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. 

My Wish for my Students