This blog will be the center of all we do in room 239. Main posts will be by Mrs. Kirr, explaining what we're doing in class, blog posts will be done by each student, and students will help write the Genius Hour blog posts to share what we're learning and producing independently.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October Has Come and Gone

This week, we began with Genius Hour and beginning to wrap up our narrative polished pieces, then finished our Global Read Aloud book - The One and Only Ivan. I think this is best represented in the video below...This week, we began with Genius Hour and beginning to wrap up our narrative polished pieces, then finished our Global Read Aloud book - The One and Only Ivan. I think this is best represented in the video below...
Next week, we'll continue to polish our narratives as we head into November!! (Sneak peek - reading Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, using our Readers' Notebooks and WEX writing together...)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Skyping About The One and Only Ivan

This week was full... but our most exciting day was the day we were able to Skype with three classes in Canada (one in each of our classes here!). We asked a couple of questions about The One and Only Ivan, as each of these classes is on the Weebly that was set up to discuss this book, and they are reading the same pages we are each week. However, students really wanted to know more about their schools in general. We found out about recess, having two teachers for the day, French classes, and more!
We also touched base on WHY we were Skyping... it is NOT to "waste class time." It is a valuable use of time, if we are to learn about other kids around the globe. It was impressed upon the class that we need to learn about other people and find out their backgrounds, in order to understand why they do what they do, and in order to avoid conflicts. The stress this week is on communication - give and take.

Included in the week - visualization while reading, asking questions to ourselves about what we have read, writing about what we've read, and we also wrote more for our narrative. In fact, on Friday, we began the prompt that will lead to our polished piece for narrative writing.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

MIddle of October?!

Last week, we were able to really delve into The One and Only Ivan, keep practicing our narrative writing, and also wrap up a few loose ends.

This coming week, at least one class will be Skyping with a class from Canada! We'll be chatting about zoos - linking what we're feeling about Ivan, Stella and Ruby, and also what we already know. Our students will be reading (and commenting on) blog posts from Mrs. Middleton's class regarding zoos, as well.  I wonder what their zoos are like in British Columbia and Ontario?? We'll find out Wednesday!

We'll have Genius Hour on Monday, of course, and I'll be asking a few students in one-on-one conferences about what really bothers them - I'm still hoping students will read about issues they are concerned about and then act on them some how, some way... The rest of the week, we'll be figuring out what our narrative polished piece should look like, learning/reviewing how to punctuate dialogue, analyzing the text of the Declaration of Independence... What else?!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Our Cardboard Challenge

What a week we've just gone through!

Since we'd finished Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, we wrote reflections about it - students had 20 choices about which to write! You'll find these on our student blogs (see tab above). In addition, we began the Global Read Aloud and read 74 pages of The One and Only Ivan! Ivan's "voice" is very much his own, and we can tell what type of silverback gorilla he is.

We had a visitor last week - Miss Tillander. She helped us figure out how to take notes for our monument projects in social studies. And, of course, we had Genius Hour on Monday. But I think students' most favorite part of the week was Thursday, when we completed the cardboard challenge set by Caine Monroy of Caine's Arcade. Students were productive, creative, and very cooperative! Some reflections from the day will be on our blogs, but students are turning them in in various forms. But you've GOT to see our video of the day! Enjoy the energy exuding from it!