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