Monday, October 2, 2017

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, dislocated my hip, and fractured my acetabulum inside the hip socket. I've had three surgeries to repair the injury and now have a metal plate and several screws holding me together. The kindness of every person at Good Sam and Marian Joy has humbled me and  shown me the amazing things doctors and nurses do every day. They are an amazing group of people.

I'm working hard in physical therapy and occupational therapy, four hours each day, learning how to walk again and move around in a wheelchair and a walker. I'm amazed at the progress I've made, again thanks to the team supporting me with each step.

Thank you all for the incredible acts of kindness you have shown since my injury. The offers to help with meals and shopping once I'm back home did not surprise me because I know how wonderful the Brookdale community is, but you'll never know how much it means. My hospital room is decorated with sweet notes from you and your kids. Please let the kids know that their love, prayers, and support have made a difference in my recovery. Keep them coming. I'm not in pain and am getting better every day.

I'm not sure how long I will be away from school at this time, but the recovery from this type of fracture takes time, it's a rare fracture mostly seen in motorcycle accidents. So, there's the update. My attitude is very positive and hopeful, and I'm looking forward to doing the hard work that awaits. Although I would love to have visits from students, the heavy medication I'm on and the intense therapy schedule makes visitors impossible right now.

Thank you all!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 9-18

There will not be PA or TD on Monday for the final day of CBM testing.

PA Curriculum Night is Thursday from 6:00-7:00 in the LMC.

KTD will continue making dots this week.  I will be finishing up with KP and moving on to KJ.

1TD will continue working on making pages for the grade level ABC book based on The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg.  The creativity I have seen from the first graders has been fun to be a part of.  This week, I will move on to 1K and 1R.

2TD will be completing the toothpick logic problems with me this week.  I will be meeting with the second grade team this week to develop the first small group that will be seeing me regularly for the first quarter of school. Groups are developed collaboratively using classroom observations and assessments, my experience working with these students in the past, and we will review the recent CBM data as well.  TD groups in K-2 are flexible and the students will rotate throughout the year based on what needs the classroom teachers are seeing everyday for higher-level literacy instruction.

3PA will continue to explore the fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling" written in 1844 by Hans Christian Andersen.  Our focus will be looking at the story through multiple perspectives and finding elements that contribute to the theme of the classic story.

Image result for The Ugly Duckling 1844

4PA began the Isaac Singer short story "The Power of Light" on Thursday, and we will be looking at elements of the writing for most of the week.  We created a list of new vocabulary words that we will sift through to start the week.  The kids will be looking for examples of our PA change generalizations in the text, and then I will be sharing a novella by Michael Morpurgo titled The Mozart Question. This is the story of a group of musicians who were forced to play music at German concentration camps as prisoners were loaded off the trains.  It is a story about hope, light in the darkness, and the power of shared experiences.  We will be looking for connections between the two texts as we share this reading experience. 
Image result for the mozart question

5PA only had time to begin seeing what America was like in the early 1950's when Ray Bradbury was writing some of the texts we will be exploring this quarter last week, so this week we will continue to build background knowledge and then dive in to "All Summer in a Day" on Tuesday.  We will be having our first Socratic Seminar this week to discuss the story.

Image result for all summer in a day cover

Monday, September 11, 2017


You will hear more about the Indian Prairie Project Arrow PTA at PA Curriculum Night, 9-21 @6:00, but you can find the meeting schedule, and more information at the link below. I will have membership forms for you all on the 21st. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

International Dot Day 9-15

International Dot Day
International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

And each year on International Dot Day – with the help of people just like you –the inspiration continues. What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning around the world as people of all ages re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do.

All of the Kindergarten students have spent time in Mr. Schumann’s Talent Development classroom during the first weeks of school reading this story and making their own dots.  

