Friday, September 24, 2021

Talent Development for the Week of 9-27

 Letters were given to a small group of K-2 students on Friday who will be in the first small group Talent Development class. The students were selected using a variety of data we have on our youngest learners as well as teacher observations. These groups will be flexible and we will rotate kids a number of times during the school year. I am excited to get started!

KTD will begin our journey using a variety of wordless picture books by David Wiesner, a three-time Caldecott winning illustrator. The kids and I will learn about print concepts, story elements, and story progression as we read these wordless tales. This week, we will begin with Free Fall and by the end of the week, we will be ready for the story Tuesday. 

1TD will be reading about inventions this week as we begin. We will read the picture book Made by Maxine by Ruth Spiro, the story of a first grader who needs to invent a way for her goldfish to be in the school's pet parade. How can a fish be in a parade? We will read the story, discuss the process Maxine went through to invent her "fish float", and then we will be reading about real life inventors. I have an article abut inventing a longer lasting popsicle and an article about a summer camp for kids all about inventing new things. On Friday, the kids will create their own invention.
2TD will start the year off with a good read, Frindle by Andrew Clements. This story is about a boy named Nick and his idea for a new word. His teacher, Mrs. Granger, is not a fan of inventing new words it seems, and many conflicts arise over this key issue. The kids and I will be examining how characters respond to change throughout the book as we read. This week, we will get to know the characters, and we will be making notes about how they act at the beginning of the story so we can compare this to how the characters evolve in the book. 

PA for the Week of 9-27

 3PA will begin our first novel of the year. We will be reading The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson. The story begins in the suburb of Glen Ellyn, IL, where I grew up, after a global plague leaves only children under the age of 12 left alive. The kids need to figure out how to survive in a world with no adults. How will the characters get food? What will the future look like? How do children care for their younger siblings? All of these questions will ignite powerful conversations as we go through this tale of survival and change.

4PA will begin learning about The Harlem Renaissance and the poetry of Langston Hughes this week. The week will begin with some background knowledge building about the great migration, Jim Crow laws, and why Harlem became the center of an artistic explosion 100 years ago. We will be reading a variety of poetry by Hughes to begin with, but in the coming weeks, the kids will be able to explore the work of musicians, dancers, actors, writers, and artists who were all a part of this movement. 
5PA began our second Ray Bradbury short story last week, "The Scythe." This is a story set on a dust bowl ravaged farm during the great depression. A family of four, down on their luck, find an abandoned farm house next to a field of wheat with many secrets to share. The kids will focus on how Bradbury uses implicit meaning to drive his narrative, and we will examine Bradbury's writing style to see if he uses any conventions that are unique to his style. By the end of the week, we will move onto "The Veldt", a story about a kid's room no parent would ever want in their home.

Monday, September 20, 2021

PA and TD for the Week of 9-20

 KTD will see their last week of whole group lessons with me this week. Next week, we will begin small group Talent Development for K-2 classes. For our last Peter Reynolds book, we will be reading Ish. This is a favorite of mine to share with kindergarten students because it is all about where every kindergarten student starts an Ish way. 

1TD will be ending their whole groups lesson on making inferences in two ways. Some classes will be finishing up the page for the whole class The Z Was Zapped book, but we will also discuss another book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Wreck of the Zephyr to apply what we have been learning about reading between the lines and making inferences.  
2TD will be reading another book by The Fan Brothers during our time together this week. Ocean Meets Sky is the text that we will use to discuss the similarities and differences found in the two books by these three brothers.
3PA will be working on annotating the text of "The Green Man" this week using an interactive document that the kids have in Google Classroom. The kids began reading and marking up the text last week looking for evidence that Claude is the Green Man, important ideas in the story, and any questions that came up when reading. We will be discussing the questions that students had, reviewing the important points, and then we will be examining the text for evidence of internal vs. external change. The kids and I will also be discussing the idea of protection as we finish up with this story on Friday.
4PA began reading a novella last week titled The Mozart Question. This is a fictional tale of the most famous musician in the world, and why he never plays Mozart. There are many connections between this story and "The Power of Light" that we will be looking for together as we finish this story this week. We will also be reading a picture book titled Rose Blanche, another story of light overcoming darkness during World War Two. The week will end with a group discussion that will link the three stories together.   
5PA has begun exploring the world of Ray Bradbury. Our first story is 1950's "The Rocket", a story about the lengths a father will go to do help his children dream. The kids and I will focus on pulling implicit and explicit evidence from the text, determining the theme of a text, and how specific passages in the text contribute to the development of the theme. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

PA and TD for the Week of 9-8

 Kindergarten classes will be visiting my room this week to learn more about author Peter Reynolds. Last week we read the story Happy Dreamer and this week, we will be reading The Dot, a book about creativity, perseverance, and how to make your mark. 

First Grade students will be joining me to continue to explore the idea of making inferences when reading, reading between the lines really. The kids and I will work to guess the text on each page in The Z Was Zapped.

Second Grade classes will continue our project from last week based on the book The Barnabus Project. Students will be using their creativity to create their own DNA mash-up of two of their favorite animals that would make good pets.

3PA had to switch gears last week because our copier was down and I didn't have copies of "The Green Man" ready. Instead, we read a short story titled "Charlie" about the beginning of kindergarten. This one student, Charlie, is getting into all sorts of trouble in a young girl's class as the school year begins, but as it turns out, there is no Charlie in the group. Seems like one little girl has some explaining to do at home! This week, we will continue working with this text as we explore the idea of change and how to write answers in complete sentences. 

4PA began reading the short story "The Power of Light" last week and will continue with this text for our time this week. Our focus was developing categories of how things change to group ideas as we read. This week, we will do some shared reading and writing lessons to show how to find examples and how to record these thought in complete 4th grade sentences, something this group needs to focus on moving forward.

5PA finished reading The Collector of Moments last week. This week, we will discuss the deeper meaning and how to take the message from the story and apply it to all of our work in PA and beyond. On Friday, the students will meet Ray Bradbury! Check out the video I posted and listen to this man talk about books!

PA for the Week of 10-18

  3PA will be ending the 1st quarter of school with Lisa, Todd, Julie, Charlie, and Tom Logan. This week we will continue our reading and an...