine how best to capture the theme of the passage in a sentence. On Friday, the kids will be taking a theme assessment based on a Fable by Aesop. 4PA will be exploring the Harlem Renaissance all week, mostly through the poetry of Langston Hughes. The kids will spend a few days analyzing a poem called "Freedom's Plow" in teams of two. By the end of the week, I hope to move the class onto laptops to explore two new links under "student resources" on the PA site. My vision is to create a virtual gallery of the Harlem Renaissance on CoSpaces that captures the art, music, and poetry of this amazing time in American history.
5PA will spend the week reading and researching the good and bad of GMO's in the food we eat. There is a lot of reading we have to do to develop an understanding of both sides of this complex issue, and to develop an informed opinion that can be debated with the group.
Kindergarten TD groups will be rotating some new students in and some students who have been coming to see me will be rotating back to their homerooms beginning on Monday. The kids and I will be exploring snowflakes together through two books. The first, Snowflake Bentley, is an informational text about the first person to take photographs of snowflakes. You can read more about him here: http://snowflakebentley.com/ The second book is a classic literary text, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. We will be comparing the two books, examining the hexagonal structure of snowflakes, and we will create a snowflake of our own.
First Grade TD will start the week off finishing the infographics we worked on last week. The kids are creating giant informational posters on tornadoes, koalas, George Washington, droughts, chipmunks, and more. When these are done, we will begin reading the novel Frindle. A few weeks ago I had Frindle in my plans for second grade, but I forgot that we read the book in first grade, so all of this might sound familiar. It's hard to keep all six grade levels straight in my head sometimes. I know the kids will love this chapter book.
Second Grade TD will also rotate students beginning on Monday. Most of the kids who have been in the group will be rotating back to their homerooms, and a new batch of students will be joining me for a unit on natural disasters. We will be researching tsunamis, lahars, and sinkholes. We will be reading books, watching a few videos, and finding facts online for this project.
3PA will explore the worlds from The Girl Who Owned a City using Google Cardboard on Monday and Tuesday. Some of the kids may need to polish up their work over the weekend on CoSpaces. Moving forward this week, the class will be exploring poetry on poemhunter.com. We will be looking for examples of poems or songs that connect with our identity.
4PA will be exploring the VR Newbery worlds and assessing each other as we use Google Cardboard at the start of the week. The fourth grade PA kids will also have a special opportunity to join the first and second graders at an assembly with last year's winner of the Newbery Medal who will be at Brookdale as a part of Naperville Reads. We will use the questions the kids generated for our Socratic seminar comparing children's literature from the 1940's to contemporary fiction, and then we will begin a new unit about the poetry and art of the Harlem Renaissance. Our main focus will be the poetry of Langston Hughes.
5PA will be taking a standardized reading test, Gates-MacGinnity, in PA on Monday and Tuesday. This is a test given to every fifth grader in District 204. The TED talks will be given in class on Wednesday and Thursday, and then we will move into some informational reading about the pros and cons of GMO's. Bioengineering advancements have allowed for the creation of genetically modified organisms that are in the human food chain. Is this a good thing, or is it a bad thing? We will be reading and researching this for a Socratic seminar in the next few weeks.