Our Week – April 14

This week’s post is illustrated by Rachael, our class photographer.

It’s been a week of broccoli growing, poetry reading, naming fractions and state research. Thank you for taking the time to read and sign the float guideline information. It seems as though most everyone is onboard with this project and is starting to plan and develop the float blueprints.

A Poem In Your Pocket

Last week we completed an informational writing assessment. Through this, we discovered that we need to strengthen and lengthen our writing. We need to elaborate and add detail and description. This week we’ve continued exploring what that means.

We reread A Poem In Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara to discover how the main character, Elinor changes throughout the book. We collected words to describe her. In fact we collected 38 descriptors, and yet none of them were written directly in the text. Powerful writing uses strong verbs and we are learning to use them in our writing as well.

Choosing Poems

We’ve been reading lots of different poems and exploring collections of poetry this week. Each of the children is looking for different poems to share with the class. This is a genre we haven’t explored much this year and we’re discovering that it is fun. We gave haiku a try, and found it a bit challenging. They are so short and small – we’ll keep exploring. Perhaps we’ll try couplets or diamante as well.

Selecting State Wonders

The children have continued discovering Wonders.   Many of them have selected all five of their wonders at this point. We’ve been asking the children to tell us about their wonders to help them find ways strengthen their descriptions. For example, if they chose the violet or the cream pie from their state’s symbol list because they it was beautiful or funny, we are hoping to help them dig deeper to find how it came to represent their state. That’s hard work because there are only a few sentences scattered here and there throughout different resources. The children are learning to be research detectives and to stop and think about what the words mean beyond what they say.

This year for the writing portion of the project we are going to have each child create a Glogster. This is a multimedia poster. They’ll be able to include writing, art, audio, video and images on their poster as they endeavor to persuade us to travel to their state – the most interesting one in our country. We’ve not used this before and are looking forward to helping the children present and share their work in this way.

Bits and Pieces –

  • Most of us have discovered that our broccoli is growing rapidly out in the greenhouse. We’ve been measuring and realizing that the plants can grow about a half and inch in a couple days. We’ve also learned that the greenhouse is a hot place!
  • Through Wonder we are learning more about empathy and talking about what it means to try to understand events and situations through another person’s eyes.
  • We’re reading a reissued book by Munroe Leif, How to Behave and Why. The main questions of the book are: “Are most people happy to have you around?” and “Are you happy with yourself?” It named honesty, fairness, strength and wisdom as important behaviors people should have. We’re trying to discover what each of those words mean and how it looks when we are acting in those ways.   It’s leading to some interesting conversations. Check in with your child to see how they are thinking now at the beginning of the discussion. And check in again with them next week to see if they have any goals for themselves and how they want to be with others.