Thursday, December 17, 2020

Enjoy Winter Break!

 Thank you to all the families who gave me the generous gift card! Have a safe and restful winter break. I’m looking forward to no Zoom, finishing my move from my Wisconsin home, and recharging for a better 2021. Your children have been troopers so far this year and I’m very proud of them. 

Enjoy this time everyone. 

Mr. Schumann 

Monday, December 7, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 12-7

KTD Math will continue working with the Magic Cross addition puzzle I introduced last week.  Here's the best part, the puzzle works with any 5 consecutive counting numbers!

KTD Lit's exploration of the wordless picture books of David Wiesner will move forward this week.  We will finish Sector 7 and make connections to Mr. Wuffles as well.

1TD will be introduced to Ted this week. Ted is an imaginary friend to a boy with a father who works too much, and Ted and the father are VERY different. This week we will continue to learn about story elements and focus on how different these two characters are in this picture book. 

2TD will finish up our work with fables from last week and enter The Hundred Acre Wood with the stories of A. A. Milne. I have a link to the text we will be reading posted on the website that students will use to read the text online. Our focus will be growing our understanding of important story elements and summarizing passages.  The summaries have a twist, they can only be 7 words. A seven word summary is often more challenging to write than a paragraph so I hope the students are up to the challenge.

3PA will finish up their slideshows on the five most meaningful discoveries of Ancient Egypt this week on Wednesday. As I have told the kids, the best thing a teacher can hope for is progress, evidence of the class doing better, and this project shows that very clearly! I'm very proud of this group of learners. Our next topic will be daily life in Ancient Egypt across all levels of society.  What was the life of a farmer like compared to a scribe? We will find out.

4PA has begun the exploratory research on three different neurological disorders. By Thursday, kids will be selecting one of the three for a comprehensive project we will be working on for the next few weeks of school.

5PA will finish up their spectacular team creative writing projects this week.  The kids have worked beautifully as teams and most have commented that it feels welcomingly normal to be in a small Zoom group with unmuted mics just to work together with friends.  The students are focused, working hard, and having a great time too.  This is what school should feel like in 2020!

Monday, November 30, 2020

TD for the Week of 11-30

 KTD Math will be learning an addition trick using five consecutive counting numbers. When the numbers are put into a cross shape, you can find many combinations that give an equal horizontal and vertical sum. We will be challenged with the magic cross puzzle. 

KTD Lit continues our reading of the wordless picture books by David Wiesner.  This week, we will be exploring Sector 7, to see where clouds are made in a huge factory in the sky, and how a field trip to NYC ends with a cloud coming home with a student.

1TD will spend our time discussing the differences between characters in two Dr. Seuss stories, The Sneetches and The Zax. We will learn about going beyond the surface when looking for differences, no boys and girls, surface differences for these kids.  We will look at personalities and character motivation to go deeper in our thinking. 
2TD This is our first week of small group talent development in 2nd grade, welcome! This week, we will learn about fables, a genre that may be new to many of my new students.  What characteristics are common in fables? What do these stories aim to show the reader? Can we find fables with common themes? We will explore the world of Aesop, using his complete online anthology. 

PA for the Week of 11-30

 3PA will be sifting through all of the information and facts we learned about the top ten greatest discoveries of Ancient Egypt this week.  The kids will be asked to pick only five of the discoveries to include in an individual Google Slide project, the five discoveries they believe shed the most light on this ancient civilization.  On each slide, kids will pick images to include and a paragraph, written in their own words, about the history of the discovery, the when and where, and then what the discovery told us about Egyptian life that makes it important.

4PA will finish reading the story Broken Arrow Boy early this week followed by a comprehensive discussion about what we learned about the complexity of the human brain as a result.  Then, students will begin exploratory research about three different neurological disorders.  There is a section on this website for "4PA Neuroscience Links" with all of the information the students will need for this research.  Once facts have been gathered and recorded on the form in Google Classroom, each student will pick one of the disorders to use for a project we will be working on until Winter Break.

