Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unit 6: Journeys

Journeys aims to help students explore concepts of geography and travel. In the spirit of James Joyce, we'll employ a simplified version of concentric circles. First we need to understand we are in a place or a location. Then we can expand out to the classroom, the city, the state, the country, the continent, the world, the universe. This concept is embedded in the story, "Me on The Map." Understandably, it can be very abstract to young children! And yet, our new model solar system already has students asking questions about planets (No pluto in this line-up!) A lot of students in our class have traveled to places near and far (from Lake Merritt to Tahoe to Chile.) We'll be talking about that as a way to use prior knowledge to make connections. Also look forward to drawing and writing journals which our amazing room mom is getting for us. We will start a daily morning journal time where students will create a message and reflect upon it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Drum by Nikki Giovanni

To continue our morning poetry and complement our regular drum lessons led by Mr. Osuna, we've started a new poem, "The Drum" by Nikki Giovanni.

The Drum
daddy says the world is
a drum tight and hard
and i told him
i'm gonna beat out my own rhythm

vocabulary focus: daddy, world, drum, tight, hard, beat, rhythm
high-frequency words: i, the, is, a, and, him, says, out, my

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ms. Conklins in Guatemala and Egypt

My younger sister will be working with young children as a Healthy Schools Facilitator in Guatemala. She has created this blog to chart her experiences with students in Guatemala. I hope we can do at least one pen pal exchange between students before the year is up.. My older sister works in Cairo, Egypt with Save The Children, an organization committed to ensuring that children worldwide have access to food, education and nurturing environments.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Oysters in New York

What did you do on your winter break? I visited my good friend Ann, who is also a teacher. She works at the New York Harbor School in New York City with students in high school. It was so cold in New York! I visited her field class on a learning lab about oysters. The students diagrammed and measured oysters and had a filter competition. Students are learning how oysters help keep estuaries (places where salt and fresh water meet) healthy. We tasted oysters at the South Street Sea Port Museum.