Monday, October 19, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 10-19

 Kindergarten whole group literacy enrichment will continue this week with a great picture book for October! We will be reading Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.  Last week we met the main character, Jasper Rabbit, in Creepy Pair of Underwear, and this week we will be exploring Jasper's fear of creepy carrots.  The kids will also be creating their own frightening fruit!

Second grade will also have a fun whole class reading enrichment lesson using another great October picture book, The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg.  I've used several of his books with the kids over the years, so we will not only be reading for fun, we will be discussing the style of writing that connects all of his works. 
3PA will be developing a Google Slides project on Ancient Egypt and the Great Pyramid.  The kids will first have to organize their notes into categories that make sense. Religion, Khufu's family, the Nile, Construction of the pyramids, artifacts, there was a lot of new information learned the past few weeks!  This will be a partner project so we can work on our communication and collaboration skills as well.  We will also take a virtual tour of King Tut's treasure!

4PA will continue our work with the writing of Langston Hughes.  The class will spend a third hour tomorrow dissecting "Freedom's Plow" and all of the connections to our country's evolution.  This week we will also read "I too, am America" and "Dream Deferred."  

5PA will present their Little White House project today based on the writing of Emily Dickinson.  Then, we will be introduced to the magical world of Ray Bradburry.  We will learn about his history as a writer, learn about what life was like in the 1950's in the United States to better understand the context of his writing, and then dive into our first short story, "The Scythe." 

Monday, October 5, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 10-5

 Kindergarten TD: I continue to meet with whole classes to do enrichment lessons using picture books.  This week, we will focus on reading the pictures, using the illustrations to enhance our understanding of characters and story elements.  I picked two of my favorites for our time together, Jon Klassen's This is Not my Hat and We Found a Hat. 


First grade TD: This week we will be reading a new picture book by The Fan Brothers, The Barnabus Project. In this wildly imaginative tale, Barnabus, a half mouse half elephant pet, was viewed as a failure and would not be sold at the "Perfect Pets" pet store.  He and his friends find out they are going to be recycled, so they plan their escape.  The students will be creating their own perfect pet, an extension of the mini lesson on character traits that will be the focus of our time.  
Second grade: I am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James is a special book.  This is a new book in my library, but one that I will be reading for years.  The text is verse like, and celebrates all the things and people that make us who we are.  We will read and discuss the text, and then students will write an "I am" poem of sorts that shares part of what makes them who they are.
3PA: We started to explore Egypt last week and the group did an outstanding job absorbing a lot of new information and vocabulary.  We have already touched on ancient Egyptian society, religion, farming, mythology, the role of the pharaohs, and we are beginning to learn about the family dynamics in Khufu's world.  This week, we will continue our journey back in time as we continue the documentary film Pyramid. I suggested that the kids look on Destiny for books to reserve on ancient Egypt for curbside pick-up from the LMC.  

4PA: The kids will be presenting their Google Slides on the Harlem Renaissance beginning on Tuesday. It was so interesting to see who the students selected to research, the directions were to pick artists who spoke to them and had connections to their own interests.  So, we will be learning about some of the amazing people who were a part of this artistic explosion, but we will also learn more about each other as a group.  Once everyone has shared, we will review important literary elements like imagery, symbolism, metaphors, theme, mood, tone, and figurative language to prepare for reading the poetry of Langston Hughes. The first two poems we will read are "Freedom's Plow" and "Dream Deferred", but we will explore and analyze many of his poems in the next two weeks. 
5PA: We began our week being introduced to the poet Emily Dickinson, we watched a 30 minute documentary about her life and family.  I think it's important to get to know the poet before we read their writing because it helps understand the context and themes woven into the lines of verse.  Dickinson's poems are condensed and packed.  This makes pulling meaning from them very challenging because so much can be interpreted from a single word.  The kids and I will review important literary elements and then begin exploring some of her works.  There are links to her complete works under student resources. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 9-28

Kindergarten students this week will be focused on painting their houses to look like their dreams.  I'll be reading the picture book The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater, a story about a neighborhood where all of the houses look the same until Mr. Plumbean gets a wild idea! 