5PA wore me down, in a good way, with their enthusiasm for creative writing based on a collection of photographs taken under magnification that I shared with the group weeks ago.  As I shared the photos, everyone started to think about stories.  So, I posted link to a collection of photographs taken over the last 45 years of small life to use as inspiration for a collaborative writing experience.  Teams of three selected images for the setting, protagonist, antagonist, problem, and solution which will be used in crafting this tale.  Before the kids start writing, they will be working on the back story, what the reader does not know before the story begins, this is called the exposition in literary terms.  Good writing begins with knowing the story and characters before the drafting begins. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

No PA Material Pick Up

I do not have materials for PA students to pick up from school this week. My plan is to do as much learning using online resources through winter break to make things easier on the students and Brookdale families. There will likely be a pickup in January with materials for 3rd quarter. 


 This week, students will be finishing up their Veldt essays, continuing with Capstone research on how to make the world a better place, and we will be reading a Ray Bradbury short story about a brief summer day on Venus. 

4 PA

 The 4PA group will continue to learn about how the brain works, what happens when the brain is injured, stories of people who have had brain injuries,  and the science behind the most complex organ in our bodies. We will begin a lengthy research project on a neurological disorder after Thanksgiving. 


 Third grade will continue to explore life 5,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt this week. I posted the documentary we will continue to watch and discuss this week, showing the top ten discoveries of Ancient Egypt. Do we agree that these are the top ten? Was anything left out? We will be discussing these topics in the weeks to come. 

Second Grade TD

 This will be the last week of whole group lessons from Mr. Schumann in second grade. My small TD groups will begin after Thanksgiving, but I want to continue to show students how fun a book or story can be, so this week I’m reading Chicken Big by Keith Graves. Books should bring joy! 

First Grade TD

 This week, we will read a beautiful picture book titled Awake Beautiful Child, a story that follows an ABC pattern throughout the text. After we read the story, students will be writing their own ABC versions inspired by the book. 

Kindergarten Math Talent Development

 Kindergarten Math Talent Development will focus on thinking about numbers and solving problems together. I will be using picture books, live instruction using my dry erase board, and some video lessons this quarter. Please have a dry erase board and marker ready this week. 

Kindergarten Literacy Talent Development

 We are going to have fun thinking about books and reading in KTD! This week we will continue to explore the wordless picture books of David Wiesner, a master storyteller! Mr. Wuffles, Tuesday, Sector 7...we have a lot of stories to figure out. 

Egypt's Ten Greatest Discoveries [Full Documentary]

PBS - Pyramid - David Macaulay

Thursday, November 5, 2020

2021-2022 Bobcats

 Welcome back Project Arrow students and all Brookdale Bobcats….we will see you soon. 

PA Progress Reports and Conferences

 Progress reports for all 3-5 PA students were mailed today. I will be joining classroom conferences for all of my 3-5th grade students on conference days. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

PA and TD for the Week of 10-26

 Kindergarten and Second grade are going to have a bit of fun to end the quarter using the picture book The Monster Trap. After we read the story together, we are going to design a different kind of monster trap than was created in the book to share.  I am excited to see some creative thinking this week!

3PA will continue our work with Ancient Egypt this week.  The kids are creating slide shows on different important parts of how and why the pyramids were built.  It has been nice to see the students developing collaborative work skills in small Zoom groups.  We will be adding new information to our slide this week and begin to learn about some of the greatest discoveries of this ancient civilization.

4PA has gone deep into the poetry of Langston Hughes and we've had some excellent conversations about history, race, language, and progress in our country.  This week, we will be reading "I, Too" and "Let America Be America Again." Our conversation will focus on the historical context of the writing and how we see his words through a 2020 lens.

5PA started the week of reading a short story by Ray Bradbury about time travel and hunting a T-Rex titled "A Sound of Thunder." We will also read a sweet story about a father who gives his kids the experience of a lifetime in "The Rocket." we will be discussing both stories and looking for connective threads between the three Bradbury stories we have read so far in this author study.  Kids will also be doing research for their Capstone project during some of our time together.  

Stay well everyone. 

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. 

My Wish for my Students