Monday, February 11, 2013

Fun February!

February is flying! We have lots of different projects happening in addition to our lessons- Battle of the Books Book Clubs for 4th and 5th grade, Writing Rock Stars Cluster for K-5, and student surveys to finalize ordering books with our Laura Bush grant.

Don't forget- 5th Grade School Battle of the Books is February 27.  Reading Rock Star Logs are due February 20.



The whole school is honing our research skills. We've been practicing reading different informational databases/ websites and putting the information into our own words.  Our first and second graders have already used the pebblego database to research animals and dinosaurs. Our first grade is going to continue to study animals---moving on to the reptile family. However, this week our second and third grade are researching biographies of notable individuals like Rosa Parks and Mary McLeod Bethune.  With all these projects we are practicing important skills like determining the main idea, reading hyperlinked information, using the glossary, table of contents, and other text features.  It's been a fun and exciting process, especially when we introduce our topics with great poems like The Rosa Parks by Nikki Giovanni (found in one of our favorite anthologies Hip Hop Speaks to Children, edited by Giovanni). 


Our fifth grade has been using the internet to research  the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Brown v. Board of Education, and the work of Thurgood Marshall. They are using these skills to help them compose informational reports in the classroom.  We are all looking forward to seeing their work!

Our kindergarten has been reading fictionalized accounts of real people.  We just finished When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat by Muriel Harris Weinstein.  We loved scatting, especially when we pared it with original videos of Louis Armstrong scatting. We loved this one especially of Louis with Danny Kaye.



The fourth grade and I are focusing on one of my loves,  poetry.  Last week we read several different poems. We discussed how authors use metaphors to enhance their work. After talking about how important it is for us all to cherish our dreams, we all made our own copies of Dreams by Langston Hughes.


Dreams
by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.


Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go,
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. 

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