Ms. Sykes’ fifth graders took their Reader’s Theater show on the road for a big finish this year. After many rehearsals and the creation of sets and costumes, teachers throughout the building were offered their own performance of plays such as Sleepless Beauty, The Trial of Jack and the Beanstalk and Demeter and Persephone. Through the performances, students demonstrated their ability to interpret text and stage direction as well as to give voice to their parts.
Archive for June, 2010
Fourth graders in Ms. Saunders’ class worked through a large amount of information about the Gulf Oil Spill using a process called TABA. Groups were given 50 facts about ecosystems, oil drilling, the economy and more that they had to sort into categories. These categories were then named and generalizations were written for each category. Students generated statements such as “Many parts of the food chain are impacted when one part is damaged,” “The work of people from many careers will be required to prevent/recover from the oil spill in the gulf,” and “There are several positive points to offshore drilling such as bringing more fish to an area, bringing money to a community and creating more jobs.” A challenging process such as TABA helps to make a complex dilemma easier to think about.
Students in Ms. Gentry’s class found ways to connect everything they had learned this year to the generalizations of this year’s theme: Relationships. They discovered that, indeed, everything is related in some way, all relationships are purposeful and relationships change over time.
These students also considered all of the kinds of work they had studied this year (landscape architect, environmentalist, botanist, etc.) along with other careers they were interested. After identifiying some of their own skills and interests, they looked into the future to see what it would look like to work in a given career. Ask them to see their papers and save them to revisit in a year or two so they can see how they have grown and changed.
What happens when you give a group of third graders options for creative writing and tell them to create? They write–a lot! Students in Ms. Cuthbertson’s third grade class were given a creative writing menu that included choices such as choosing a last line and writing a story that leads up to it, answering “what if?” questions and generating prompts using the web site Creative Writing Fix: http://www.writingfix.com/right_brain.htm
Each student used the various prompts to produce a minimum of three pieces of writing. The class then completed a frame for a publisher to help them understand how a publisher might choose what to print. Thinking like a publisher, students chose the one piece of writing that they thought would appeal to an audience of their peers. Class created criteria for an illustrator was used to create optional illustrations and author bios were composed. Finally, a class anthology was published.
Students said they learned from the experience that the writing process takes a long time and if one wants to be published, she would have to be patient and persistent. Check out the pictures below to see what the book release celebration, complete with readings and signings looked like!
Second graders in Ms. Haberdash’s room finished up the year with a few final lessons from the William and Mary unit Beyond Words. They considered the kinds of imagry that is created with words, studied similies and metaphors and wrote their own image-filled poetry. Students also played with analogies in an attempt to get a jump-start on the Word Masters competition for next year. Through careful experimentation, we have determined that a linguist can be as tall as a second grader–maybe even smaller!
Second graders also played a game with systems to reinforce their understanding of the second grade theme. In this game, students worked in groups to consider images that were projected onto a screen. The groups had to determine if the picture represented a system and be prepared to name elements, boundaries, inputs, outputs and interactions for the system. Bonus points were given for students who could give an example from the system for one of the following generalizations:
•Systems have parts that work to complete a task.
•Systems are composed of sub-systems.
•Parts of systems are dependent on other parts.
•Systems follow rules.
Try playing this game at home and be amazed at what your second grader knows about systems!