First grade this week is going to be fun! All of the kids need to bring a box to their Zoom time with me because we are going to read the book Not a Box by Antoinette Portis and discover all of the things a box can be turned into. 
Second grade will be discussing why certain animals should not wear clothing after reading the book Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing. The kids will all be picking an animal to create a new page for the story and writing a sentence that follows the pattern in the book. 
3PA will begin to learn about Ancient Egypt this week.  The students and I will be watching a PBS documentary titled Pyramid, based on the book by the same name written by David Macaulay. There will be a lot of new vocabulary introduced, we will learn about some of the geography in the region, what Egyptian society was like, and some things about Egyptian religion and the rulers of this civilization. 
4PA will be reading one more book that connects to the first short story we read this year, "The Power of Light." I have a picture book titled Rose Blanche, about a young girl's feelings when the Nazi army came into her small town.  The class will have a discussion about the thematic threads that run through all of the stories we have read so far this year. Then, we will begin a unit on The Harlem Renaissance, and the creativity that was alive in the 1920's and 1930's.  We will build some background information by learning about the great migration, and then kids will be exploring different writers, dancers, painters, musicians, photographers, and actors who were prominent during this period. 
5PA will  be finishing their version of the Billy Colins poem "On Turning Ten" this week.  The kids and I had a great conversations sharing some of our favorite childhood memories today, and I cannot wait to see the finished poems. Work on our developing ideas for the Capstone Project will continue this week, and we will begin reading and analyzing some of Emily Dickinson's poetry that will be used for a project next week. 


Monday, September 21, 2020

PA for the Week of 9-21

 3PA wasn't able to see the short story "Shells" on their Chromebooks  because the link was blocked, so we read it together on Monday.  The group will still be working in pairs looking for examples of change in  different categories on Tuesday.  Then, we will be reading a few picture books to find examples of change as a group and the week will end using a novel students will pick from home.

4PA will be discussing the short story we read last week, "The Power of Light" in a whole group Zoom seminar.  The kids and I will also be reading a short novel titled The Mozart Question that has many thematic connections to the short story.  We will be discussing examples of change and looking for thematic connections as a group.

5PA began thinking of a problem in the world that they would like to find a solution to on Monday, the beginning of their Capstone Project.  This week, the students will begin to do some research on the problem, to show that their idea is actually a problem. We will also be looking at a poem by Billy Collins titled "On Turning Ten" about all the things that change when we reach double digits.  The week will end with the class writing their own version of the poem that celebrates childhood.  

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Monday PA Schedule

 It's the first Monday of PA and our schedule is a bit different.  This is our Zoom schedule for Monday: 

4th 9:30-10:30

5th 11:00-12:00

3rd 12:00:-12:45

Monday, September 14, 2020

Ready Set Draw-ish! Peter H. Reynolds' THE DOT

PA and TD for the Week of 9-15

 We had a great opening to our year in PA! Each week, I will be updating our website with the focus for the week, so I won't be sending you a link for Curriculum Night as the classroom teachers will. I also put an active link to our class Zoom meeting on the top right of the PA website for easier access. Here is what what we will  be working on this week during our time together.

For K-2, Talent Development small groups will not begin until October,  but I am still going into teach whole group lessons with each class.

3PA will  begin the week discussing the concept of change.  This will be a theme that will run through all of the PA curriculum.  What types of things change? How do they change? Can we categorize change into different groups? Once we have a better understanding of change, we will be reading a short story by Cynthia Rylant titled "Shells" that will generate conversations about the idea of change. A link to the text is in Google Classroom.

4PA will review the concept of change and the change generalizations we used last year to begin the week.  The kids and I will then be reading the Isaac Singer story "The Power of Light" about two young people in Warsaw during World War II.  A link to the text in in Google Classroom along with the matrix.We will use the text to work on the change matrix that I shared with the class.  

5PA will finish reading The Collector of Moments and discuss what the theme of the text is and why the author wrote this story.  Then, we will begin discussing The Capstone Project which the kids will work on all year.  The Capstone Project is all about an idea to make the world a better place. We will start off by examining our passions in life.  The idea to make the world a better place will be tied into something your child is passionate about.  Lots more come on this in the weeks ahead.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

PA for the Week of 9-3

                              School-ish — Stevie Doodles

Welcome back! PA will begin on Thursday, day one we will be off and running.  Our first two days in 3-5 will be spent discussing the changes to school this year and how we will adapt.  The Peter Reynolds book, Ish will be our starting point this year, because we really have school-ish going on.  What will school look like and feel like during this ishy year?  See you on Zoom!  Everyone should have received and email from me with our permanent Zoom link and a Google Classroom code for Thursday. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

What Do You Do With a Chance?

