Happy May! If it's Spring, it must be time for our Spring Concert! "We Haz Jazz" is almost ready to swing onto the stage, and I must tell you if the show is even half as good as the rehearsals we are in for a treat! I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to these talented kids each morning! (The music room is right across the pod!) I hope to see you all at Fine Arts Night on Thursday (6:30-9:00). Mr. Scarpula has been busy hanging the children's amazing artwork, so be sure to look for your artist's work!
Another sign of Spring is. of course, testing. Last week we had our ELA PARCC assessments, and I remain impressed and proud of my students. They took the test seriously, but kept it in perspective. They worked hard, and did their very best. This coming week we have four mornings of math testing. Each unit should last about 60 minutes. It will be a busy week!
In other curriculum news, we have started our study of the American Revolution, a perennial favorite topic. We kicked things off by assigning half the classes to be "Loyalists", and half "Patriots." These teams compete for points in and out of class. Students will select a topic and research it so they can present it on our own version of "Independence Day," the culmination of our research. The day will begin with student presentations, and then we will move on to academic "battles" in which students compete for more points. Who will be victorious- Loyalists or Patriots?
Lessons have included the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, and the Declaration of Independence. In addition to student research and lessons, we will head to the Concord Museum to experience the events of April 19, 1775. Students are learning about this day from the perspective of a person from a prominent Concord family. We have our own Reverend Emerson, as well as other leading citizens whose participation helped make a revolution. The children are very engaged and are enjoying playing their roles!
In ELA my students continue to impress me with their poetry and creative writing. I hope to share some of their work on this blog, so keep tuned in!
We will begin reading our next core book, a wonderful novel about an orphan living through The Great Depression- Bud, Not Buddy. This book offers many opportunities for students to learn about that time while exploring themes of survival, friendship, family, race and class differences, and children's rights. We will most likely employ literature circles as we did when reading Hatchet.
We still have a few topics to cover in math, including some measurement and geometry. This week we are finishing up a unit on algebra. What with PARCC testing and our Spring Concert, our schedule will need to be flexible this week, so it is hard to say exactly when we can finish one topic and begin another. I am available every morning at 8:00 if your child needs help in math.
Other happenings this month include a visit to Marshall Simonds where students will hear from the principal, Mr. Connors and have a quick tour of the school. As we look forward to the end of the year there are so many fun activities, but there is also lots more work to do! Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or concerns.
See you soon1