Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Student Action: Information About Harriet Tubman

One morning Nora brought in a written passage about Harriet Tubman. She conducted the research independently and wanted to share it with the class. I also had her type it up to share on the blog.

Harriet Tubman
By Nora

Harriet was a slave . When she was working Harriet heard whispers about a secret getaway for slaves. She made her way through the passage. Harriet escaped through the passage. After that she did not just enjoy her freedom, she helped other slaves escape!!! The Underground Railroad worked like this. First you walk at night to go to one house and sleep. Then you walk until another house at night and it keeps on going.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Messages to the World

Our PYP Heroes Unit is over and we have had a wonderful time learning about heroes from all over the world. The topic was a difficult one to take on and students not only learned about inspirational people all over the world but many challenging and upsetting parts of history. After learning about Anne Frank the students wanted to write messages to the world. One of my kids had the idea to use braille as the writing medium. Be inspired by our messages and try to live them in the future!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Grade 4 PYP Photo Exhibit

On Friday, we had a chance to go visit the Grade 4 Photo Exhibit. It was great to see my students from last year and their photo projects. The images were amazingly creative and their writing was fantastic. They have grown so much in a years time.

I believe that my students this year were enthusiastic about the projects. They kept pulling me over toward images they liked and one of my students was even featured in a project. Congratulations Grade 4 to a job well done!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

PQRST Mnemonic: Word-Part Strategy

What a wonderful weekend. My Saturday after noon has involved sitting outside on the porch, using our newly built benches to lounge while reading educational magazines and a new book. I love my life.

I decided to grab my computer and use it to document my findings and do further research. In the April 2012 edition of The Reading Teacher there is an article called Word Detectives: Using Units of Meaning to Support Literacy. It discussed the need to explicitly teach students to use and manipulate units of meaning such as prefixes, suffixes and root words. I do this in the classroom but now, because of this article, I have an easy way to help kids remember the system fro affix use. PQRST is an easy tool to use and I wanted to share what I learned. I know I will be using it in the classroom soon, maybe even next week.

  • P-find the prefix and identify its meaning
  • QR- identify the queen root (the root which is the queen of the word) and determine meaning
  • S- find the suffix and identify its meaning
  • T- put together the meanings of the units to gain the total word's meaning
After a quick google search, nothing came up related to this strategy. I think the next steps would be creating a visual helper for my students. Stay posted.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Action! Anne Frank Report from Saniya

 Last night in my inbox, I found this report by Saniya. When learning about heroes, she was fascinated by the story of Anne Frank. Although Anne's story is challenging, Saniya decided to take it on with the help of her family. After she read it, she took action and completed this report. Electrifying work Saniya!

by saniya        ANNE FRANK

Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany June 12th 1929. She had an older sister named Margot. Anne went to the Montcore school and her two best friends were called: Sanne and Hannelie! She received the news that she was going into hiding (because of the world war 2), when she was only 13 years old!

They went into hiding at Anne Frank’s dad’s office. In the office there was an attic. Anne Frank lived in that attic for nearly 2 years! She had really bad nightmares and didn’t really enjoy the shooting and sirens at night(it didn’t really help her)! She had to share the attic with 7 more people named: Peter Van Daan, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr Van Daan, Mr. Dussel (a dentist) Her Mother (Edith Frank), her father (Otto Frank) and her older sister Margot! No-one was allowed to go outside of the attic except for their weekly shower! Imagine, that not being able to do anything! Not allowed to get a bit of fresh air!  Well why don’t you try to think of some things Anne could not do? To get rid of times when she couldn’t do anything she studied it was much harder (without a teacher) but, she tried. She was committed to because things were really hard for her but she didn’t just give up! Not just for studying but for other things like staying hopeful and building a stronger bond with her mother! (to help her stay hopeful she looked at a tree out of a window and watched by as the seasons pass! Later on, that tree was named the Anne Frank tree! But one sad night, during a strong summer storm her tree sadly had crashed down after, Anne Frank had died)!

During her (nearly) 2nd year of hiding she fell in love with Peter Van Daan! She even dreamt of him!

But sadly enough, their secret did not last long after that! On August 1st 1984 Anne Frank and everyone else in the attic/secret annex were arrested and taken to a camp to shave off all of their hair! After that they were taken to a labour camp in Belgium!

Only Anne Frank , Margot and their Mother were taken to labour camp Otto Frank said they might be separated and they were! When Anne Frank was only 15 she died!  Otto Frank was the only one of the Frank family to still survive the war! Otto Frank published the diary and Anne Frank’s story still lives on! Anne Frank is my hero and truly deserves to be a hero! Her story is truly amazing!

Here are some facts on Anne Frank:
·       She had to share a room with Mr. Dussel
·       Everyone thought she was a chatterbox (just like me)!
·       She didn’t really love her mother
·       Her real name is Annalise

This is a poem her father wrote for her on her

As youngest among us, but small no more
Your life can be trying, for we have the chore,
Of becoming your teachers, a terrible bore
“We’ve got experience! Take it from me!”
“We’ve done this all before, you see.
We know the ropes, we know the game”
Since time immemorial, always the same.
Ones own shortcomings are nothing but fluff,
But everyone else’s are heavier stuff
Faultfinding comes easy when this is our plight,
But it’s hard for your parents, try as you might,
To treat you with fairness and kindness as well;
Nitpicking’s a habit that’s hard to dispel.
When your living with old folks all you can do
Is put up with their nagging-it’s hard but it’s true.
The pill may be bitter, but down it must go,
For it’s meant to keep the peace, you know.
For many months their not been in vain,
Since time goes against your grain.
You read and study nearly all day,   
Determined to chase the boredom away.
The more difficult question, much harder to bear,
Is “What on earth do I have to wear?
I’ve got no more socks, my clothes are too tight,
My shirt is a loincloth, I’m really a sight!
To put on my shoes I must cut of my toes,
Oh, dear I’m plagued with so many woes!

