Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's May!

I will now ALWAYS expect certain behaviors related to certain weather and I vow to try to be better about helping students during such weather. It rained horribly for 2 straight days on Tue and Wed and my students were stuck inside. Due to the barometric pressure in the air, we were louder and we couldn't sit still. A stranger looking into my room might have asked if all had eaten a box of donut as it looked like we were on a sugar-high! Luckily, the sun shone brightly on Thursday and the behaviors did a 180...just being able to go outside, see the sky, run around a bit, we could sit and work all Thursday afternoon! From now on, I need to remember how we are creatures of nature. I need to anticipate the natural reaction to weather and be prepared to somewhat contain that which is harder to contain during bad weather! Maybe earplugs?!!

Looking Ahead: I have 2 full weeks (only) of my Test-Prep Unit. My 4th graders take a Reading, Math and VA Studies State Assessment this year all on the computer. So the next 3 weeks won't be too exciting. But I do want them to practice so they feel comfortable with the computer interface. I do want them to see that they know lots and this is their chance to show-off all that they know. I have had them read for 30-35-40-45 minutes to build their reading stamina. All 3 tests require LOTS of reading and I want them to have the energy to sit and read for a chunk of time.

Then after May 22nd, we can get back to regular workshop work. I am planning to have them do the following end-of-year projects:
1. Revision Unit in Writing - I will ask them to take one piece of writing done this year and to spend time further revising it. Then I plan to give them back their Day One of school On-Demand writing piece. I will ask them to reflect on all that they learned this year in writing.
2. Reading - We will read book club books and have book club discussions.
3. Technology - the students each have their own laptop and google apps account. They love making presentations of silly images for fun. This got me thinking. I want to TEACH them what Concept Book writers do and encourage them to instead create a Concept Presentation. I want to get them to critically think about why they are choosing that image to add instead of another image. Why that font color? I think then we might be able to share these with our K-1 students to read and enjoy!!
4. Farmer's Market - the students researched herbs and plants grown during Colonial time. Then we are growing them. Then we are making products with them. Fianlly we will sell them on June 11th and 12th. This Inquiry Porject integrates all the subjects into an authentic project!

LOTS TO DO in ONLY 37 days!

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