Brookdale Kindergarten Students should wear something with dots on September 15th to celebrate making their mark! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

PA and Talent Development for the Week of 9-11

I will be giving CBM tests to all of our kindergarten and first grade students on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week.  These are one one one assessments that can take up to 30 minutes per student, so I will only be seeing my students on Monday and Thursday this week.

Kindergarten TD has been making amazing dots as we prepare for International Dot Day on Friday.  We would like all the kindergartners to wear dots to school on Friday as we celebrate creativity at Brookdale.  The kindergartners are going to make their mark and see where it takes them. 

First Grade TD will continue our work with the ABC book The Z Was Zapped. Students will be coming to see me in small groups to work on their own page for a grade level book.

Second Grade TD will continue with whole group lessons this week.  During our time this week, I will be asking the kids to solve complex logic problems using toothpicks.  Yes, it is going to be challenging, and frustrating at first, but I know that with some time and logical and creative thinking, the kids will feel successful.

3PA will finish up our work with "Shells" by Cynthia Rylant and begin reading the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen "The Ugly Duckling" written in 1844.  The kids and I will be looking for story elements that contribute to the theme. 

4PA will be learning about allegories this week.  The kids and I will be reading an allegory by Eve Bunting titled The Terrible Things. An allegory is a story with a hidden meaning, usually a moral or political one.  This story will lead us into the next few weeks of reading. 

5PA will be entering the fantastic world of Ray Bradbury this week.  The 5th graders the last three years have devoured Bradbury's writing.  We will begin our unit with some context of the time when Bradbury was writing the stories we will be reading, early 1950's America.  Then, our first piece will be a short story titled "All Summer in a Day" about a special day on Venus. 

PA Curriculum Night is the 21st from 6:00-7:00 in the LMC.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

PA and Talent Development For the Week of 9-4

Our first week back went very well at Brookdale.  It was great to see the kids jump back into working in collaborative groups so smoothly.  Here is what we will be working on this week in PA and TD.

Kindergarten Talent Development: Small groups of students will be coming to my room for the next few weeks to make their "dot" inspired by one of the books I read to our new friends last week.  September 15th is International Dot Day, inspired by the Peter Reynolds book The Dot, and the kindergartners and I are going to make dots that show how creative and unique the kids are.

First Grade Talent Development: Last week, I had the chance to meet with every first grade classroom twice for 25 minutes.  During one of the lessons, we read The Z Was Zapped, and used inferences to figure out what the text was going to say on each page.  For the next several weeks, small groups of first graders will be visiting my room to make their own page for our own versions of this ABC book.

Second Grade Talent Development: The second graders will all be visiting my classroom this week to do a reading lesson, but with a twist.  Students will be looking at several sentences through a different lens, looking for hidden words inside of a sentence.  Then, teams of students will try to write a sentence of their own that follows the pattern.

3PA will begin our week by examining the concept of change.  What types of things change? How do they change? What causes change? The kids will be grouping examples of change into different categories and then looking for examples in the short story "Shells" by Cynthia Rylant.  The students will also take a formative assessment on literature using a fable.

4PA will begin our journey by reviewing a variety of literary elements that we will be learning about all year long.  The kids will search for examples of the elements in two different poems, Birdfoot's Grandpa by Joe Bruchac and Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye. Later in the week, students will be writing their own version of Famous and taking a short formative assessment on different literary elements. 

5PA will be spending the week with an amazing picture book, The Collector of Moments by Quint Buchholz.  

This is a complex text that will take several hours to read and dissect searching for the theme.  The fifth graders will also be taking a formative assessment based on a poem titled Autobiographia Literareria by Frank O'Hara.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PA Curriculum Night

Project Arrow Curriculum Night will be on 9-21 from 6:00-7:00 in the Brookdale LMC.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Stay Connected

If your child is in PA, and you did not get an email from me this week, please send me an email ( so I can add you to the PA list.  Thanks. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-18 School Year

Our First Week Back

Welcome to The 2017-2018 school year everyone!  This is what we will be up to during our first two weeks of school.