RESOURCES: The diary of a young girl book
WHERE: Secondary school

“No one ever becomes poor by giving.”
-Anne Frank

Words I learned:

Faultfindings- judgments based on personal opinions
Loincloth- a piece of cloth/clothing wrapped around the hips
Immemorial- prehistoric/old/ancient
Plagued- to pester/harass or to cause trouble or distress
Shortcomings- a failure, a fault or a defect
Dispel- to make a doubt, feeling, thought or belief disappear
Nitpickings- to look for small errors/ faultfinding

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Visit from Mr. Hall

Last week we asked our school director Mr. Hall to come in and speak about some of his heroes. He found us in the computer lab and sat down for a chat. He shared with us three heroes he admires and shared a little bit about each one. He explained that his heroes are people who were not necessarily in the limelight but still did great things.
We were surprised to make a connection with one of his heroes, Walter Sisulu. He is a hero that worked toward ending apartheid in South Africa and was an inspiration to Nelson Mandela. Mr. Sisulu was featured in a autobiography we read about Nelson Mandela. You can learn more about Walter Sisulu here on Wikipedia.

Another one of Mr. Hall's heroes is his father. We made a connection to that too because Ms. Rorey's mom is one of her heroes and some of our parents are our heroes too! Thanks for coming in to visit Mr. Hall!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Student Action! Way To Go Keisha and Deborah!

Last week one of my students, Keisha, brought in an independent action project about Amelia Earhart! I was so impressed with her hard work and proud of her for going above and beyond. I love it when my kids take their learning to the next level independently.

Please remember, action can be a big project like this one, but it can also be a small gesture like having a conversation with someone about what you learned or reading a book to a family member. Just today, Deborah looked up information about a hero at home and emailed me the information. This is a great student action too. Keep up the great work kids!

Monday, February 11, 2013

RAK Week Project

This week, my students are taking on a project for RAK Week here at IST. RAK Week is a week where we spend time performing Random Acts of Kindness.  A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people.

It fits really well with our current PYP Unit on Heroes and the students are all jazzed up. Each day, they are choosing a random act of kindness goal to work on. I gave them some suggestions, we brainstormed others and they can create their own. Throughout the week we will check in and see how we are doing and then write a reflection on Friday. I created this document to use and please feel free to use it with your children or students.

Also, if you want to participate and pass on the kindness you can find ideas at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website. We would love to hear from you and remember, it's easy. All it takes is a smile.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What It Means To Be a 21st Century Teacher

I know this is what I am up against and yet, it doesn't intimidate me, it makes me want to be a better teacher.

Teaching To Do List:
  • reflect
  • adapt
  • change
  • reflect
  • grow
  • learn

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

I revisited this book recently and loved reading it again. I remember reading it as a child and being amazed at the story of bravery, hope and inspiration this little girl embodied.

Sadako Sasaki lived in Hiroshima when the atom bomb fell and a few years into her childhood she got sick with Lukemia. While in the hospital, her goal is to fold 1,000 paper cranes because as legend has it, if a sick person folds 1,000 cranes, the gods will reward the person with health and long life.

I highly recommend this book; it fits perfectly with our PYP Unit about Heroes. Sadako Sasaki is a hero and in Hiroshima there is a Peace Memorial showing a statue of her holding a gold crane in her hand. I hope to see it in person one day. Due to this little girls hope and dedication, the paper crane has become a symbol of peace around the world. I remember visiting 911 Ground Zero site a few years ago and being reminded of Sadako when I saw all of the paper cranes children from around the US sent as a peace gesture.

You can watch her story on YouTube using the link below.

Also, use these links to find out more information:
Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Special Exhibit: Sadako Sasaki
Angel Hero: Sadako Sasaki (This site also has links to other heroes from around the world)

Links for teachers and parents:
Sadako Reading Activities
Fiction Level 2-3: Sadako Lessons
Oragami Resource Center

Friday, February 1, 2013

Let's Continue The Dance Party!

Today was AWESOME! Why? Well, shall I make a list using bullets? Yes!
  • Watching rockets launch while it drizzled. Thanks grade 5... nice work
  • Photographing my students swim and run in the pouring rain and finish the first "Aquathon" of the year for grade 3. Thanks Awesome Owls!
  • Publishing our letters to our new student who joins us on Monday
  • Eating a treat from the Bake Sale grade 4 put on to raise money for CCBRT, a cause near and dear to our hearts. Thanks Arran, especially since after our Economics unit you understood the direction "Get me something, anything chocolate... but make sure it is a good value for my money!"
  • Eating a second surprise treat from the Bake Sale. Thanks Omar
  • Enjoying our indoor recess dance party. Thanks MJ
  • Cracking open the new math Student Journals and listening to cheers from the owlets
  • Receiving high-fives from all of the students for a great week before they all departed to start their weekends
  • Participating in a good student/parent meeting after school
  • And last but not least... keeping the dance party going throughout the weekend with this video. Thanks Kid President

Have a productive, successful, enjoyable weekend 3R and I will see you rested and ready for another awesome week on Monday!