Friday, May 27, 2016

Getting ready to publish our animal book- and other news!

Hello families!

I will try (I always do, but then it's hard not to share their great ideas!!!) to keep this short as I want to get the weekly email to you.  This week was very full with extra meetings I needed to attend that took a lot of extra time from my usual schedule of getting things done in a timely fashion.  And I am working on the class book- YAY!  So excited about the work they are creating for this and for them to see their work published and in a beautiful format that honors their hard work!

Speaking of this idea- it's the last weekend for the students' sunflowers to be up in Birdrock- I will take them down the last day of May!

Social Studies:

One of the things we did this week on the topic of Social Studies is I shared that I got my first Post Crossing post card in the mail!!!  Yay.  I am having to look this up to see exactly where it is from... it is in German, so maybe I can get some help!  Here is the link that will give you more info about what Post Crossing is, if you are interesting in doing this as a family this summer!


We are now trying to share our clock reading skills in two ways- one by looking at a clock with hands and identifying the time, and the second, but looking at a written time and identifying how the hands would be positioned.  Many students like the back and forth of the pattern of doing these two things and really enjoyed the challenge.  I have been challenging the children to share what they do know- even if they are unsure of reading the entire time, very often they can identify the first step- the hour.  This has helped many friends realize their confidence and to even begin to make attempts at the second portion- the minute hand!

Language Arts:

Please see the reflection page I did on the students creativity with my prop provocation- where they used new props to inspire play outlines.  I can't wait to see how the different groups interpret and act out these story lines!  Come into class to see  the four play outlines in person, if you'd like!

Each student has also been meeting with me to share words and phrases to craft their own poems using the four styles we have studied- Haiku, Acrostic, Diamante and Cinquain.  It was so neat to see how students have this ability!  For the acrostic poems, what really helped them was to go through the dictionary and hear words that begin with the letter that they need and then they were able to identify words that could work in the context of the animal topic they had chosen!  I cannot wait for you to see these and read the book we are publishing!  (See my email about important ordering info!!!)  The above class group shot was taken for the book!


The poems are all created using the research we have done about our main animals the students shared they are interested in... zebras, lizards, wild cats, dogs and birds.  It has been neat to see how their poems really do reflect the information they culled during the research phase.  So neat!

Also the drawings and paintings that are accompanying the poems have generated other awareness and inquiry.  For instance when the students are trying to draw the animals legs, we have been noticing how they bend and which way- and discussing how this might be based upon the running needs of that particular animal.  The students have also been trying to be as realistic as possible with their drawings, especially since many of the friends who are writing about birds are explaining the use and need of the various beak and feet shapes.  Students are realizing if they spent time expressing the sharpness of a bird of prey's beak or talons, then they wanted to ensure that this was reflected in their drawing!  This made giving and getting feedback super important and helpful in this process!

Well, as usual there were so many beautiful moments that I didn't share here, but this was a little glimpse.  I also feel like the students are excited to keep their book work a little close to their jackets, since they like the idea of surprising you!

I will be doing a blog entry on the final songs and poems, when I get the chance.  Come on in to check them out sooner, if you would like!

A final note: the students are starting to feel and realize how little time we have left together.  I shared that I will be having so many mixed feelings (excited about the celebration feeling that POLs brings, excited about summer, sad to say good bye to them, excited for them to have a new teacher, sad to miss them over summer, excited for my journeys this summer, etc!).  I feel it is important for us to speak about, honor and notice our feelings as we go into transitions.  Please feel free to email me if there is anything going on for your child!

Take care and enjoy your three-day- weekend!  Love, Jennifer

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