What Do You Do With a Chance – Bethel Store
To all my Brookdale friends, this is the book I picked to read to all of you during the last week of school. You all have amazing chances in your future.  Take them, and let the excitement of something new be more powerful than the fear of the unknown. See you soon kids.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Also an Octopus

Also an Octopus is a wonderful book to inspire kids to write their own stories. We all have a little bit of nothing, especially now, so why not turn that nothing into something creative.  Enjoy the read aloud, and the writing possibilities kids. 
Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton was first published in 1942, and won the Caldecott Medal.  It's been a favorite of my students for years, so I wanted to share a read aloud of one of the best picture books I have ever read. Enjoy! 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Secret Garden Metaphor...

When we read The Secret Garden, we dug deep into learning about metaphors, imagery, and layers of symbolism in a well written story. I picked these flowers from my garden today, put them in this vase, and thought about that story. Why do you think this image reminded me of the novel? For 4PA and 5PA, think of an explanation for the first ten minutes of our weekly Zoom meetings next week.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

PA News

PA tests results will be shared through email on May 1st, contact school with any questions.  It has been nice to see everyone online, I've seen every classroom Zoom meeting and PA meetings over the last few weeks. The activities below are optional for my PA friends, but the students asked for some ideas.

3PA: Create a way to share your own personal ranking of the top 10 discoveries of Ancient Egypt.  Number 1 should be the most important and 10 is the, while still amazing, the least important on your list. 1-10...create your list and fully explain your choice, 1-10,  in any way you want.

4PA: We left off with reading poetry by Langston Hughes, who wrote about life 100 years ago in Harlem, NY in the 1920's. I wanted to take you on a trip through a period of time known as The Harlem Renaissance during our last weeks together. This week, explore this link: 
We can talk on Thursday about what you can create or share about your thinking. 

5PA: Capstone is back, optional, but I know my students want to share their plans to make the world a better place, and it's a good time for big picture problem solving. So kids, basic Mr. Schumann directions, by now I bet you know them already:

  1.  Create a way to share facts from your research, provide evidence, that the problem you want to fix is, in fact, a problem.
  2. What is your idea to fix the problem.
  3. Format is your choice. 
  4. Due May 25th, as we discussed on Friday kids. I'm so proud of you guys. 

Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro

Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro
This book makes me think of what can be created with virtually nothing. Why not make something? 

Making Inferences: Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

This book is a favorite. Listen and think of all the parts the author left out, he wanted you to find them on your own. That's what making an inference when reading means.  Look for the breadcrumbs left by the author...

Monday, April 6, 2020

Zoom Meetings

PA Zoom Meetings 

3rd Grade April 14th @3:00
Password 850393

4th Grade April 16th @3:00
PasswordPassword 850393

5th Grade April 17th @3:00
Password 850393

PA Moving Forward

This is a difficult time for the world, and this is easily the most difficult post I have made on our website friends.  With the new remote learning plan put together by District 204 and the leadership team at Brookdale, this is our plan moving forward.  I am not going to be posting new activities for PA students.  The teachers, Mrs. Howicz and I want you guys to focus on the learning you are doing in your homeroom classes.  This, sadly, means that we will not continue with our curriculum.  I will be joining Zoom meetings so I can see you all and check in, and you can send me emails or anything via Google so we can stay in touch.  5th grade, I'm crushed,  but this also means that you can stop working on your Capstone projects.  The world shifted, and we need to shift with it.  

All I want you guys to do is escape into a good book.  We can travel anywhere in books.  I know that you kids have about 50 books from the PA library, just keep them until they can be returned to school.  If you need a good book recommendation, visit here:

I will be posting some links each week that any student at Brookdale can use at home.  Stay well friends, and I will see you on Zoom, and in person when it is safe.

Wonderopolis is a fantastic website to get lost in, exploring things that you wonder about:

Fold and Fly is a fun website with dozens of paper airplane designs that you can use to pass the time:

I know this is going to be difficult news to absorb kids, but we will get through this and be back together again when we can.  I'm sending you my love.

Mr. Schumann

PA and TD for the Week of 10-19

  Kindergarten whole group literacy enrichment will continue this week with a great picture book for October! We will be reading Creepy Carr...