Saturday, January 18, 2014

Week of January 13, 2014



Kinder- We shared, reading together, the book Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep, written by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand.  Students really enjoyed reading their part, which is to keep telling big bear to “sleep, big bear, sleep” in different volumes and with different facial expressions.  And they all laugh when bear finally says, “Well, why didn’t you say so?”  Then we talked about the role of the illustrator, and how Will Hillenbrand was kind enough to provide pictures that students can add to from the story, (http://www.willhillenbrand.com/downloads/DrawwithBIGBEAR.pdf )
Students were allowed to draw in characters from the book, or make up their own.  Lots of them wanted to be in the jeep with Bear as he drove it around!
Then everyone picked out books for the week.

Second Kindergarten- We read Denise Fleming’s book Time to Sleep.  While the book takes place in fall, it still offers a great chance for us to continue discussing hibernation.  We then went back through the story to look closely at how each animal hibernates a little differently.  The students were especially excited to see the ladybug, as they are discussing them in class.  After we read the book, we watched the Bookflix version of Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson.  We were able to do a compare/contrast of the two stories and what animals hibernate and what ones do not.  Last but not least, everyone found a new book!

First grade- I have loved this book since it came out, and is one I enjoy sharing with first grade- One Cool Friend, written by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small.  This book was a Caldecott honor in 2013, and after reading it through the first time, the students were amazed to go through the book again and find well-hidden clues about the ending!  We then discussed why Elliot likes penguins and why his father likes turtles, and the similarities each has to their favorite animal visible in the pictures.  Then students drew pictures of themselves and an animal they relate to.  They also completed a sentence of “I am like a ­­­­­­_______, because we both ___________.”  Their answers are so creative and fun!
Then we got books out!

Second Grade- I read One Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky.  We read this to explore how scientists view the world (in honor of the upcoming Science Fair!).  I also really wanted students to understand the underlying message that even if you are not doing well in school, or people don’t understand you, by always questioning and wondering about the world, you can be successful.  We then began researching Einstein, using PebbleGo.  Students (working in pairs) will be expected to find out three facts from each of the Intro, Early Life, Life’s Work, Later Years, and Contributions.  At the end, they will also end with some I wonder more about… I am focusing to second graders that when we take notes, we don’t have to use full sentences (!) and we should be pulling out just the important details.  They are doing an excellent job!

Extra Second Grade- I read another picture book about a famous scientist who was always questioning the world and exploring.  The book is The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Costeau, by Dan Yaccarino.  Students really enjoyed this book!  We then continued our research on Albert Eisnstein.

Third Grade- We continued reading I was a Third Grade Science Project, by Mary Jane Auch.  We also began doing a Dewey Detective project, where students write down all the subjects they find in one particular hundreds section of the non-fiction section.  Once they finish this, they will use those key words to create a word cloud that will be displayed in the library to help other students find books. 

Extra Third Grade- We continued reading I was a Third Grade Science Project, by Mary Jane Auch, as well as continued to our subject search for our Dewey Detective. 

Fourth Grade- All four fourth grade classes are working on different research projects.  One class has begun putting their American Revolution biographies into bio cubes (http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/cube_creator/ ), one class started putting their American Revolution newspaper article into a powerpoint newspaper template (http://www.presentationmagazine.com/editable-powerpoint-newspapers-407.htm), and the last class began transferring their science topic notes into Noodletools notecards. 

Extra Fourth Grade (with a sub)- Students were read George Washington’s Teeth, by Deborah Chandra, and illustrated by Madeleine Comora and Brock Cole.  They then took the survey to find a good science fair project idea from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/

Fifth Grade- Students heard the first chapter of Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast, by Jane Yolen.  I introduced this book, part of the Young Heroes Series, for all my students who love Percy Jackson and are now really into Greek mythology and looking for a Percy Jackson-like read.  I was especially pleased that one of my reluctant readers, at the end of the chapter, exclaimed “You can’t stop reading now!”  Students then began researching a Greek god or goddess of their choice, and we will be turning their research into playing cards.  I had one student ask for extra graphic organizers so he could do more at home!

Extra Fifth Grade- I usually try to do a lot of internet safety topics on our extra day, but with the holiday break and snow days, etc., we have not covered the topic as recently as I would like.  As I quick review, I started the class period off with having students watch Information Privacy, a video on Brainpop.  After the video, we reviewed the ways to have a strong password.  We then looked at the passwords they had created for each other during an earlier lesson, and checked to see if they met all the criteria.  Most of them had missed one thing or another, which is why I wanted them to review it.  They caught on quickly and realized what they had missed.

Sixth Grade- Last week we did a close read of an article about students who choose online schools because of bullying (http://newsela.com/articles/online-schools/id/2114/ ).  This week, students reviewed how to log into Noodletools, create a project, and share it with their teacher.  We talked a lot about how teachers will be using Noodletools until they graduate, so they can track and comment on student progress throughout the research process.  Then students used the notecard function for the first time.  They learned that the notecards have a space for cutting and pasting directly from the article, a space for summarizing in their own words, and a space for the URL.  We discussed that this way the teacher can monitor plagiarism (intended or not).  Students then practiced pasting sections of the article into the notecards and will work in teams to summarize the article.  The article is split into four sections, and within each pair, the team will split up the article, so one team mate will have sections 1 and 2 in two different notecards, and their team mate will have sections 3 and 4 in two different notecards.  

Extra Sixth Grade- (with a sub)- Students heard the first chapter of Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast, by Jane Yolen.  I introduced this book, part of the Young Heroes Series, for all my students who love Percy Jackson and are now really into Greek mythology and looking for a Percy Jackson-like read. Students then began researching a Greek god or goddess of their choice, and we will be turning their research into playing cards.