Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Late Update

Sorry for the late update, but I had quite the busy day! In class, we had a fast-paced day that hit on topics from Graphing and Data Management to Poetry and Geography. I feel like today was a real watershed day for student motivation and achievement - not bad for a Tuesday!

Two students taught today's math class. Wow. The only element of this math unit that had not been covered yet was the lesson about Carroll Diagrams. I knew that a few students had already finished these sheets in the review I sent home last week, so I solicited their help to teach the lesson today. They did a great job, from explaining the concept to leading discussion and answering questions. As if I wasn't feeling intimidated enough, they did it all in French! Well done boys.

We talked about ballads in English Language Arts, which captured the attention of the class more than any other style we have discussed so far. I read "Casey At the Bat", one of my favourites of this style. I am broaching the topic of poetry style in a way that allows students to read poetry of a certain genre, then define it themselves. It seems as though this increases their level of comfort with a variety of styles, particularly when it comes to creation.

I have already mentioned Geography Wars, the game that we play to improve Atlas-using skills and general knowledge. Well, the class has taken it to the next level as usual. Students are now creating their own questions, which lets them lead the activity and find novel information that they think their classmates will enjoy. I think this is a great development.

We had our French money auction today, as I'm sure most parents are aware of by now. The kids are really making the connection between speaking French and progressing in the class, not to mention the correlation between speaking French and obtaining some high-quality prizes. Gel stickers and Pez Dispensers, anybody?

Tonight I sent home an activity that has students report on their food choices, as a precursor to tomorrow's lesson about food groups. Speaking of homework, I am glad to hear that some parents and students downloaded the iPod Apps that I linked to, and have been exploring them. If possible, I will begin using these in class next week.

Have a great week, please contact me if you have any questions.

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