Friday, February 24, 2017

PA and TD for the week of 2-27

KTD will be reading The Three Billy Goats Gruff with me and discussing the order of the important story elements.

1TD will only be seeing me one day because of their field trip and our shortened week.  The students will continue their research about an innovator. 

2TD will be learning about theme, tone, and mood in literature using a variety of picture books. 

3PA will continue to work on their research on The Valley of the Kings, and we will begin learning about the different Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt.

4PA has made their decision on which brain disorder to research for their projects, and this week we will begin the work on this project.

5PA will be making a hexagon hive based on the books they just finished reading.  The kids will each make 20 hexagons on a Google Doc.  The hexagons are four colors, one for theme, one for symbolism, one for characters, and one for settings, and the kids will make five of each, and here's where it gets challenging! The hexagons will need to link together, but all the sides that touch, must have a meaningful connection to each other...and here's where it gets really challenging. Each student will be put into a team of four, to create a hexagon hive that links all 80 hexagons in the same way.  Never tried this before, but I think it's going to be pretty cool. 
Image result for hexagon hives

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Talent Development Author Visit

Animal Ark by Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess and Deanna Nikaido

Kwame AlexanderNewbery winning author of The Crossover and Animal Ark will be coming to Brookdale on April 10th to speak to K-2 in the LMC! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 2-21

KTD is going to be working with the classic fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk this week.  Teams of students will be reading the book, and then mapping out the important parts of the story in the correct order.  The teams will then make a story map on a beanstalk they will create to show the order of the tale.

1TD will be researching an innovator during our time this week. The person could be an innovator in art, history, business, writing, it is up to the students who to research. We will be using a variety of sources for this project inspired by our nonfiction reading we have worked on the past two weeks. I'm not sure what the final project will look like because the kids will be developing the idea with me in the weeks to come.

2TD will finish their Animalia projects this week, and then begin something new that I read about on poet Kwame Alexander's Twitter account last week.  We will be creating "blackout" poetry using pages from our One School, One Book novel The Tale of Despereaux. The students will be given copies of pages in the book, and they will be writing poems by blocking out most of the words, leaving only the words to form a poem on the page.  This is going to be a big challenge, but a fun one! 
Image result for blackout poetry
3PA worked so hard on their pyramid projects last week!  Some of the kids are bringing them home over the long weekend because they wanted to keep working.  I'm going to give the group one more day in PA to finish them up, and then we are off to The Valley of the Kings!  The Valley of the Kings was a burial site for Egyptian rulers from the 16th to 11th century BC. The students will be going on tours of tombs, looking at artifacts, and learning more about some of Egypt's former rulers and how they lived. This is the website we will be using in class: 
Image result for the valley of the kings
4PA will begin exploring different neurological disorders this week.  I have a list on the website just for 4PA with links to dozens of different disorders that affect the brain. Students will be doing exploratory research on three disorders of interest, and then selecting one to use for a comprehensive project that will be shared with the class. 

5PA will finish up our unit on writers and how their experiences influence the novels they write with a two day Socratic seminar this week.  The kids will also be shifting the focus of the Capstone research from identifying key factors on their topic and why they are a problem to seeking out solutions that others around the world are using to solve the problem.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

One Book, One School:The Tale of Despereaux

Image result for the tale of despereaux
We are kicking off our One Book, One School reading program today with the beautifully written adventure story The Tale of Despereaux.  I adore this book, and it is a wonderful family read.  It's the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread. I will be reading the last few chapters to start Family Reading Night on March 15th at 6:30 in the gym.  Happy reading!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 2-13

Kindergarten TD will continue to work on our "Order Makes Sense" picture book shuffle project.  This week, we will be using a Goldilocks and the Three Bears and a book titled Teeny Tiny. Triads of students will work together to put the mixed-up pages back in the correct order.

First Grade TD will be reading and discussing three more nonfiction articles this week.  We will learn about Thomas Edison, Sputnik, and Galileo Galilei and their contributions to science and innovation.

