Monday, March 20, 2017

A Message from the PA PTA President


As we've mentioned at our meetings and recent events, we are at the point of the year in which we elect new officers.

To start, we need nominations and members to serve on a nominating committee.

Next, we need people to serve as officers. The IPPA PTA Board consists of the following positions: President, Vice President (up to two slots), Secretary and Treasurer.

I have served as President for the past three years and, according to bylaws, cannot serve again. Similarly, our other officers have all served two years. They can continue to serve, but we welcome and need new officers and ideas.

Serving on the IPPA PTA Board is a great way to help advocate for the program, its families and teachers. The work load is not huge, but it is impactful -- as our recent grant program and PA transition forums demonstrate.

Please contact me ASAP if you'd like to run for office, nominate somebody and/or want further information at 

Our election is planned for our next general meeting on April 18th.

Greg Smith
President: IP PA PTA

Thursday, March 16, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 3-20

KTD and 1TD will both be working on the same project next week based on the picture book Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. The story follows the day of a child, but all written in phrases that follow an A, B, C pattern, for example "All begins cheerfully", "Amusing breakfast chatter" and so on.  The kids will be creating their own A, B, C phrases and putting them together to create a story. 
Image result for awake beautiful childImage result for awake beautiful child
2TD will be rotating our groups for the final quarter of school beginning on Monday. The students will begin a unit on Ancient Greece by learning about the 12 Olympian Gods and Goddesses of this civilization. 
Image result for 12 olympian gods Ancient Greece

3PA will continue our work on Ancient Egypt this final week before break.  The kids will be adding slides to their Google presentations focusing on what daily life was like for people in different parts of Egyptian society.

4PA will be taking PARCC assessments Monday-Thursday during their PA time, so the kids need to be working on their neurological disorder presentations and speeches at home this week.  The kids will be presenting their work on Friday.

5PA will spend our week with a poem by Elizabeth Outlaw titled "The Visit" and a short story by Donna Hill titled "Ghost Cat."  I will be using a strategy that another PA teacher shared with me called "Text to Text" where kids will be adding their text to the text on large chart paper to make their thinking visible and to compare annotations made by classmates.  

Thursday, March 9, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 3-13

KTD will be learning about coding this week using Bee Bots.  I'm going to have the kids create mazes using base ten blocks, and then they will need to code the Bee Bot to get through the maze without hitting the walls.  This should "bee" quite fun! 
Image result for bee botRelated image

1TD will continue working on their innovator PowerPoints. Everyone is making progress, but it's slow due to all the learning we are doing because this is their first Windows experience. We have found quotes, symbols of innovation, and pictures online to insert into the slides. Soon the kids will learn how to animate the slides and create transitions.
Image result for innovation quotes
2TD will be using their Google Drive with me for the first time this year.  The kids are going to take their research about women of The American Revolution and make an infographic using  
Image result for infographic revolutionary war
3PA will finish up our look back at the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt and present their Google Slides to the class.  Next, we will explore what daily life was like for the average person living in Ancient Egypt. 

4PA students are all close to finishing up their work on the neurological disorders projects.  We may be presenting them by the end of the week, but it will depend on the progress.  Everyone is doing really well and using class time efficiently, adding new things, finding extra testimonials to humanize the disorder, so the due date is not my main focus.  If this level of work continues, then the due date will be pushed forward. 

5PA will be doing PARCC testing during PA all week, so I will not be seeing them.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

PA and TD for the Week of 3-6

KTD will be working on a version of what my 5th graders were working on last week, hexagon hives.  The kids will be looking for characters, settings, problems, and solutions in two picture books and writing down what they find on four colors of hexagons. The students will be reading  Bedtime for Frances and Who Stole the Cookies? for this project.  Partners will then take their hexagons and connect them into a hive where all the sides that touch connect in a meaningful way.  
Image result for bedtime for frances

1TD students will continue to develop their first PowerPoint presentation on an innovator that they have done research on during TD.  Last week, we learned how to make new slides, how to use word art, and how to customize the background of slides.  This week, we will learn about inserting text boxes and images.  

2TD students are learning about The American Revolution in their homerooms, so in TD we are going to go one step further.  The kids will be learning about the women of the revolution and how their efforts often went unnoticed.  The students will be learning how to annotate a text as they read the stories of nine women who made an impact on American history.  We will learn about Deborah Samson, an American soldier who disguised herself to fight for independence, Patience Wright who was an American spy, and Agent 355 a woman who even after more than 200 years, remains a mystery.  The kids will also be reading two picture books, Independent Dames and Ladies of Liberty.  We will be creating a poster to share what we learned. 
Image result for ladies of liberty book                  Image result for independent dames 

3PA will begin creating Google Slides filled with facts and images about the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt this week.  
Image result for egyptian gods and goddesses

4PA will finish their research on their chosen neurological disorders this week and begin creating their presentations.  This project has a dual focus.  One target is the research and using multiple sources, and the other is how to give a presentation filled with dry facts in a way that humanizes the disorder through telling the stories of people living with the disorder.  I am looking forward to the next steps. 

5PA will have the entire week to work on their Capstone projects.  So far, the research on why their topic is a problem should be complete and most of the kids have already been researching possible solutions.  The students should have around 20 sources by now and most kids have at least 10 pages of facts found while researching. This week, we will begin the written summary of the research.  This will be a paper about 4-7 pages with in text citations which we will be learning about.   

My Wish for my Students