Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 22 "All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move." Ben Franklin

Hi families--

Have you noticed that the communication and style of our blog has changed? More and more I'm trying to use it as a teaching directory--and a way to provide you with the information and activities your child is experiencing each day. It's good to know what's going on here, and to see how your child's education is evolving in a "21st Century" classroom. I must admit that I've grappled with the benefits of our everyday communication vs. "keeping it simple" for students so that they can most readily acccess information. I do hope I'm still being clear enough about what we're doing. As far as due dates, please understand that much of what I do is "work in progress" stuff--which involves teaching kids how to independently explore resources, glean information from primary text, and develop the curiosity and motivation that exemplifies true learning. Additionally, as the class moves through a plethora of self-directed activities, I can devote more time to the specific needs of each individual child. I'm learning more every day about what truly engages kids, and I am working long and hard to provide them with experiences that will entice them them and pique their interests.

So, just as an update:

Both classes are working on "Hero" web pages in Language Arts. I'm conferencing with students as fast as is humanly possible; meanwhile, there's lots that they can do without me. The children are being given the freedom to develop their webpages in unique and expressive ways as they work toward quality products. Mr. Wright is working with me to continually address "urgent" concerns, answer questions, and provide necessary support and enrichment. If you have any expertise or time on your hands, feel free call or email me. I'm forever open to new ideas, strategies, and techniques.

I've asked everyone to try to finish their essays (5) or research reports (6) by Friday so that we can wrap this up next week. I'll check them between now and Monday as they filter in to me.

In Social Studies, we're going to finish up our mini-research on the trade we selected and work on our posters as we prepare our final products for display. Depending upon when folks have Social Studies, paragraphs should be done (including editing) by Monday or Tuesday, at which time we'll finish the "art part." Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun with these short activities.


Dictionary of trades and occupations -- JUST in case you didn't think there was anything going on in Colonial America...

Kid Info--Colonial Life Pretty much anything you want to learn about colonial life can be found here; this is an excellent, very rich site to explore!

EVEN MORE information I stumbled upon for a couple trades:

I guess I'll head home. Good-night everyone-