Thursday, September 29, 2022

A Different Kind of Self-Portrait

I am fortunate enough to work for a school that has an Environmental Science focus. Our school is made from sustainable materials (we even have a bench made with sesame seed hulls!). So we always come back to the Earth and how we can help keep her safe.

One of things I like to do the first month is to make self-portraits using different kinds of media. We painted, we made our faces using snacks. Here we went outside to find things from nature that could be used for hair, eyes, nose, etc.

I was so impressed with their creativity-even a little pinecone bow. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Fall Ethics

Ethics is one of my favorite concepts within Kaplan's Depth and Complexity to teach. Being able to make an argument, to defend an opinion is a life skill. We discuss questions where we can take a side every day. We start with Would You Rather questions, then step up to deeper ones. 

In Texas, it's hard to teach Fall. We still have 98 degree days here. But we do look at a lot of pictures of what fall typically looks like. My question was--is it right or wrong that the leaves fall off the trees? When we do these activities there is no wrong answer-whatever they come up with works as long as they can make an argument for it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Letter From One Character to Another-Multiple Perspectives

One way to focus on Multiple Perspectives from Kaplan's Depth and Complexity is to have the students put themselves in the shoes of a character and write a letter to another character from the story. We are reading Charlotte's Web as our first chapter read-aloud this year so I had students write to Charlotte from Wilbur's perspective. I think they did a good job especially because this is their first time doing this activity.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Our Own Versions of Cinderella

I love having students recognize patterns in stories. When I get them often "Patterns" means ABABAB to them. So when I ask what the pattern is in a story they say there isn't one. As soon as we learn to find them in stories-they find them everywhere!

Today there are many different versions of the traditional fairy tales. Tales from other cultures and even using animals. Here are some of my favorite Cinderella versions:

We read Cinderella stories for a week-comparing and contrasting. Discussing what details are present in each of the books. Cause and effect-(we use thinking maps so a multi-flow map)-why did she lose her shoe and what was the effect? 

Then I ask the students to create their own Cinderella stories. They were soooo creative!

Horse Cinderella

Bunny Cinderella

Traditional Cinderella

Cat Cinderella

Robot Cinderella