Week of September 10th - We started our reading group this week...so much fun! We are focusing on short stories using the Junior Great Books curriculum. Our story this week was "The Fisherman and his Wife" by the Brothers Grimm. The group read the story over the course of the week and used their questions to drive our discussions...fantastic!
Week of September 17th - We read a Japanese folktale called "Ooka and the Honest Thief." The discussion was so interesting...we build a bit of background knowledge around businesses and earning/borrowing money and the kiddos worked hard on trying to understand each character's motivations and viewpoints.
Week of September 24th - This week, we read a story called "The Master Cat" with conversation focusing around how the cat uses his cleverness to help his master. This was a challenge for the group to flesh out a bit but their conversation and text evidence was great!
Also, I started a four week rotation in Mrs. Archambault's room this week on number talks! We had a great "talk" about word problems and strategy...lots of logic and reflection!
Week of October 1st - Schedules were off due to illness and picture day. We will be back on track next week.
Week of October 8th - This week’s story was “The Monster Who Grew Small” about a boy’s journey in gaining courage. We practiced using text evidence to support our opinions.
We had a great number talk in Mrs. Archambault’s classroom this week as well! Students read, analyzed, solved and shared their thinking involving a word problem with money. It’s so great to hear how the kiddos explain their thinking to the group!
Week of October 15th - This week, we read some FABULOUS winter poetry and really enjoy our conversations around imagery and word choice!
Our number talk in Mrs. Archambault's room this week was focused on strategy when finding difference in numbers.
Week of October 24th - We will be taking a break from our reading group due to the short week and Halloween next week. We will start up again on Monday, November 5th.
Number talks will finish up in Mrs. Archambault's room next Tuesday, November 6th.
Week of October 29th - No groups this week due to Halloween and hearing/vision screenings.
Week of November 5th - This week, our focus was on Fall-themed poetry....such great discussion around imagery and language. Our Wednesday poem was called "October Alchemy" - students came with various definitions of alchemy and we connected these definitions to the theme of the poem. Fabulous!
Week of November 12th - We read two really interesting poems about seasons and specifically, the change from Fall to Winter. The kiddos had amazing questions about word knowledge (What's an emblem? What is the difference between prediction and guessing?) and theme (How can the air have a "flavor"?) A great week!
Week of November 27th - With missing our Monday, we had a low key choice-based Wednesday morning of group game time. We will be back to our schedule next week! Also, I'm starting a number talks rotation in Ms. Kaplan's classroom and a new math extension group as well...more to come!
Week of December 3rd - We read two fabulous poems by Robert Frost this week - Snow Dust and Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening! The kiddos had great discussions around imagery, word meaning and theme.
Week of December 10th - We launched our new math extension group this week and our focus is on balance and being equal...using ALGEBRA! Students will access the concepts in algebra through the Hands On Equations program...an introduction started our week and more to come!
Our reading group is continuing with the poetry of Robert Frost - this week's discussions are around the poems "Snow Fear" and "My November Guest."
Week of January 7th - Our math extension group continued this week with more algebra! Students used Hands On Equations and the idea of balance/equal in order to solve the following equation...2x=x + 3. WOW - so fun!
Our reading group shifted focus this week to nonfiction reading! Over the next month, students are reading about various countries, using the same structure of questioning in order to drive discussion. This week - the US and Peru! An awesome question from today's Peruvian discussion...Why would ancient tribes choose to grow 55 types of corn?
Week of January 14th - Our math extension group used the Hands On Equations resource in learning how to SIMPLIFY algebra equations! WOAH....so much great rigorous learning and with a hands on visual tool as support. A great afternoon!
Our reading group continued with nonfiction articles about the world with a focus this week on France and Turkey! Questions and discussion were great - wonderful use of both curiosity and word knowledge to support the work!
Week of January 22nd - Since we were off school on Monday for the MLK holiday, we played an AWESOME game this week called Buzz Word Junior! Buzz Word is a language based game where the kiddos are given a "buzz word" and then a series of questions. Each of the answers to the questions include the buzz word in them...lots of descriptive language, use of idioms and FUN!
The math extension group did not meet this week due to the MLK holiday.
Week of January 29th - Our reading group is back to our country/geography focus. Monday's reading was all about CANADA (Did you know it's the second largest country by area but has the same population as the STATE OF CALIFORNIA?! Wow!) and Wednesday's reading and discussion focused on New Zealand....we figured out what the word "mountainous" means in terms of the New Zealand landscape!
Our math group REALLY worked hard this week....they were able to SOLVE ALGEBRA EQUATIONS using SUBTRACTION! WOAH! Students used the strategies learned in prior lessons in order to solve their problems...one of the problems was
Week of February 4th - Our reading group switched our focus from geography to African American poetry/history/reading (in celebration of AA History month!). This week, the kiddos read two different poems by two very different authors. They were very curious and engaged by the topic and enjoyed their conversations.
Our math group learned yet ANOTHER aspect of algebra...how to solve an equation involving PARENTHESIS! They worked hard, LOVED the challenge and enjoyed the hands on learning experience.
Week of February 27th - Our math group this week transitioned their algebraic problem solving from using manipulatives to pictures. They've connected with the idea of balance and number sense and continue to work through high level algebra!
Week of March 5th - No math group this week due to no school on Monday. No reading group due to reorganization/data collection. Our normal schedule will continue next week.
Week of March 11th - No groups this week due to learning lab in the building.
Week of March 18th - Reading group is on hold through end of CMAS to reassess and reorganize for April.
The math group had a well-earned game day this week - they played math board games as well as jumped on Freckle for additional math extension work.
Week of April 15th - We re-launched our reading group with a new focus and group of kiddos. For the remainder of the school year, we will be dabbling in Socratic Circle reading discussions! Students are using questioning and curiosity in order to clarify and confirm their understandings and ideas of text. We used a poem called "Artist" - this poem was written by a gifted middle school student in which she won an award for in a writing contest!
Our math group jumped back into our work in algebra using the resource Hands On Equations. Students learned how to use the idea of opposites in order to solve algebraic equations. WOW!
Also, for the remainder of the school year, I am pushing into second grade classrooms offering math project extension and support in the form of real world application projects and breakout boxes! Super fun!
Week of April 22nd - Our reading group has a focus of questioning techniques during their Socratic Circle reading discussion this week. Students are reading a poem called "Earth Day" by Jane Yolen (in honor of Earth Day on Monday). We learned how to develop and ask open questions (allow for perspective and opinion = discussion!) versus closed questions (Q&A one word or phrase based on information pulled directly from the text).
Our math group had a math game day based on completed work.
Week of May 6th - Our reading group met once this week (due to second grade spelling bee!) and practiced questioning and response techniques using the poem "The Return." The kiddos used background and text evidence to support their thinking about spring, migration pattern, seasons and more!
Week of May 13th - Our reading group had a GREAT Socratic Circle discussion around the poem "Umbrellas"....great inference and attention to detail along with use of text evidence to support their ideas!
No math group this week - I was out of the building that day.