Thursday, January 31, 2019

Vocabulary Runway Show

We know vocabulary is an important skill when students are learning how to read. If they can read a word, but still don't know what that word means then they won't have effective comprehension. I try to teach several new words to my students every day and nothing makes my heart swell like hearing them use those words correctly.

Every year we do a Vocabulary Runway Show. I assign a word to each student (most of them are adjectives that they can implement in their writing).  Some of the words this year were: ancient, glamorous, wealthy, noble, zany and incognito. They dress up like the word and recite a definition in their own words and a sentence giving an example of one use for the word. What I love about this activity is that they aren't just learning their own word-they are learning everyone else's words as well. I will be reading a story a month from now and they will recognize a word and be able to picture how that student was dressed-so they know what the word means.

Here are some pics from this year:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Radiant Child: Learning about Basquiat

I have always been a fan of the artist Basquiat. I saw an exhibit of his work when I was in college and was fascinated with his story. He, much like Frida Kahlo, experienced a painful accident in his youth. To help him deal with the anxiety of it all he started studying medical books and learning about how bones and muscles worked. He incorporated that knowledge into many of his works.

As a teen, he started spray painting the most incredible graffiti people in New York had seen. That was actually how he was discovered. This book:

talks about his life growing up and how he developed natural talents. He was encouraged by his mother to pursue the arts.

We looked at some of the works by this artist and discussed how even paintings that are scary and even ugly can also be beautiful. We talked about how art is defined.

Then the kids drew using some of the techniques Basquiat incorporated-he used a crown to denote respect and often drew bones/skulls:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Big Idea of Love

Our writing prompt for February's class book is about the Big Idea of Love. It's challenging to define a word that we use every day. I asked my students to write about what love was without using the word "love". Here's what they came up with:

Hard to argue with that one, right? :) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

If Martin Luther King Was Alive Today

I strive to give my students different ways to show what they are learning. We have been learning all about MLK's contributions to our society. I asked my students to pretend he never got shot-that he was alive today. What would he say? What would he do?

Here are their responses:

Monday, January 14, 2019

I Have a Dream, from the Perspective of Title 1 Students

We have been learning all about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. We watched the footage of his favorite " I Have a Dream" speech. I asked my students to write about what they dream would change in the world. Their answers are just heartbreaking to me. These are 5 year olds growing up in poverty with all the issues that come along with that. We recently had a shooting here where a little girl was killed as the assailants shot into her mom's car. One of my students wanted to write "I have a dream that babies do not get shot". Oh my goodness, I think my heart broke in two.

for people to be good.

people take care of the trees.

people don't kill people.

animals be safe.

the world is beautiful

everyone can sit in the front.

everyone had a family

no one get shot

that things would be fair

people stop killing each other

don't build a wall

people stop fighting