Friday, September 7, 2018

Wecome Back!!!

Welcome to G&T 2018-19!!! This year will be filled with enriching and challenging adventures in Math, Engineering, and English Language Arts. G&T is a place where we can take risks, learn from both our successes and failures, ask lots of questions, persevere when faced with challenges, and, most importantly, have fun! For those of you who are new to the program, check out the videos below to get a feel for what this program is all about. For more info about each grade level, click on the grade level tabs above.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Final Weeks of School

The third graders have been exploring and writing new types of poetry like blackout poetry. They have also been practicing applying the poetic techniques we've learned to their own poems. Here are just a few examples of their work:

The fourth graders have been hard at work making a movie version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. We are thrilled with what we were able to put together in very little time. Check our our movies below!

Our 5th graders held a second debate, and their debating skills were much improved! They were better at taking notes and refuting the other team's arguments. They also had  a better grasp on the topic and were able to explain what their research meant!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Week of May 14-18

This week, my 3rd grade poets explored aspects of poetry like repetition, lists, surprising/descriptive language, and wonderings. We then tried to incorporate some of these things into our own poems. We discussed the importance of seeing the extraordinary in ordinary objects and seeing the world through a poet's eyes. I am so impressed with the sophisticated and thoughtful poems my students have been writing!

This week, the 4th graders took turns directing the first scene of "Macbeth." Watch how the decisions made by the directors affected how the scenes turned out!

The 5th graders held their first formal debate. I was impressed with the research the students did in order to support their arguments! After reflecting on how it went, we agreed that we need to be better at taking notes throughout the debate in order to refute the other team's arguments. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Weeks of April 23-May 4

Over the past couple of weeks, my 3rd grade poets explored aspects of poetry like repetition, lists, and surprising/descriptive language. We then tried to incorporate some of these things into our own poems. We discussed the importance of seeing the extraordinary in ordinary objects and seeing the world through a poet's eyes. I am so impressed with the sophisticated and thoughtful poems my students have been writing!

In 4th grade, we explored the language of Shakespeare and discussed his contribution to modern English. People back in Elizabethan times definitely spoke very differently than we do today, but after learning about verbs, pronouns, and some common terms from back then, we were able to start to make sense of it all! We also explored Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. After reading an abridged version, some students were surprised at how depressing this play actually is! We then focused on translating some of the balcony scene into modern day language by having Rome and Juliet text each other. I was shocked at how quickly many students were able to make sense of Elizabethan English and pick up on the gist of what was going on!

Our 5th grade debaters have been busy preparing for their first formal debate. They are making sure to have clear reasons to support their assertions and a lot of evidence to back up their ideas. The week after PARCC, we will hold the debates and evaluate how we did so we can make necessary improvements for the next one!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Week of April 16-20

This week, the 3rd graders continued to read and respond to poetry by participating in poetry stations. We painted the images poems created in our minds. We also hunted for poetic techniques we've been learning about in the books (both poetry books and short stories) scattered across the room. We really started to see how poetry is an art form; instead of paints, poets use words to make pictures or evoke feelings in their readers.

In 4th grade, we learned about Shakespeare's use of puns to entertain his audience. We explored the meanings of modern day puns and puns from some of Shakespeare's plays. The best part was coming up with our own puns! I was very impressed by how "punny" my students are!

Our 5th grade debaters continued to practice the art of refutation this week, and some classes also learned about critical literacy. We discussed how important it is to consider where information is coming from when doing research. Readers who use Critical Literacy read deeper into the information. They constantly ask: Why is this author telling me this information? What is their purpose? Are their opinions part of this source and does that make this a biased piece? Critical Literacy researchers are always looking for ways to assess a source’s credibility.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Week of April 9-13

This week, the 3rd graders read and responded to all types of poetry. We noticed that some poems rhyme, some use repetition, some use figurative language, some can be funny, and others can be pretty serious and emotional. We also read some Langston Hughes poems ("My People," "As I Grew Older," "I, too, sing America"), formulated open-ended questions about them, and had very interesting discussions. I was so impressed with my students' ability to see the universal themes of the poems that could relate to all of our lives!

After learning about life during the Elizabethan Era, the 4th graders read a modified version of Macbeth. They were shocked at how bloody and morbid it was! We will be working on putting on a kid friendly production of Macbeth during this cycle, so we chose our roles and started familiarizing ourselves with the script. We're really looking forward to making costumes, scenery, props, and learning how to direct scenes!

The 5th graders learned the art of refutation during our debate lessons this week. The four basic steps we followed are:
They say...
But I disagree. I believe...
Because...(reason and evidence)
Therefore... (prove why your argument is stronger)
We realized how important it is to do good research and really read through articles to find good supporting evidence!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Week of March 26-29

This week, I was finally able to begin our ELA cycle! The 3rd graders were immersed in poetry. We read and discussed a wide variety of poems, looking at poetic techniques and meanings/messages of the poems. We learned ways to respond to poetry and took a try at it. We had many interesting discussions, like how the life and background of the poet affects his/her message. After reading about the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes's poem "My People" made a lot more sense!

 In 4th grade, students were transported back to the Globe Theatre during the Elizabethan Era. We explored the life and times of William Shakespeare and learned a lot about what life was like back then. The girls were not happy about the fact that girls back then did not go to school and could not act in plays! We discussed how the themes of Shakespeare's plays are still relevant today, which explains why he is still so well known!

The 5th graders became debaters, arguing the pros and cons of zoos. We learned that debates are formal arguments that are well organized and supported with reasoning and evidence. Debates are NOT people yelling at each other randomly using the knowledge that's already in our heads! We also started to practice constructing arguments using the A.R.E. format (assertion, reasoning, evidence). This will help us defend our claims in our debates!