We started Freak the Mighty in class this week, with students beginning the first few chapters listening to the audiobook version. Today in class I read aloud chapters 3 and 4, a great start to our day. We talked about "Rising Action" in story writing, and how Max and Kevin are already active characters.
We are starting a Great Canadian Mail Race in our classroom on Monday. It should be a good time, as it makes writing letters fun (when did letter writing STOP being fun???), reinforces all the map skills we built earlier in the year during Social Studies, and brings awareness to the lost art of posting letters to friends.
It is my hope that your student shares their letter writing experiences with you at home and wishes to write members of your family or friends who live outside of our community. Perhaps the next time you run into the Post Office, you will wait in that short little line and pick up a few extra stamps for your student to post a few letters of their own?
Our room is a busy place all day. From our Daily 5 learning rotations, to Ms. B's math drills, children are moving around our classroom, delving in without hesitation. As teachers, we love this. Movement in the room is essential for more than half of all learners. Kids simply learn better (and deeper) when they get to physically explore concepts, dig into math problems together, and pace around while investigating new concepts. Our latest movements have taken us full circle on some concepts we've been building on, verbs & nouns/adjectives & adverbs. I will admit, making grammar interesting is a real challenge, but I am up for finishing what we've started.
This last week, 2 of our students finished our class novel study of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. They are taking their final test on Monday. This accomplishment has inspired many of our learners to kick their book reading into high gear and I have witnessed much progress in several days time. 5A loves this book, as do most people who read it. The motion picture film WONDER came out this week, though it won't come to Pincher Creek until January. If you decide to go catch a film with your family anytime soon, perhaps you will choose Wonder?
It was a great week at the pool! I enjoyed meeting parents that came to see their swimmers trying to pass their levels at the pool. What an incredible energy happening during the school day.
Many swimmers achieved new levels, some even accomplishing 2 levels in a one week session. All I can say is "WOW!"... and now back to normal.
This week we are diving back into keyboarding. I have sent emails (through Keyboarding With Out Tears) to student families that expressed an interest in keyboarding outside of school. While fully supporting the idea, I want to be clear that your learners are not to spend hours on the program, only minutes really. Small quantities often is the way to approach keyboarding. I'd say 10-15 minutes per day is just about right. We often do a full hour in class, once or twice a week. What they do outside of class should complement and reinforce keyboarding, not burn them out. Please help your student to understand this by setting some guidelines for keyboarding computer use at home.
We will also continue our work with the book WONDER, as well as dedicate multiple hours into our Project Based Learning assignment about the 6 Regions of Canada (the CUBE project).