Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Woosh Goes Autumn

Welcome to Footnotes from Room 104. This (overdue!) post is for you, parents of new 4th graders. Outside the window, leaves are dancing in the wind. Inside our tiny, happy YES classroom, pencils are dancing on the page.

It's such a pleasure to work with your 4th grader, every Tuesday. The agenda on the board always includes a warm-up, NQQ, and an activity. Ask your child what NQQ stands for!
Today is October 25th (!). We started with a stanza from Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer's Night Dream:
You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong;
Come not near our fairy queen.
What is the rhyme scheme? How about the rhythm? The writing challenge was for us each to write a small poem of our own, warding off danger of some sort or other. We always have a group writing challenge, as well as some free choice.
Recently, we went outside to harvest autumnal imagery in our notebooks. We then put this to use in writing seasonal haiku. Each of the children is now published! Please ask your child to show you this work, along with the spiffy editorial comments, on this website, Family Travel Haiku.

Each class session provides us with a chance to really focus, and also to digress; whether we're discussing synesthesia, clich├ęs, or working on inventing archeological tidbits using the "hatbox," engagement is the rule. A common criticism of our work together is "there's not enough time." Still, we squeeze in what we can, and writing (and drawing!) notebooks mean that work can continue independently, according to each student's wishes. As a writer, I keep notebooks everywhere, including my very own NQQ version.

There's so much to tell, but for now, ask your child about our work together. Maybe you'll hear about our venerable typewriter....

Note: Room 104 (the inspiration for this blog's title) is the number of our Middle School classroom, and - coincidentally - Chapter 104 is the law that governs Gifted Instructional Support here in the state of Maine! For more information on that and other programmatic details, please visit our district GT site, nestled under Instructional Support!)

For more information on me, please visit my teacher page.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual GT Open House (tentatively scheduled for January 18th - more on that to come!)
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to email me!

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