December 4

Floating Trash

Every year humans discard their trash which winds up in waterways around the world. Here is a video on one such “floating trash island” in the Caribbean Sea. What else can we learn about floating trash islands? Take a few moments to help the class crowdsource Internet resources to understand this “water catastrophe” (according to Evie).

April 4

Writing Poetry

Recently we have been writing poetry.  We considered thoughtful descriptions, figurative language, line breaks and punctuation.  It has been fun sharing our poems; listening to each others’ has inspired even more poems to be written.  

Tree

Standing tall
dark green
dappled
with deep shadow.
Glimpses of sunlit boughs
as the wind
stirs your branches;
tickling your leaves
you tremble with great majesty.

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March 17

Why We Give

Sometimes when we give to others, we receive even more in return. Watch this video. Try not to cry, then think of a time when you did a good deed or made a sacrifice for the benefit of someone else. Briefly write about this time. Try not to cry.

March 6

Making Mochi

Mochi is a Japanese delicacy made with a special grain of rice. It takes a highly skilled person to make mochi. This video introduces the audience to the traditional art and craft of making mochi. Watch as the master explains his lightning quick techniques for turning rice into a classic Japanese treat. After watching, use the Reply space below to answer this: How do you think someone becomes a master or an expert at anything?

January 25

Learning About Blogging

Blogging is a new style of writing for me.  I joined a large group of Scarsdale teachers for a ‘blogging workshop’ today.  We looked at how digital literacy is different from traditional literacy and our goal is to introduce students to blogging so that they have a place of their own to share their writing and their thoughts.  We also looked at some fabulous examples of Scarsdale elementary student blogs – children who posted photos of their field trips and wrote about them, others who wrote about books they’d read, and others who wrote about science experiments they had conducted, amongst others.  The work was impressive.

The bonus of blogging is the automatic audience that can provide feedback.  I think this will excite the writers in my class.

I am looking forward to starting this style of writing with my students and am aware I have to practice myself…this is my first blog!