Week 17 of the school year, week 1 of 2016!
It MUST be January, since the kindergartners began the Ezra Jack Keats author/illustrator study. Stories by EJK make me so very happy. Rereading these stories aloud and sharing them for the first time to the K’s is one of the highlights of my year!
With very squirrelly K’s this year, I was happy to lead an abbreviated Rhyme Time (Humpty Dumpty, Tommy Thumbs) and read 2 stories: Goggles! and Whistle for Willie. We even had a bit of time for critical thinking questions and check out!
Students focused on similar EJK questions from previous years:
- Before reading Goggles!, students are asked to think of as many types of goggles – protective eye ware that is not sugnlasses – as they can.
- After reading Whistle for Willie, students are asked to predict how Peter might be based on what they heard/saw in the story. Most common answer this year: 6!
One class had time to start thinking of how old Peter was in both stories. In the coming weeks, we’ll construct a chronological display of EJK books with Peter based on Peter’s perceived age. This is a great Claim-Evidence-Reasoning question, too!
The 2nd graders made connections between a WCCPBA nominee and a local news story. A gorilla at our Woodland Park Zoo had a new baby a few weeks ago, and it seemed like the perfect time to share Katherine Applegate’s Ivan: the remarkably true story of a shopping mall gorilla. Stressing that the story was entirely true, students were horrified that such treatment to animals could occur. Cries of “that’s just MEAN!” were often mumbled during the read-aloud. Sharing the news of our zoo’s new baby gorilla – with pics to boot – cemented the concept that animals deserve to be treated with humane respect.
The 2nd AND 4th graders had a mini-lesson on Readolutions to start their classes. Examples were given, tracking was explained, and homework was given (!!!). All families were emailed, explaining Readolutions and library goals. Students have a week to write their goal and return it to the library. Next week, I’ll type their goals and make progress charts (to be kept on their library circ pass). If they forget to bring back their work, they can come in during recess to set an appropriate goal.
The 4th graders had a whole-group discussion on historical fiction vs nonfiction prior to listening to Henry’s Freedom Box. One student came up with a brilliant definition: “historical fiction takes place in a non-fiction point in time”. Nicely worded, Alex! Informed that our read-aloud was, indeed, historical fiction, students created questions that would help expound on the fact/fiction points of the story. Next week, we’ll use KCLS databases to research their questions and learn more about the true story of Henry Box Brown.
And my beloved 5th graders! They showed up in droves for the first Lunch and Listen of 2016! What a treat they had: two nonfiction stories, both brilliant and well-received.
They were particularly impressed with the musical prowess of Trombone Shorty, as we watched a YouTube video of the then-13-year-old’s phenominal skill. Perhaps the most impressive to them was that he did all the voices of the parents/teachers in the recent The Peanuts Movie!