5PA Weekly Update

Students are currently in the process of annotating the text "All Summer in a Day".  They will continue to annotate on Monday and Tuesday.  If students have not completed their annotating during class time, they will be required to complete it for homework. All learners will be participating in their second Socratic Seminar of the year.  I am looking forward to the rich discussions that will take place in relation to the text.  We will also be viewing the video depiction of the story.  Students will be asked to compare and contrast the events in the text and the video.

I look forward to meeting you at conferences and discussing your child's learning.  I sent home conference reminders on Thursday, November 14th.  If you did not receive one, please feel free to contact me by phone or email, and I will be happy to inform you of your conference time.  Conferences will take place on Thursday, November 21st from 4:30-8 p.m. and Monday, November 25th from 8:00 a.m.-8 p.m.  Please be aware that conferences will only be 10 minutes.

4PA Weekly Update

Last week students spent time reviewing symbolism.  During the upcoming week, we will wrap up our learning about symbolism and move into a brief review of literary elements and plot.  We will also be building background knowledge related to the content in The Secret Garden.  Finally, students will be completing a preview and predict activity which will enable them to begin to consider what this classic novel will be about.  During the remainder of the week, students will begin reading the text.  Each learner will be responsible for identifying literary elements, important events that relate to the plot, symbolism, character traits, etc...Please be aware that students, most likely, will have reading to do at home.  

I look forward to meeting you at conferences and discussing your child's learning.  I sent home conference reminders on Thursday, November 14th.  If you did not receive one, please feel free to contact me by phone or email, and I will be happy to inform you of your conference time.  Conferences will take place on Thursday, November 21st from 4:30-8 p.m. and Monday, November 25th from 8:00 a.m.-8 p.m.  Please be aware that conferences will only be 10 minutes.

3PA Weekly Update

This week, students will be wrapping up their work with Sachiko Means Happiness.  We will be completing our close reading of this story and completing an activity entitled Step Inside.  This learning activity focuses on multiple perspectives and will allow students to view the events from the characters' point of view.  Students will be presented with the following questions: What does the character see, feel and notice? What might the character know, understand, or believe?  What might the character care deeply about?  What might the character wonder about or question? 

Students will also be reading a book entitled The Remember Balloons which is a wonderful book that has many parallels with Sachiko Means Happiness.  James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.


But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.


I look forward to meeting you at conferences and discussing your child's learning.  I sent home conference reminders on Thursday, November 14th.  If you did not receive one, please feel free to contact me by phone or email, and I will be happy to inform you of your conference time.  Conferences will take place on Thursday, November 21st from 4:30-8 p.m. and Monday, November 25th from 8:00 a.m.-8 p.m.  Please be aware that conferences will only be 10 minutes.

3PA Update

This week, students will be moving on to a new book entitled Sachiko Means Happiness. Initially, students will be shown images of elderly people in order to determine their emotions/feelings.  The goal of this learning activity is to assist students in making strong connections with the main character in the story.  It will also enable them to infer the emotions/feelings of the character with more ease.  My hope is that these images will also evoke compassion and sympathy among every learner.  We will be completing a first read and then venture into a close read of this text.   Learners will be having in-depth discussions about their reading and will be asked to identify the various themes and the generalizations of change that are apparent in the text.  Students will also focus on symbolism and perspective.  Finally, learners will be reviewing plot development and begin working on a plot development chart in connection with the story.

Reminder:  Last week, I sent home a parent homework sheet that will help me to prepare for conferences.  If possible, please have your child return this form by Thursday, November 14th. Thank you!

4PA Update

Tomorrow, students will be completing the final preparation for our Socratic Seminar.  They will be considering themes that align with the text "Lenny's Red Letter Day" and will complete a class ranking to determine which theme will be discussed during our seminar.  Students will also be writing a personal goal that they will be asked to focus on throughout our discussion. Our first Socratic Seminar will occur on Tuesday, November 12th. 

During the remainder of the week, students will be reviewing important skills in preparation for The Secret Garden.  Students will be exposed to symbolism which will be a major focus during our novel study.  All learners will be provided time to examine different objects, and they will be encouraged to consider what they symbolize.  If time permits, we will read Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers.  This is a book about the making of the Statue of Liberty.  Students will discuss the different symbols connected to this national landmark.  We will also be reviewing literary elements, plot development, and building schema about ideas/concepts readers will be confronted with as they are reading this extraordinary classic.

Reminder:  Last week, I sent home a parent homework sheet that will help me to prepare for conferences.  If possible, please have your child return this form by Thursday, November 14th. Thank you!


5PA Update

Last week, 5PA had an amazing Socratic Seminar discussion. I was amazed at the level of thinking exhibited and the students' ability to engage in conversations centered around a piece of text.  This week, we will be focusing on the literary piece entitled "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. Students completed the first read on Friday and were given an opportunity to share their initial reactions using an online discussion board called Padlet.  I was astounded by the ideas students were able to identify after having just read the text once. Learners will have the opportunity to revisit and analyze the text during the upcoming week.  They will be required to annotate the text and will be given approximately 3 days to complete this task.  During annotation, students will focus on the following concepts: identification of figurative language, ethical issues, big ideas, details, patterns, and perspective.  Finally, Project Arrow will be canceled on Monday, November 11th due to our Veterans Day assembly.

Reminder: On Friday, I sent home a parent homework sheet that will help me to prepare for conferences.  If possible, please have your child return this form by Thursday, November 14th.  Thank you!

5PA Update

This week, students will finally have their first Socratic Seminar of the year for the story "The Hemulen Who Loved Silence." This will take place on Tuesday, November 5th.  The goal is for all students to be active participants and to share their thinking with their peers.  Each student has written a goal which will be reviewed prior to the beginning of the seminar.  Afterward, students will participate in an individual and whole class goal reflection process in order to determine what went well and what improvements need to occur for future seminars.  

We will be moving on to our next story entitled "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. Students will be completing the first read toward the end of the week and then move into the annotation process.  I am certain that this story will be a favorite for learners and engagement will be at an all-time high.  This happens to be one of my favorites and I am looking forward to having thoughtful discussions with students about Bradbury's work.