Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The last gasp before Easter

Mr. Bunny! I had no idea....
Hey gang! Today was another busy day in class, trying to get things prepped in the leadup to Easter vacation. Just a few notes, with another post tomorrow when time permits more detail.

Tomorrow we have Music, Gym and ArtsSmarts. Also included in the mix is an Art activity that we will be doing as part of a Student Council competition, and some work on Personal Projects. Needless to say, the time leading up to Easter will not be Status Quo as far as schoolwork is concerned. I think we all remember these times from our schooling! Thanks though, to parents who have volunteered to help with ArtsSmarts tomorrow. I developed the pics tonight and they look great!

We had a chance today to start some work on the finer points of writing (in French of course). My approach has been to introduce process writing in more meticulous detail, then start taking a closer look at elements like grammar, word selection, voice, genre, plot and action. If you are looking for more information on process writing and specific conventions, please search old posts for helpful links or look at the curriculum links on the right sidebar.

Today, we carried out a tiered activity to start our brainstorming. First, each student had a chance to pick a broad topic (action, verbs, adjectives, characters, nouns) and brainstorm for a few minutes. Then we shared some ideas, and students solicited suggestions to elaborate on their work. The next step was to pair up, and do some more focused brainstorming on some key points like the use of descriptive words, key verbs and means of creating action.

The result was a number of great lists based on these broad concepts. I collected these, and will use them to guide individual lessons with the end goal of creating a folder for each student that has these ideas sorted out. This should help when writing, by giving relevant information on focused parts of their writing.

Portugal Cove, 1908. Picture courtesy McCord Museum. For more interesting Portugal Cove pictures, search "Portugal Cove" on Flickr.

Finally, students worked on their ArtsSmarts project in the form of a journalling exercise. In the same spirit as the interview they conducted at home, students reflected on their impressions of life in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's. They talked about their favourite things, possible improvements, future goals and other key points. I think that parents will be very interested to see these finished projects; they will be a very interesting artifact to keep around. Students were excited to think, that, in 20 years their work will be seen as a real history of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's in our day.

Drop me a line or leave a comment if you have any questions.

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