Kindergarten: I will have two 25 minute times with each of the kindergarten classes to welcome them to our school, introduce myself to the kids and explain my job, and to share a few of my favorite picture books.  We will be reading I Want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen and The Dot by Peter Reynolds.  In the next few weeks, I will be meeting with small groups of students until each kindergartner has come to my classroom to make their own "dot" for International Dot Day on 9-15.  
First Grade: Every first grade class will also be coming to my classroom twice in the first few weeks of school to read my favorite alphabet book of all time by my favorite author Chris Van Allsburg.  I will be reading The Z Was Zapped to all of the kids and then challenging them to create their own page for the sequel.  
Second Grade: Every second grader will be spending 50 minutes in my classroom to start off the year.  We will be reading a picture book with a great message about not giving up, facing obstacles, and how to foster creativity.  What Do You Do With an Idea by Kobi Yamada shows how ideas grow and change.  The second graders will be creating an abstract image to show an idea they have in their amazing minds. 
3-5 Project Arrow is going to begin our journey by working together to design and modify a city for superheroes.  Teams will be developing special features for the special residents of this city.  How will the city be hidden? What gadgets will it have? What will the metropolis look like?  These and many more questions will need to be discussed as we build our creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills.  We work together a lot in Project Arrow, so these skills are going to be essential for a successful year.  

Project Arrow Schedule
3PA 1:45-2:30
4PA 9:20-10:20
5PA 11:10-12:10

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Welcome Back!

I hope to light some fires in Project Arrow and Talent Development this year!  Our Meet and Greet is on the 21st from 9:00-10:00 and I hope to see all of my old and new students stop by and say hello.  If you could, please send your child with 10 sharpened pencils for PA and one pack of lined, 3 hole punched notebook paper on the first day of our classes. If you have an extra box of tissues, I'd be happy to take a box as well.  This is my 4th year as the PA teacher and this is my first request for any materials.  I'll try to keep this pattern. If you are new to PA this year, please bring a 1inch 3 ring binder with you on our first day.

When I know the schedule for each grade level, I will post it here.  Talent Development won't begin for a few weeks after school begins because I do whole group lessons and things in the classroom with K-2, but as soon as I know my small group pullout schedule schedule, I will post it as well.  

Summer in Sister Bay went way too fast!  I'll be back in Naperville in a few days to get ready for another year with the amazing kids at Brookdale.  Enjoy the remainder of summer.  

PA kids, be ready to talk about the best book you read this summer to share with the group on our first day back.  Nothing formal, no structure to a "book report" (I hate book reports), we are just going to talk about what we read this summer as a way of reconnecting. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Have a Great Summer!!!

Thanks for all the hard work and creativity this year kids!  See you in August when PA and TD will begin again.  To my 5th grade friends, Hill is lucky to have you! 

5PA will meet on Wednesday for one final Capstone.

2TD will meet on Wednesday and Thursday.

I'm in end of the year meetings and finishing up the administrative sides of my job the rest of the week, and then off to Door County for the whole summer. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ultimate Paper Airplane Challenge

Next week will be the final week of PA and TD for the year.  I wanted to spend some of our time finishing up what we have been working on, and some of our time having some challenging fun as well.  All I'm sharing now are these three websites...hmmmm...I wonder what it might be???  You might want to try a few of these to warm-up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

PA and TD Next Week

I will be giving CBM tests to our K-1 students next week, so we will only have Friday groups.  5th grade will have laptops to continue to work on their Capstone Project during their PA time.   

We watched this video today on tips for giving a great TED talk, I recommend everyone watch it again as our presentations begin in 8 school days. Our schedule is below, and parents are invited to come watch your kids.

