Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mother Goose on the loose!

Hey now, nobody leaves kindergarten without knowing their nursery rhymes!  We loved singing and acting out favorites from Mother Goose collections from Iona Opie and Lucy Cousins and laughing along with Dave Horowitz's saga Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again.  I love how when the children do their story crafts, each one is a little bit different, each one has a special flair...just like the children. Your cuties have come a long, long way in developing listening skills, story time stamina and learning to follow directions. Egg-cellent job!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Home stretch, home connections!

Just a heads-up about upcoming assignments as we head into June, so we all can finish strong!

3rd grade is learning the Dewey Decimal system for a big head-to-head tournament in library!  Dewey also teaches important classification skills that are handy for science, and helps children find non-fiction across all subject areas.  A study "cheat sheet" has been sent home (several times), we enjoy lots of weekly practice and games, and the making of flash cards has been modeled.  Some of this is memorization à la the multiplication tables. Please help your 3rd grader study so s/he can succeed on quizzes and participate more confidently in our games!

6th grade has the mighty Author Study display board due on May 26th for full credit, and assignments accepted through the 29th.  Some kids have already turned them in.  A blue folder with rubrics, helpful links, samples and instructions was sent home.  This is a major culminating project where research skills and reading combine and shine!  Can't wait to see what the kids discover and display, and how they inspire more reading for each other...just in time for summer!

7th grade has the Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 Family Album due no later than May 29th (please check due dates, some classes are staggered because of testing dates).  Rubrics were sent home and extra copies available in the library by request.  Please remind your child that they are not to simply pilfer pic's from the internet; either credit sources or create original work.  Already, some very funny and beautiful albums have come in!

8th grade has upcoming small group presentations in Media Literacy on a subject of their own choosing; they selected on sign-ups sheets, and names of people in groups and the subject of their presentation were printed and distributed.  These will be delivered the first week of's their turn to be the teachers about topics they care about!  8th grade extra credit options, of which there were many and which were distributed in print (extras available in library), are due the last week of May with no exceptions. Hope the big kids will take advantage of these fun ways to earn extra points.

And congratulations to kindergarten for completing their dissertations for Curious George College, also known as their own mischievous original stories starring Curious George (thanks to the middle school for taking dictation!).  These lavishly illustrated and lovingly told tales are first being sent to the kindergarten teachers so that they may laugh out loud, and then will wend their way home to on the lookout for a banana-yellow book.  All students will also receive a medal, just like Curious George received in Curious George Gets a Medal, because we are so proud of them. 

First grade is enjoying books with a spring chicken theme before we embark on making the perfect friend for summertime fun:  Pippi Longstocking!  Second grade is going to finish the year with a chapter book:  The Twits by Roald Dahl, and there are so many other fantastic books by this author, we have a list in the library so your child can read them all!  Fourth grade is finishing out our wonderful fairy tale unit with the magical Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, and an in-class hands-on group art "quiz" that will showcase all the identifying features of the genre!  Fifth grade is gearing up for summer reading with a One-Minute Newbery film festival and t-shirt peer book recommendations.  As the saying goes, "it ain't over until the fat lady sings..." or, at least until the summer reading program is announced by the Chicago Public Library!

Thanks for working together to help our children learn and grow...and READ!