Monday, October 4, 2010

Buddy Readers, 2 Litres, and Fish Feeders

This being another short week, we dove head-first into the issues at hand this morning. First up was our new Etudiante de la Semaine, who did a wonderful job presenting herself and her family to the class. She also brought in some souvenirs and was more than happy to discuss everything with the class. I am constantly impressed at the amount of work students are willing to put into these things at home.

Math review played an important part in our day once again, as I went over problem areas and we had students do examples, write their own questions and share techniques. Students are to bring all math materials back to class tomorrow morning for final review, and they will have a practice quiz that should prepare them for exactly what will be on the test. The main focus of today's efforts was to emphasize the importance of showing how you got an answer. The way math is graded in our current curriculum framework puts a huge emphasis on technique and understanding rather than coming up with a right answer. I would like you to reinforce this at home as well, since making sure your child understands the concept is far more critical than getting them from Point A to Point B.

We had our first buddy reading experience of the year as well, which was a rousing success. It always seems to bring out the best in students, and really warms my heart to see them taking such pride in teaching, helping and comforting their buddies in Kindergarten. I know it is a very valuable experience for the younger readers as well, something that it not lost on our class. We spent a little while discussing how they should help the children undertand, which was a great way to touch on topics of critical literacy, teamwork and accountability.

In science, we have settled on the idea of maintaining a class terrarium. This will have a couple of small amphibians, as well as several small fish. As a link to our science, health and social studies curricula, it will also house a small habitat with plants and soil fauna. We also reviewed the science project they will be completing, which involves creating their own ecosystem in a 2L pop bottle. I have sent home full instructions for this today, and I would encourage you to discuss the project with them. It does not need to be brought to school until Friday, but I would encourage them to get started before then.

I plan on beginning an in-class project in Social Studies that will use techniques often referred to as "Drama in Education". This involves creating a realistic scenario that students must deal with. The one we will be carrying out will cast them as explorers in early Newfoundland. They will be presented with a number of ordeals, dilemmas, problems and possible solutions that they must deal with using what they are learning in class. The idea of approaching it this way is to get them to buy into an idea and be truly immersed in the experience. I will let you know more about this as we begin work on it later in the week.

I have also been informed that we can still use another volunteer for our Field Trip on Wednesday. If anyone is interested, please feel free to contact me. As per new regulations, you would have to provide you own transportation.

Also coming up this week, we will be creating comics in Religion class, and plays in French. I will be asking students to do some brainstorming and research at home over the next few days, since this is something that they generally seem to enjoy. I will also be providing them with a complete overview of their Book Report duties tomorrow. They have already been given some points to ponder, namely what book they would like to report on, but I will provide all remaining details tomorrow. There will be a great deal of choice in terms of what form the report will take, as well as what type of book they will report on.

For example, I would love to help anyone that is interested created a narrated video of a book they like. The technology is quite accessible, and the end result is a lot of fun. Here is an example of one I created last year:

One last note: any students running for Class Representative should be preparing a couple of paragraphs about themselves to present on Thursday. Have a great day, and here is a link about Drama In Education that you may find interesting. It is a bit technical, but pages 2-5 have a lot of interesting information.

No comments:

Post a Comment