Capstone Schedule 1:00-2:00

Monday 5-22
Jayden, Charlie, Will

Tuesday 5-23
Megan, Mehar,  Dhiraj

Wednesday 5-24
Lucas, Felipe, Martin

Thursday 5-25
Abhilasha, Jack,  Zoe

Friday 5-26
Ethan, Sarah

Wednesday 5-31 Make-ups

Friday, May 5, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 5-8

Thank you for everything you did to make Teacher Appreciation Week so special.  All the notes, treats, gift cards, and flowers were very kind.

KTD spent last week going through different nonfiction and fiction stories looking for text elements common to each.  As a group, they came up with almost 50 ways they are unique!  We will start off our week learning about what a Venn diagram is using a math game I found: Next, the kids will make one big diagram comparing fiction and nonfiction text features. Then, we will be learning about captions found under photos in nonfiction books and we will be writing some of our own using a slideshow I created with photos of animals.

1TD will continue our work with protagonists and antagonists this week as we explore a variety of books. Teams of students will be making T charts to show what they pulled out of the stories. Later in the week, we will be using Scrabble tiles to have a verb battle!

1CD finished up their ultimate tree houses with me on Friday, so this week, we are going to create a creature that is able to survive in a very inhospitable habitat, inside a volcano. What adaptations would it need? What features does it have? How does it hunt? What does it eat? How does it survive the temperatures? Teams of kids will pool their ideas to create a new creature!

2TD will explore more secrets of The Parthenon this week. Did you know the restoration took over 30 years and cost more than $100,000,000! As the most copied building on Earth, and an enduring symbol of wealth, power, and democracy, we will explore how they put the pieces back together again.

3PA will end our Egypt unit on Monday as we finish examining the fall of Ancient Egypt, was it really a massive drought? We will have to see what the soil samples from the area show in the documentary we started on Friday. We will end the year reading a Newbery winning novel, The Watson's Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. This is a story of a family from Flint, MI who takes a summer trip to Birmingham in 1963. We will be talking about family bonds, racism in the South during the 60's, bullying, friendship, guilt, blame, and the good times people have with those they love.
4PA have all cut out the six panels for their Emily Dickinson houses. This week we will finish the designs and put them together. Look for them outside of the PA room. The week will end with an examination of our personality types using the Meyers-Briggs test. This will lead to a final neuroscience project to end the year.

5PA is almost done with the Capstone project! This week, the bibliographies are due on Tuesday with 20-30 sources in APA format, and the class will put the finishing touches on their visual to go along with their TED talks. As I write this, the PTA is supervising the whole school while they watch the movie of The Tale of Despereaux. Best part of my day was when the whole fifth grade group asked if they could bring laptops to the gym and sit in the back to work on their projects. That's a cool way to end Teacher Appreciation Week.

Monday, May 1, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 5-1

KTD will be exploring the differences between fiction and nonfiction books this week.  Teams of students will be making  Venn diagrams showing how the texts are similar and different. 

1TD will be learning about common traits of protagonists and antagonists in fiction stories.  Teams of kids will be reading a variety of picture books and creating an infographic poster that shows what these characters have in common. 

2TD will continue to work on their posters comparing life in Athens to life in Sparta.  Later in the week, we will be watching a PBS documentary on the Parthenon.

3PA will finish up our Ancient Egypt unit this week.  The kids will be designing a set of stamps showing important moments in Egyptian history.

4PA will be creating a "Little White House" honoring a poem by Emily Dickinson.  This project was inspired by an art show in Amhurst, MA where artists created an outdoor exhibit on the grounds of Emily's house.  
Image result for Emily Dickinson little white house   
5PA is nearing the end of our Capstone journey.  This week, the solution writing is due, and we will continue to add to the visuals that will pair with the speech.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

PA PTA Fundraiser

Image result for chipotle 59

Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to
support IPPA PTA. Come in to the Chipotle at 2856 S. Route
59 Suite 108 in Naperville on Wednesday, April 26th
between 4:00pm and 8:00pm. Bring in the flyer I emailed everyone, show it on your smartphone, or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to IPPA PTA.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Message from the PA Classroom Coordinators

Hello PA Families,

I just wanted to reach out to let you know next week is teacher appreciation week.  You will be getting information from your child's classroom coordinator on the events happening that week soon. As we have done in the past, I would like to organize a group gift for Mr. Schumann from his PA families.  If you would like to participate in this, please send the money to school with your child in an envelope for the office for Nicole Briggs. 