Second Grade TD will finish up our Animalia book pages this week by Friday.  Look for them displayed in the PA windows the next time you come to school. 

Third Grade PA will continue our close reading of Pyramid by David Macaulay this week.  The kids will be adding details to their notes about the documentary that are in the book, but were not a major focus on the film.

Fourth Grade PA will be exploring TBI, traumatic brain injury, through the story of Adam Moore, a fourth grader who was injured at a Boy Scout camp in 4th grade.  After his accident, he wrote about his experiences and ended up publishing a writing project he worked on in 5th grade, the book Broken Arrow Boy.  The cover shows his sense of humor...
Image result for adam moore broken arrow boy
Fifth Grade PA will have some time in class to work on reading the paired text that connects to their autobiographies that everyone checked out last week.  Questions will be developed this week for our Socratic seminar that shows the connections between an author's life and his or her fiction writing. On Wednesday we will have a Capstone day.  The projects are coming along well.  Some of the students have work that needs to be done at home for their research, please talk with your child to make sure they are keeping up.   I have met with all of the kids about their projects, and some were given assignments to complete at home, but the work is not being done.  Part of the fifth grade journey is about developing the independence and responsibility with long term projects that will be a major part of PA at Hill.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Author Tim Green Coming to Brookdale

Bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green will be visiting with Brookdale third-fifth grade students on 3-9.  You can read more about him and his books on his website: 
Image result for tim green booksImage result for tim green booksImage result for tim green baseball genius

Thursday, February 2, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 2-6

PA identification testing is complete, so we are back to our regular schedule.  All of the Talent Development groups will see some students transitioning back to their own classrooms and new students joining this week.  These flexible groups allow for more of the students at Brookdale to participate in literacy enrichment activities and moving out is not a reflection of poor performance, in fact, I will likely see these faces again this year or next year.

Results of PA testing in grades 2-5 will be shared on April 21st in a letter that will come home with your child.  All 204 schools send the letters on the same day. 

Kindergarten TD will be looking at picture books in a new way this week to help the students understand how important order is in a story.  I have several books that I have chopped up and removed the page numbers from.  Teams of students will need to put the book back together in the right order that makes sense.  Sorting through these book puzzles will be a great challenge for my youngest learners.

First Grade TD will be reading several news articles about paleontology this week.  The students will read the articles and develop questions for the authors that went unanswered in the text. Then, teams will reflect on the reading using a visible thinking strategy that will show what the students used to think before reading the article and how their thinking changed as a result of the reading.  

Second Grade TD will be learning about alliteration this week with a fun ABC book by author Graeme Base titled Animalia. This project is more about creativity, collaboration, and communication than it is about reading, but the thinking that will be on display is something I am excited to see! 
Third Grade PA will continue our journey through Ancient Egypt this week as we examine the pyramids as a way to better understand the systems that governed Egyptian life.  We will discuss architecture and construction, agriculture, daily life, class structure using the visual below, and mythology.  
Fourth Grade PA has shown so much enthusiasm and curiosity about our new neurology unit!  Their minds want all of the answers to all of the questions they have and they want it NOW! The kids will be using an online interactive human brain map to create a model of the brain that labels the the parts and describes what they do.  

Fifth Grade PA all had Capstone conferences with me last week, and things are looking good so far!  Some of the students need to add more detail to their research at home, so please speak to your child about our conferences so you know what suggestions were made.  This Wednesday we will begin to pivot our focus from researching why their topic is a problem to finding out what other people have done to try to develop a solution.  The class will also be reading a poem by Billy Collins titled "On Turning Ten" that illustrates the things we all begin to leave behind as the double digits set in.  The kids will be creating a color, symbol, and image to show the meaning of the poem, and on Tuesday, everyone will be writing their own version of the poem.  The autobiography assignment is due on Wednesday, the post below describes what I shared with the students in class.  Our week will end with a trip to the LMC to check out a fiction story written by the author everyone read about.  We will focus on how life finds its way into the books the authors are known for.  

My Wish for my Students