Dana's Weekly Update 2-25-13

posted Feb 25, 2013, 10:14 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Dear Families, 

This week flew by with the President’s Day holiday on Monday. I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend! Here’s our weekly update: 

Writing: We have spent some time this week working more on our descriptive writing skills. Last week, each student created a personal flag, drawing a flag that would depict them (interests, favorites, family, aspirations, etc.) and then writing a detailed descriptive piece about it. We used a couple of volunteers' papers to try to draw the flags from only the written descriptions. It was a great way to think about the power of specific details in writing. This week, we followed up on this skill by creating “how-to” writing that gave instructions for completing a task. We focused on including a good “hook” to pull the reader in, a topic sentence describing what the writing would be about, connecting words like first, next and finally and the conclusion to wrap it all up. We all began with the same how-to, which was instructing the reader in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I then followed these directions, with some pretty funny results (not to mention a couple of messy hands and peanut butter on my nose!). We then talked about how to improve the writing and the kids took off on some other “how-to” topics, like how to wash your hands, brush your hair and protect yourself from a zombie apocalypse! 

Novel Projects: Students have wrapped up their group novels and are working on projects to illustrate what they read. They are choosing from projects such as dioramas, book sandwiches, game boards, newspapers, letters to the author and several more ideas. Each project requires the students to look at some of the literary elements of the book, like the climax of the story, the problem and the resolution, and to focus on vocabulary they have learned. The projects ask the students to make connections between the story lines and characters and their own lives or other books they have read. For example, identifying which character in the story are they most like and why, with a focus on using evidence from the novels to support their thinking. It is always fun for me to see how students can share about the same books in so many different ways, each with a slightly different focus that reflects individual interests. 

Upcoming Events:
Friday, Feb 22nd: Spaghetti Dinner DDD kick-off and student craft fair
Thursday, Feb. 28th: Middle School Information Night: 5th and 6th grade parents are invited to attend an information session with our middle school teacher, Jon Labrousse to learn about the program. Meet in the middle school classroom 7:00-7:45
Thursday, Feb 28th: Pre-Lottery Information Session 6:30-7:30
Saturday, Mar. 9th: Pre-Lottery Information Session 10:00-11:00 

Thanks again, fantastic families, for all you do to help your children in their quest to reach their potential as learners and as individuals! 

Dana and Jenny