Friday, March 9, 2012

Rachel K. Reflections

Rachel Sreebny’s Weekly Reflections
March 5 – 9, 2012
This week, I began teaching writer’s workshop alongside Leslie. She coached me a lot in terms of what the 5th graders have done in the past and how to tackle the amounts of information without talking for too long. The students are starting to dream up their fiction ideas, and it was up to me to get them excited about imagining their own characters. Students were able to make connections to their space colony characters, which they made the week previous for our Storypath unit. We created lists of traits and reflected on our own traits (positive AND negative), which was interesting to assess later on. Space Colony continued this week and we launched into learning about the solar system. I have combined the core content standard mini-unit on space science into the more engaging, narrative curriculum that Storypath offers. This way, the students are learning what they need to learn in order to be at grade level, but I am presenting it to them with a more meaningful and aligned premise. The gravity lesson during the “great blackout of Friday” was a big hit, and even the ELL and special needs students hit the learning target and were able to explain how gravity keeps us on the earth. Students also created informational planet posters, which allowed them to demonstrate their mastery of non-fiction reading and writing for the purpose of gathering and referencing specific research. This research will help students choose a planet that they’d like to colonize during our next episode of the Space Colony.

The only challenge this week was that students for the most part were unable to apply their knowledge of landmarks (maximum, minimum, mode, and median) to a set of values. In order to give students more practice with this skill, Leslie and I are going to use landmarks as our warm-up whiteboard work every morning until
the students can do it upside-down and in their sleep! Other than that, it was another wonderful and wild week at Kimball. I will miss these kids deeply when my internship ends on April 13th.

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