Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week of January 21

This week began a very special time for our Liverpool School District family.  Last year, we lost a valued and much loved team member, librarian Lori Bresnahan.  To honor her and create lasting positive memories in her name, the district has begun a new award, entitled the Lori Bresnahan award.  Over the next few weeks, students will be introduced to ten different books and will vote on their favorite.  Their favorite will receive the award, much like the Charlotte Award (an award much loved by Ms. Bresnahan because the winner is decided by students).  Middle school district students are involved in creating the award that will be affixed to the book, and the high school students are creating an online voting website. 

Kindergarten through Fourth Grade-

Both because Ms. Bresnahan had such a beautiful smile and because I hope to instill in our children the idea of “paying it forward,” the story I started with was Because Amelia Smiled, by David Ezra Stein.  In this story, the children see how one kind act, like a beautiful smile, can travel all the way around the world and make many people happy in many different ways.  After we learned about the award, and heard the story, children began filling out a graphic organizer.  For each book, they will judge on the quality of the illustrations, the word choice of the author, how well paired the illustration and words are, the storyline, and the length.  They will use the same criteria for each book, so at the end of the process, they will have learned to be deliberate in their choice.

Fifth and sixth graders will be using a pair and share system in a few weeks to review the books and make their choices for the Bresnahan Award.

Fifth Grade- Last week I read the first chapter of Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast, by Jane Yolen.  This week, in a compare and contrast, I read The Race of the Golden Apples, by Claire Martin.  After we talked about some of the differences and similarities, we continued researching our Greek god/goddess.  Some students have begun their playing card.

Sixth Grade- Students have been working hard, combining elements of doing a close reading of a complex non-fiction text, practicing to create and share a project, and use the notecard function in Noodletools (see previous post).  Most students are now at the step where they have pasted in parts of the article into the notecard, and are now working in pairs to summarize the information in their own words in the appropriate part of the notecard.