Saturday, October 2, 2010

Week of September 27, 2010

This is my daughter and her husband on their wedding day 9/25/10. I posted this photo since most of the students knew where I was this past week and wanted to see a here it is!

What a happy, but exhausting week. I was out two days this week but I will share with you what the students did in the media center.

Many of the classes continued what they were doing from last week. The fifth graders continued work on their lotus diagrams, the fourth graders finished reading Danny/helpful writing tips. One class read about Roald Dahl's first trip in their motor car with his ancient sister of 21 years at the wheel. (Roald actually had his nose almost cut off when she wrecked! Sad, but hilarious as he told it.) Third grade finished with their Esio Trot by Roald Dahl.

Three second grades each had a different lesson. However, all included books written by Patricia Polacco. One class had last weeks lesson about Rotten Richie and the ultimate dare (see last post). Another class had the lesson with the book, Thunder Cake, complete with recipe (see previous posting). Finally, another class had a lesson about how sometimes things do not go according as planned by reading, Rechenka's eggs. This beautifully written story was about a babushka who lived near Moskva (Moscow) who enjoys creating pysanky eggs. She plans to take the eggs that she has worked so diligently on to the village and enter them for a prize. However, all does not go as planned. This is our focus about how sometimes we must change what we plan to do.....which leads to a discussion about our character traits. We finish the book which is very heartwarming. I will follow up with the video (Reading Rainbow) when the students are learning to write "how to" stories.

First grade continued with their homophone stories/Good night, good knight and Dear Deer.

Kindergarteners continued their fiction/nonfiction text set by reading:

Green Snake by David Schwartz(nonfiction) and Small green snake by Libba Moore Gray (fiction). After reviewing the differences, students were divided up between 5 tables with both fiction and nonfiction books laid out so the covers were showing. We sang a song I made up sang to the tune "Here we go 'round the mulberry bush" except we sing....This is the way we choose a book, choose a book, choose a book, this is the way we choose a book, I want a _____. This is where I sing either "fiction" or "non fiction" and the students must choose that type of book. It is immediate observation as to which students understand and which students need more instruction.

Goodbye track 4!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Wetherell

Week of September 20, 2010

Welcome Fall!

This week I left plans for a substitute since I was helping plan my daughter's wedding. New sod was laid in the front, new blinds were installed, house cleaners and carpet shampooers were scheduled before the out of towners came to stay. We had a bridal shower and rehersal dinner to attend before the big day on Saturday. Such a busy week! Anyway, enough about me....

My plans included the following...

Fifth graders completed the Lewis and Clark DVD, listed problems and benefit of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and now we are organizing our information into a Lotus Diagram. This takes time and is a process which is very beneficial for students to discuss and then decide in which sub topic the information should be located. We will continue this lesson throughout October.

Fourth graders have completed Roald Dahl's, Danny, the Champion of the World excerpt from the Roald Dahl Treasury Book. We are following up with the last chapter of the actual book. The purpose of this lesson was to listen to the great detail and word selection Roald Dahl uses in his writing to describe locations, situations, and characters. Two of the classes were able to listen to some tips Roald Dahl used himself to come up with ideas for stories and to hold the reader's attention. The students were interested in hearing that Roald Dahl's hardest story to write was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He became so caught up in describing over 15 characters in the beginning of his rough draft. He asked his nephew to read it and his nephew said it was "horrible." Roald rewrote the script and it became what is now in the book. This led us to discuss peer editing....and how we need to offer gentle suggestions to our friends in the writing process.

Third graders continued to read Esio Trot, written by Roald Dahl. We also read the tips for holding your reader's attention by Roald Dahl. Two classes also wrote a sentence to their friend backwards just like Mr. Hoppy did for Alfie in the book. We decided to use a nonfiction book about a tortoise and hippo friendship as a follow up titled, Owen and Mzee. This book was written by the father and daughter team of Craig and Isabella Hatkoff. You can visit the website at to find out more.

Second graders continued their Patricia Polacco book quest by reading Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare. Students discussed what sibling rivalry was, their participation in sports, and ways to solve problems in family situations involving daring someone to do something. My substitute shared with me this was an interesting discussion to say the least.

(sorry...i posted first and kinders twice and each time the postings were lost)

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Wetherell