Friday, December 15, 2017

Month #4

I really can't believe it's already December! It doesn't always feel like it day-to-day, but this school year is flying by. This week's activities, in a nutshell:

Kindergarten kicked off a gingerbread unit that will take them through the rest of the month. We started today with the Gingerbread Man (so many versions out there, but I chose this one by Eric Kimmel). Students first brainstormed what they knew about this story and then we added to our list after we finished the story. 

1st grade picked up where we left off last week with nonfiction text features. We reviewed the 3 from last week and added on Table of Contents and Glossary to our repertoire. Each student got a nonfiction book and we had a scavenger hunt on finding examples of each of the 5 features in their book. They are becoming true nonfiction detectives! 

2nd grade marched right along with genres, covering Science Fiction and Historical Fiction this week. They helped create a timeline that showed the time periods each usually occurs in (Historical Fiction in the past, Realistic Fiction in the present and Science Fiction in the future) and then we read an example of both Science and Historical Fiction (Life on Mars and Oskar and the 8 Blessings). 

3rd grade continued in an exploration of folktales. Using our fable work from last week, we filled out this graphic organizer together, and then students chose another type of folktale to research on their own. I thought they'd really like this - usually when I break out the iPads, they get excited - but it was just a tad too difficult for most of them. Not sure if it was the lesson overall, or just the sources that I found for them, but this is one that will definitely need retooling for next year. 

4th grade did another week of Author's Purpose. We briefly talked about the I and E of PIE (inform and entertain, if you missed it last week!), and then watched this video and made guesses for each clip. Overall, this went pretty well, and the different purposes seemed to click for them. There were a couple of the clips that I didn't love, so I'd love to find the time to create my own mashup for use next year. 

5th grade, at long last, dove headfirst into researching their passion projects. Much to their chagrin, I am making them physically take notes so the temptation to simply cut and paste is removed. Mixed results: some are really fighting me. I'm prepared to fight this one though! 

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