Kent and I on the Plaza

Kent and I on the Plaza

Sunday, November 6, 2011

History Mystery..the end is near!

All students should have completed their research by now.  We will spend this next week writing our mystery stories.  We have done prewriting activities to help organize the stories.  It is very possible that your child may end up bringing home their rough draft to type or rewrite into a final copy.  It is very tempting for parents to make corrections, but please refrain from this.  Allow your child to type or write his/her own story.  Should you type your child's story, it is okay only if you type the rough draft exactly. Show them how to use the spell check and allow them to do this  and make other corrections on their own.  If you want to give your child some "creative guidance," try asking them questions to guide them to a conclusion.  In the end, it is important that they turn in their own work, even if it isn't up to parental standards. Guide them to do their very best work, but it needs to be truly theirs. When parents help too much, it sends a message to the child that they aren't capable and enables perfectionism, which is a big issue for gifted kids. 

The Poet Tree

I can't believe the end of the term is just around the corner!  This week we are going to be selecting poems to put in our anthology.  Each student will choose one of their original poems and will type and illustrate it. I'll put all the poems together into a book so that each student gets a copy.  In addition, each student will be writing a descriptive paragraph demonstrating the writing tools they have learned.  Some students are still revising poems.  All this has to be completed by Wednesday, November 16! 

The kids are very excited about the upcoming Poetry Cafe.  We are going to have a wonderful celebration of poetry!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Teaching Kids Typing

The very long address above will take you to a blog called Free Technology for Teachers.  The entry is about a typing program for students.  Many of  our EER kids are interested in learning to type and it would certainly benefit them to do so.  In addition to the site above, there is a free program on the Internet called DanceMat.  You might take a look at it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Poet Tree update

We are finishing up concrete poetry and working on free verse.  Some classes began writing free verse poems and some will begin next week.  Everyone should be working on their poem that they are memorizing for Poetry Cafe.  It will be here before we know it.

The poem I shared with all the classes this week was "The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt.  The students really enjoyed it.  We took time to talk about the lesson of the poem which is to be cautious around strangers and people who flatter us.  I spoke with them about listening to their "inner radar" which sometimes makes us feel uncomfortable.  Some of the students equated this with their conscience and knowing right from wrong. It was a good discussion!  Next week, in honor of Halloween, I will be sharing "The Raven."

History Mystery update - October 27

Each day this week, I have copied research materials and sent them home with the kids so that they could finish their research at home.  I don't want any of them to struggle with it, so I hope parents will let me know if there are any questions about it.  The first time kids do fact and source cards, it can be pretty confusing for them.  In addition, I've been gone two days this week and we will not see students tomorrow.  I wish we had more time!

Friday, October 21, 2011

History Mystery Update - October 21

Each class received time to work on fact and bibliography cards.  This is hard work, particularly for our new third graders!  Next week we will be beginning to learn about the mystery genre.  Some students have started writing their stories, but most are still in the note taking stage of research.  The copy machine has been broken this week and so I was unable to send research materials home.  As a result the due dates for bibliography cards and fact cards are:

Monday, October 31
Tuesday, October 25 - I think this class is on schedule for this date.
Wednesday, November 2
Thursday, November 3

Poetry Class Update - October 21

This week many of my students heard and discussed The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.  We discussed Longfellow's use of imagery and how this poem influenced our culture.  Most people don't know that there were other riders that night or that Paul Revere didn't complete the ride.  His legacy is due to Longfellow's poem.   This week we also took time to complete acrostic and concrete poems.  We have concentrated on word choice, using interesting instead of overused words.  We have also added onomatopoeia to our Poetry Toolboxes!

I've been reminding the students that they need to be working on memorizing their poems for the Poetry Cafe coming up on November 16, 17, 18, 21, and 22. They only have four weeks left to prepare for their presentations.