Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Going On?

Below is a very quick snapshot from Communications groups ... perhaps a conversation starter for you and your child?

Grade 8:
We're reading and discussing Pete Hautman's National Book Award winner, Godless. What happens when a teen jokingly creates a new religion and people get swept up in it? It gives us plenty of issues to talk about, from peer pressure to power and organizations and is a good prelude to the 8th grade focus on Civil Rights, later in the year. These students are also writing a screenplay, details to follow! Students have also been sharing their memoirs with me. Much good conversation about writing, which is, of course REWRITING.

Grade 7:
What makes for a good character? Does characterization lead to plot? Students have been doing some character invention, as well as analysis. The short story, A Mother in Mannville, by Marjorie Rawlings, is rich with example and inspiration. Students have also been working on their "passion essays."

Grade 6:
We're deep into a unit I call "evolution of language."
Why does language change? How? What makes a word a WORD?
 If you have a few minutes, please watch this video of The Three Little Pigs told as a Shakespearean would....We'll be wading around in this unit for a while. Stay tuned for more particulars. Ask your child about portmanteaus! And, if you have been called a currish dizzy-eyed boarpig lately, well, sorry about that...Shakespearean insults have been very popular...

Grade 5:
What is metaphor? We're exploring it in poetry, in my picture book The Sailor's Book, as well as in the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech by Dr. Martin Luther King. The students are writing metaphor haiku and have been published on this venerable site, Family Travel Haiku, complete with editorial comments. Visit the "Read Haiku" link to see our work. 

Grade 4:
At YES, we've been doing a mix of warm-up writing exercises, short story reading (ask about the aliens and how your child voted, and WHY), as well as having fun with my ancient typewriter. 

Don't forget our GT Open House, at HMS, November 18th, 6:30 - 7:30 in our library.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hitting the Ground Writing

What a glorious tumult is the fall. We're hitting the ground writing (and reading and discussing and so much more!) in the HMS and YES Communications groups. More on specific units and activities soon....

For now, two housekeeping details:

  • Save the date for the Annual GT Open House, Wednesday November 18th, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the HMS Library. This evening is designed for parents/guardians of kids receiving direct GT services (grades 4-8). Come find out more about how we support the needs of GT identified students here in Yarmouth. Learn about some of the unique social/emotional traits of the gifted and how you can find resources for raising gifted learners.
  • Do you have questions about GT? We have a revamped website! Please enter the portal under INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT and wander around (links appear under the Chapter 104 - GT header).