Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back in the classroom (or the post I was doing before the riot...)

The end is near and I never seem to be ready to quit teaching although it isn't easy this time of the year and especially when your students know that they only have a couple more weeks of being grade sevens before they go off to high school.

There has been lots of excitement from the big Me to We assembly(that I blogged about) to Bike to School Week culminating in a Bikers' Breakfast, the District Track Meet and finally, our first Writers' Festival with children from kindergarten to seventh grade all sharing their writing.  This week finished off with our Sports Day. Our Sports Day had a literary theme and wouldn't you know my station was, "Captain Underpants!"

As you know, my class loves projects.  My last project was called Giant Steps.  I had decided to read the class the book, Small Steps , one of my favorites, by Louis Sacher .  This story tells how Armpit, one of the "graduates" of the detention centre described in Holes, decides to turn his life around by taking five small steps that become the plot of the novel.   There is no way I am going to finish it but that's okay.

Then I had discovered the book, Giant Steps to Save the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee with illustrations by Sean Quales.  Before reading or even seeing the book, my students had to research and do presentations about the people that are the focus of this book.  The kids had 10 days to work on this and not much class time to do so, but all the projects were ready on time.  Needless to say, Van and Steven built a model of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.  Each group did a different person or in one case, a group of people, so that it was interesting for the students to learn about each other's research.  The presentations were very good with students having learned how to talk to their presentations and not generally duplicate information.  Here's Jane and Meili's prezi on Jean-Michel Basquiat.

After they had finished the presentations, I read them the book, Giant Steps to Save the World,which they loved, especially the illustrations.  I also made them a copy of the poem and they did response booklets about it.  I let them think about the steps they had taken and the steps they want to take in the future.

I really enjoyed this project and I think the students did as well.  I have enclosed more detail on a page for you.

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