Saturday, September 20, 2014

Our First Big Idea Writing

So one of the concepts of Depth and Complexity that we introduce is Big Idea. That's a tough one for my young kiddos because they really don't think in big ideas yet. I can read a story and say "what is the author trying to teach us?" and I just hear crickets. They just think in details right now.

I read them (or actually played them the story: ) :

Which is about a little boy talking to older people about what memories are. Now I think "memory" is a pretty big idea! And the characters define it in many different ways.

Here's how my kiddos defined it:

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Book for Word Lovers

I know many of you love words as much as I do. I discovered a fun book:

I knew that other languages have much more specific meanings to many of their words. This book lists some fun ones. So it's words that exist in other languages to describe things we don't have in English. One of my favorites is the one to describe leaving a book unread after buying it, usually in a pile of other unread books. I definitely have one of those in my house! :)

And I liked this one: 

Gazing vacantly into the distance without realy thinking about anything specific-I do this all the time.

I wish there were more, it was pretty short, but a good gift idea for anyone you know who loves words! 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Making the World Beautiful....

It does not seem like we have been in school for a month already! I feel like time is flying by so fast.

But anyway, one of our reading response activities this week was for the book:

This is one of my favorite books. In it, Miss Rumphius makes 3 promises to herself: she will see the world, live by the sea and make the world a more beautiful place. Not bad goals to have!

So I asked the kids to think creatively, what would they do to make the world more beautiful. This is what they came up with. I do like that they are starting to give me more of a variety of answers now. :)

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Creative Family Trees

Family trees are a tough concept for little ones. When we do projects making a family tree, the products all look the same. We talked about why a family "tree" and how it probably had to do with the families always branching out. Well, I ask them to come up with a different format for a family "tree". This is what they came up with:

Family Snowflakes

Family Flower

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Friday, September 12, 2014

What a Week!

I thought the first week of school was the longest week in the history of time, but it turns out it was this week! :) We had Open House last night in the evening and I really felt like it was Friday already. I had 24 out of my 26 parents stop by, which I think is a record for me! Nothing like a 12-hour day to make you feel old! Now to write 24 thank you notes to send home tomorrow.

The other excitement-a few weeks ago I started feeling some pain in my knee. Well, it just continued to get worse and worse. I started actually having to limp around at school. Over the weekend it started to feel better, probably because I could actually stay off of it. Well, on Tuesday I'm walking down the hall and feel this "pop". Then I can't put any weight on it at all. So my doctor gave me crutches, which I could not manage-it made me too slow. So now it's specialists and tests--lots of fun and expensive stuff because I certainly have the time for that :). The kids were very sweet, helping me with my "crunches". And apparently that's what they learned in school this week because many parents asked me about it. They think I may have torn my meniscus. Right now the prescription is just to stay off of it, which we all know is just impossible for a teacher! :(

So yesterday was 9/11. I have a hard time teaching 5-year olds about this. It's just beyond their comprehension, the way the Revolutionary War and civil rights are beyond their understanding. So I read them this book (the story of it fascinates me):

A true story about a man named Phillipe who actually walked between the towers in the early '70's.

I talked about the memorial and how there had been a lot of discussion to decide what to make. We looked at other memorials and then I asked the kids to design their own 9/11 memorial.

This is what they came up with:

I am not usually one of those TGIF people, but this week, I am! Can't wait to relax a little bit this weekend! :)

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