I would like to present this gift Monday May 1st. Please send your contributions by Friday the 28th . If you are are unable to get the money to me in time, but would like to contribute please just let me know so I can include it in the gift. We will get him an Amazon gift card, as that is his favorite thing! 
This teacher appreciation gift is replacing the end of year gift like last year.

Thank you for your consideration
Nicole Briggs & Kristen Harding

PA and TD for the Week of 4-24

KTD has become a traveling theater group, sharing our Runny Babbit plays with kids all over the school.  Later in the week, we will be looking at an invention everyone knows about, but we will try to make it even better! 

1TD continues to do a great job examining a variety of picture books looking for examples of different types of symbiotic relationships. This unit will finish up this week. 

2TD will turn our attention to Sparta this week.  The kids will be researching this second city state to compare the systems of daily life and the values of these different parts of Ancient Greece. 

3PA will be presenting their slideshows on three different parts of Ancient Egypt this week.  Monday and Tuesday we will be making our speaker notes and rehearsing.  We will begin presenting on Wednesday.  On Friday, the kids and I will begin examining how the women Pharaohs ruled differently than the male Pharaohs.   

4PA will spend the week exploring the writing of Emily Dickinson.  I have a link on the PA site to all of her poetry, and the kids will be examining her work with a SIFT graphic organizer.  S: examine the title and the text for symbolism. I: identify images and sensory details. F: figurative language, looking for metaphor, simile, repetition, omission, unusual word order. T: tone and theme. 

5PA will be working on their Capstone projects all week.  The first part of the summary is due tomorrow.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

5th Grade Capstone Update

I wanted to share an update on where all of the 5th graders should be with their Capstone projects, and an outline of the next month. 

Next Tuesday the 25th, the 3-5 page summary of the research done on identifying the problem is due.  This summary should clearly identify the problem in a clear and complete fashion and be supported with evidence from the research to support your thinking. In text citations should be used to show evidence of the research done.  Nothing too fancy, just ( after citing a fact. 

Moving forward, we will spend all five days next week working on refining the solution to the problem the kids developed.  On May 2nd, the next 3-5 page part of the writing is going to be due.  This part is all about the credible, thoughtful solution to the problem that reflects the synthesis of what others are doing to solve the problem, and the unique idea developed by each student. 

The bibliography in APA format will be due on May 9th.  All of the sources that were used should be included.  I have shared this site with the kids to use for this part of the project  

On May 12th, the implementation plan will be due. This is the realistic timeline for how to solve the problem from the catalyst of the idea to when the solution to the problem is fully realized. Each step that would be necessary to solve the problem should be in sequence and make sense.  Think of it as a road map for anyone to follow to solve the problem.  The format of this is up to the kids and the length will vary based on the topic.  

The Google slides that will pair with the 20-25 minute presentation and the speech need to be completed by May 19th.  I will be administering CBM tests the week of May 15th, so I will not be seeing any of my groups, but I have laptops checked out for the fifth graders to work on this all week in their classrooms. 

On May 22nd, we will begin presenting.  I will email a schedule and post it on the website.  Parents are welcome to come watch on your child's day from 1:00-2:00. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 4-18

KTD will finish up their Runny Babbit scripts, rehearse their plays, and then we are going on the road to several classrooms to share our work.  

1TD did a great job last week learning about the three types of symbiosis.  This week, the kids will be looking for and recording examples of mutualism + +, parasitism + -, and commensalism + 0 in a variety of picture books. 

1st Grade Creativity Development will meet with me on Friday to design their ultimate tree house!  This is going to be fun. 

