Monday, February 25, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 2-25

KTD Lit met today to begin a study of spoonerisms using the book Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein. A spoonerism is when you swap the first letter of two words to create a nonsense word.  We will be reading and translating some poems together for the next few weeks using this classic. 
Image result for runny babbit
KTD Math will learn a game using playing cards called "Along The Way" that involves strategy and estimation.  I'll send home a few extra game boards with the kids so you can play along at home.

1st grade Creativity Development will meet for the last week of every month for the rest of the school year.  We had a few new friends join the 1TD group for an activity that is not literature based, but does require out of the box creative thinking. Our first project is to create a creature that could live inside of an active volcano.  What would it eat? What adaptations would it need?  What would it look like? Teams of kids will be sharing their brainstorming that we did today to collaborate on creating a new species.

2TD just lost Augustus Gloop.  We hope he doesn't get turned into fudge, not a flavor we thought would work well.  The kids are reading with such expression and joy.  Today, Max even sang the first Oompa Loompa song as he read.  This book is perfect for this group of readers.

3PA began work on their Google Slides comparing Ancient Egyptian life to modern times.  The kids are researching a wide variety of topics including family life, clothing, food, farming, religion, sports, entertainment, games and more to see how we are alike and different from this civilization.  The kids should also be working on this project at home.  

4PA began organizing an essay about what happened to Adam Moore today.  We looked at the notes everyone took during the reading of this story.  Some kids have ten full pages of notes, amazing.  I have the full text of the book linked on the website for everyone to reference when doing this writing.  After we looked at the notes, we organized them into 12 categories: 
1. The accident

2. In the hospital

3. Recovery

4. Wonderfully, horrible people

5. Emotional state and symptoms

6. Help from others/Support

7. Going home

8. Obstacles

9. School (parts one and two)

10. Back and forth

11. Changes

12. Back to normal

We developed these categories and put them in order to help structure the essay into 12 paragraphs. We will be working on this in class, a due date will be set early next week.

5PA spent Monday working on their Capstone projects, and kids seem to be in a good place. It is now an expectation for all of the kids to work on their projects for one hour, two days each week. On Tuesday, we will begin a unit on autobiographies written by authors of children's literature. I have about nine different titles to choose from. Everyone will get an annotation guide and the rubric for the final project this week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 2-19

KTD Math will be exploring some building challenges this week with a game I bought at the IAGC convention.  We will be using Brain Builders to create different structures. 
Mindware Keva Brain Builders
KTD Literacy will be exploring the differences in text features by comparing fiction and nonfiction books to see how they are different from each other.

1TD did a great job with their first chapter book reading with me last week.  This week we will be exploring two new short novels and discussing how the point of view of different characters shape the story. We will be reading the Newbery Honor novel 26 Fairmount Ave by Tomie DePaola and Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. 
Image result for 26 fairmountTeach Us Amelia Bedelia ( Greenwillow Read-Alone) (Hardcover)

2TD just got to the part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie found the golden ticket.  The group is loving this shared reading experience and are taking copious notes about the five children and how different they all are.  We will continue reading this novel together this week.

3PA has finished learning about the ten greatest discoveries of Ancient Egypt.  At the end of PA today, one student said, "These ancient people really did a lot of modern things!" which is so true.  The rest of the week will be spent going on virtual tours of the 63 tombs found in The Valley of the Kings using a link I have on the website.  

4PA will continue our introduction to neuroscience using the book Broken Arrow Boy by Adam Moore.  Adam suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was in fourth grade.  By learning about what happened to his brain, we will begin to understand what certain parts of the brain are responsible for and how the brain works.

5PA will be diving into some philosophy this week as we explore conformism and individualism using the picture book The Big Orange Splot. After reading this short book, we will be discussing questions like: Which is better, being like everyone else or being different? Is it ever okay to be like everyone else? If so, when? We will also be reading a poem by Billy Collins titled "On Turning Ten" and writing a version of our own that celebrates childhood and dives into the transition to middle school.

Image result for the big orange splot

Friday, February 8, 2019

3PA Decoding the Great Pyramid

This week's episode of NOVA on PBS was Decoding the Great Pyramid.  It was amazing, and you can watch it online using the link 3PA.  Enjoy!  See you on Monday. 

Image result for the great pyramid

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 2-11

KTD Math will learn about the magic cross with me this week.  The kids will be tasked with creating different magic crosses using the numbers 1-5 in a cross pattern that have the same horizontal and vertical sums. Here is an example...
KTD Lit will spend the week with the wordless picture books of Aaron Becker, specifically his trilogy Journey, Quest, and Return. We will examine the use of color and what role it plays in telling the story, and also what the colors represent in the theme of the books.
Image result for journey aaron beckerImage result for quest aaron beckerImage result for Return aaron becker cover

1TD is going to read a short novel this week, Nate the Great, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.  This is a beginning chapter book, and there are dozens of Nate the Great books that the kids can check out and read on their own.  We will be using the text to examine point of view and the main idea and supporting evidence.  The kids will use laminated hexagons and dry erase markers to link ideas connected to these two topics. 
Image result for nate the great
2TD will begin reading the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this week.  We will be developing fluency and focusing on how the points of view of the children in the novel help to shape the content of the story.
Image result for charlie and the chocolate factory book
3PA spent their time in the classroom during PA testing reading the book Pyramid that went into greater depth than the documentary we watched in PA. We will discuss the detailed notes they took and what additional information they found in the text.  This week, we will explore the top ten greatest discoveries of Ancient Egypt.  The students will see the unfinished obelisk of Aswan, Khufu's boat, the treasures found in King Tut's tomb, and other ancient wonders.  I will also share information that was discovered on February 2, 2019 in the Egyptian city of Minya.  40 new mummies were found just days ago.  You can read about it here: NY Times Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies
Image result for unfinished obelisk in aswanImage result for khufu's boatImage result for king tut mask
4PA will present their Google Slides about The Harlem Renaissance beginning Monday.  The students were guided by 8 questions that connect to PA standards, and then given the opportunity to explore any aspect of this period of American history.  We will see projects on actors, musicians, fashion, poetry, and the history behind The Great Migration.  By mid week, we will transition into a unit on neuroscience.  I'm going to introduce this unit using a book written by a fifth grader after an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury when he was at a boy scout camp.  Adam Moore's story explains what different parts of the brain do, and what happens when they are injured.  The book shows his sense of humor and his courage through his recovery.
Image result for Broken Arrow boy cover 
5PA will finally present their TED Talk about a catalyst for change.  Everyone should be ready to go on Monday.  I'm excited to watch what the kids have been working on during PA testing. 
Image result for ted talks logo

My Wish for my Students