Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm Back Slicing

Well, I didn't anticipate it would be hard to stop and post each day on family vacation but it was tricky.  I am a bit disappointed in myself but thankful I found time to visit with my brother (who works 7am-7pm and balances caring for his 1 an 1/2 yr old as a single dad).  He allowed us to invade his home for the week.  The kids played with their little cousin Ryder, we played putt putt and swam at the beach. It was a needed break from the routine and (sometimes the stress) of school.

It is surprising how a little time away can help energize thinking and planning for the end of the year. I had lots of time in the car to plan for the last nine weeks of school.  I am anxious to be thinking with my kids about opinion writing in writer's workshop and reading many genres about a topic in reading workshop using some ideas I read in Lucy Calkin's Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop that dive deeper into core standards. This is a resource we explored in LA council and now that I have had time to wrap my brain around it, I can experiment with some of the ideas.

One idea that I think my readers will be exited about is reading many different kinds of books about topics they enjoy.  I walked into my favorite (Northwest) local library and pulled books that match the interests of my students.  I grabbed My First Book of Sign for R who is very anxious to teach us all to sign being the only hearing member of her immediate family.  I collected  From the Doghouse, A Small  Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose (love this book after reading Franki's review awhile back) and Dogs for A who is very interested in having a dog.  I grabbed Feathers, All About Birds and Grumpy Bird for R who has been watching the birds outside of our classroom.  I have decided to bundle about 12 topics in large Hefty Bags and begin this study with some partner work.  I based many of my topics on my student's interests, topics I could build upon in my classroom library and topics that we have studied this year.  On Monday, we will spend time exploring what is in the contents of their partner bags and create an illustration and label for their bag. I know the kids will have lots to share about what they notice about their books and I can't wait to build upon their thinking. I 'll be back to share with you.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Welcome back! I love the plans for the partner work - wonder how that would translate into 5th grade. I do think partner research is smart, no matter what grade.
Glad to hear vacation was fun.