2TD will spend the week in ancient Athens.  The students will be working in pairs to complete some research on what life was like in Athens thousands of years ago.
Image result for Ancient Athens
3PA will be adding a few more slides to their presentations on Ancient Egypt this week based on the top ten discoveries of this civilization. Then, we are going to explore Egyptian language and make our own cartouches
Image result for cartouches
4PA will take a bit of a "brain" break this week.  We are going to begin a mini-unit on the poetry of Emily Dickinson.  The kids will be learning some background information about the life of the poet, do a bit of independent research on her, and begin reading and dissecting her writing. 

5PA surprised me last week with their work on the manifesto project. The class was very absorbed in creating their work on Canva.  This week, the kids will finish their design, write the accompanying paragraph, and then we will have two days to work on our Capstone projects.   

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

PA Testing Results

Letters with the results of this year's PA testing will be sent home with the students on April 21st.  The letters will include a summary of the scores and explain if your son or daughter qualified for PA next year at Brookdale.  Those students who do qualify will also have a permission to participate form that needs to be returned to school.

5th grade letters will explain if your son or daughter qualified for middle school PA Reading, PA Math, or both. There is also a letter for those students who did not qualify for our middle school programs with a summary of the scores.    

Monday, April 10, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 4-10

KTD will begin to turn poems from Runny Babbit into a script for a play this week.  Teams of three will be converting the verse to dialogue, creating stick characters, and begin practicing their plays. 

1TD will begin the week by examining specific relationships in nature.  We will be learning about symbiosis, a fancy name for how different species work together.  We will learn about commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism using a Google slide show I made, but then we are going to be reading a variety of picture books that show examples of these relationships between characters. 

2TD will spend the week creating their own 13th Olympian God or Goddess. They will be creating the name, symbols, animals, powers, and an accompanying myth.

3PA  will be working on PARCC testing during their PA time this week, so we will not be meeting. 

4PA did an outstanding job presenting their neurological disorder presentations last week.  Very impressive work for 4th graders!  This week we will be looking at what makes you, you using a PBS documentary by neurologist David Eagleman.  We got through about ten minutes of the film last week in 30 minutes of class because of discussion and questions! 

5PA will begin working on an infographic manifesto this week that defines what the kids each hold true about their place in the world.  We will be looking for quotes from historical figures and authors for inspiration.  This project connects back to the essay we read last week about how one good road is enough to take you to anywhere in the world you can imagine.  Due to PARCC testing, kids will not be able to begin their final copy on until next week.  The students will also have two days on iPads to continue working on their Capstone projects.  Here is an example of the infographic manifesto...

Monday, April 3, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 4-3

KTD will spend the week reading the poems and stories of Shel Silverstein.  We will also be working on translating the spoonerisms of Runny Babbit. 
Image result for runny babbit

1TD is writing and illustrating the final copies of their ABC books inspires by Awake Beautiful Child that we began before break.  

2TD is exploring the 12 Olympian Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece using a great website that can be found under the "student resources" section of the PA website.

3PA will spend this week learning about the 10 greatest discoveries of Ancient Egypt.  Two of the ten will be added to their growing slide shows on Egyptian religion and daily life.  Today we learned about Khufu's boat that was preserved in a limestone chamber near the great pyramid and the unfinished obelisk quarry. 
Image result for khufu's boatImage result for unfinished obelisk

4PA will begin their neurology presentations on Tuesday. Then we will be exploring the idea of what makes you you using an amazing PBS documentary. 

5PA began the week with a short story titled "Enchanted Sticks."  We are using the story to analyze character traits and how they lead characters to make different choices.  The kids will have Wednesday to work on their Capstone projects, and then we will be reading an essay by Robert James Waller titled "One Good Road is Enough" to examine inspiration and make some generalizations about the writer's spirit of adventure to connect with the fourth quarter theme of moving forward.  

My Wish for my Students