Friday, September 27, 2019

Author Liesl Shurtliff Visiting Brookdale on 10-15

Liesl Headshot.jpgTime Castaways 2 hc c.jpg

New York Times best selling author Liesl Shurtliff will be vising Brookdale 3-5th graders on October 15th.  This is also the day her new novel, Time Castaways, The Obsidian Compass will be released.  All 3rd-5th grade students will be given a form to order a signed copy of her new book and the first book in the series soon.  The Brookdale staff thanks Anderson's Bookshop for their continued support of our young readers and writers. For more information about Liesel Shurtliff, you can visit her website: 

PA and TD for the Week of 9-30

Kindergarten Math TD will be working on addition and subtraction strategies, sequencing, and even multiplication using a game called Over the Hill.  Pairs of students will work together playing this dice game to see who can come up with the most combinations using the two dice to make the numbers 1-18.  A copy will come home with the students so they can teach parents how to play.

Kindergarten Literacy TD will begin out journey with wordless picture books and how they tell a story.  We will begin with David Wiesner's Free Fall. Kids will be exploring story structure, print concepts, and work on a story map using this beautiful adventure story.
Image result for david wiesner free fall
First grade TD will start off the year with a classic story, written in 1926 by A. A. Milne, Eeyore Has a Birthday. We will start off by diving into the world of A. A. Milne and one of the most beloved set of characters in children's literature. I have a short video that shows Mr. Milne speaking about his books, a clip from one of the Pooh movies so the kids can get those iconic voices in their heads, and I will share the Caldecott medal winner Finding Winnie, the true story of how Pooh and his friends were created. This is a longer text, and the kids will be reflecting on the thoughtful decisions made by the characters, learn how to use context clues to develop vocabulary strategies,  and describe characters, settings, and identify the main events in the tale. 
Image result for eeyore has a birthdayImage result for finding winnie

Second grade TD will be doing a lot of reading over the next month.  We are going to be learning about the Caldecott medal.  A prize given to one picture book of distinction each year.  The kids will get a copy of the criteria used by the Caldecott selection group, and use it to evaluate dozens of books.  This first week, we will be reviewing the criteria, using vocabulary strategies to figure out what the big words used by the group mean, and then dive into past winners.  I will have copies of past winners from the 1940's through last year's winner Hello Lighthouse. During our second week, we will begin reading books on the short list for the 2019 prize and work on narrowing the list down to which one the second graders think deserves the medal. 
Hello Lighthouse; Hardcover; Author - Sophie BlackallImage result for caldecott medal
3PA has finished The Green Book and will begin a project based on the text this week.  We will be using a process called Novel Engineering to invent or refine an invention developed by the characters on Shine.  The kids will explore the available resources on the planet, what problems need to be solved, and how they can develop a reasonable solution using the materials they have available.  Once the idea is developed, students will be interviewing their classmates in PA about their idea to get feedback on the concept.  That feedback will be used to refine the invention and the students will draw plans for their ideas.

4PA has entered the world of Mary Lennox, a most disagreeable child, in the 1911 classic, The Secret Garden. We will continue to read the novel and focus on gathering as much information as possible about the four main characters, Mary, Colin, Martha, and Dickon.  We need to closely observe each character, because there are a lot of changes to come.  The theme of change will permeate our reading of this novel. 

5PA will stay inside the imagination of Ray Bradbury this week with two new stories.  Last week we learned about how authors use juxtaposition to highlight differences between characters or even objects in their writing, and how to describe the author's voice using a continuum of feelings.  This week, we will do the same using "The Veldt" and "The Scythe" stories that are engaging and a very mysterious. One is a cautionary tale about screen time written in the 1950's, and the other the story of a farmer during the Great Depression. The class will be writing their own open questions for an upcoming Socratic Seminar, and on Friday, I will be introducing an essay about the Veldt that we will wok on next week during PA. 
Image result for the veldt ray bradbury Image result for the scythe ray bradbury   

What is Talent Development?

Image result for talent development

On Friday, 9-27, a letter will come home in student backpacks, for students selected by the academic team at Brookdale for the first round of small group Talent Development classes.  Talent Development in kindergarten will have four small groups, two for literacy instruction and two for math instruction that will meet one day a week for 45 minutes. The letter will indicate which day your son or daughter will be visiting my classroom.  In first and second grades there is one small group that will meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday for 45 minutes. 

Second grade will meet 9:30-10:15
First grade will meet 10:15-11:00
Kindergarten will meet 1:40-2:25

The groups were developed by reviewing common assessments taken by all of the students, and thoughtful conversations about how students are performing in the classroom.  The work we will be doing is typically one year above grade level peers, using more challenging materials, and standards used at the next grade level. These small groups are flexible and will change throughout the year based on what the classroom teachers are seeing and my own observations of students during their time with me.  We begin the small groups on Monday 9-30.

Monday, September 23, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 9-23

Kindergarten classes will celebrate Dot Day on Tuesday, so everyone should wear dots to school.  I will be finishing up making dots with all the K classes this week, and should begin small groups next week. 

1st and 2nd grade classes will not be coming to my classroom this week, but I will be going to their classrooms. I will be visiting all of the classes during their guided reading time to read with small groups. Small group Talent Development will begin next week. 

3PA will continue reading The Green Book this week.  We will be discussing the resources available on Shine and what the families are going to need to do to survive in this strange new world. 

4PA will finish reading the short novel The Mozart Question on Monday.  The kids will then work in teams looking for connections between this story and "The Power of Light" that we finished reading last week.  Later in the week, we will begin to read The Secret Garden.  This is a wonderful story, rich with figurative language, and I am excited to begin our journey.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Used (Good, missing dust jacket) - 0879236493 by DRG Publishing |

5PA surprised me last week with our first Socratic Seminar on "All Summer in a Day" because we spent three days discussing the story.  The class really went deep, spending one hour on just one question comparing William to Margot.  Because of this, our week will be spent dicing into "The Rocket" and "A Sound of Thunder" also by Ray Bradbury.  

Monday, September 16, 2019

PA and TD for the Week of 9-16

Kindergarten whole classes will be coming to my room to make their "dot" for our celebration of creativity and making our mark here at Brookdale.  We will celebrate Dot Day on 9-24. 

First grade will conclude our alphabet journey with the worst alphabet book ever, P is for Pterodactyl. It's actually amazing, and we will explore words with silent letters. 
Image result for p is for pterodactyl
Second grade whole classes will be seeing me this week to work on brainstorming an idea for a story in teams of three using one of the pictures from The Mystery of Harris Burdick. 

3PA will be reading The Green Book by Jill Patton Walsh all week.  Our focus will be on seeing the story through the eyes of the main character and looking for examples of change.

4PA will be reading a short story titled "The Power of Light" by Isaac Singer.  This story is set in Warsaw during World War II, following the challenges faced by two teens as they try to find hope in a dark time.  We will also read a novella set during the war titled The Mozart Question. The kids will be learning about the term juxtaposition and comparing the two stories. 

Power of Light, Eight Stories for Hanukkah Singer, Isaac Bashevis [Fine]Image result for the mozart question
5PA will have our first Socratic Seminar of the year on the story "All Summer in a Day" on Monday.  The kids will also read two more short stories by Ray Bradbury, "The Rocket" and "A Sound of Thunder".  We will be exploring Bradbury's writing style and comparing the themes of the three stories we have read so far. 
Image result for the rocket by ray bradburyA Sound of Thunder

My Wish for my Students