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. 

My Wish for my Students