Reflections on The Giver

Anyone who’s spent any time in my class knows I love The Giver.  I have read it at least 15 times and look forward to reading it at least 15 more!  We recently finished reading The Giver and used a tool called VoiceThread to reflect on the major themes in this book.  In this VoiceThread you will hear each class member share their deep thinking about this award winning book. 

Our VoiceThread begins with a picture of the cover.  Students were asked to share their opinion of the book on this page.  Next, we have an image that is related to the setting of the book.  The setting of The Giver is integral to the plot, so students used this page to think about how the image related to the setting of the book.  Finally, on the last page of our VoiceThread students were offered two quotes from the book to reflect on. 

To begin click the play button. You can click on one or two responses and listen or listen to them all! Either way enjoy a glimpse into the wonderful deep thinking our classroom community regularly engages in.

Reader’s Theater

This week’s reader’s theater group had the opportunity to share their fluency work using technology. Aidan, Ammie, Livy and Brooke used Photostory 3, a free program preinstalled on most Windows machines, to create a video. Now that they know how to use Photostory, they will be our class helpers on our first project later in the year.

Bedbugs Reader’s Theater

If you want to really gross yourself out . . . check out this short video clip on bedbugs!

We made our first VoiceThread . . .

So what is a VoiceThread? VoiceThread is a way to talk about and discuss digital media. The best way for you to learn about VoiceThread is to watch one (and maybe add a comment).

What is this VoiceThread about? We read about Iqbal in our Daybook and became VERY interested in his story. As I researched more about Iqbal’s life, I found this video and decided to use a VoiceThread to help the kids share their feelings and reactions to this tragic, yet inspiring, true story. Click the play arrow to watch the video about Iqbal’s life and death and then listen to several of members of our class react to his courage and bravery. If you too are inspired, consider commenting on our VoiceThread . . . you can type a comment or record a comment using your computer’s mic. We would love to hear your reactions!!!

March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Welcome Spring!!!!  Even though the first day of spring isn’t until Friday . . . we have enjoyed the warm weather. 

We are still working on inferring in reading.  Today we practiced inferring the meaning of subheadings in nonfiction.  The kids got the hand of this skill quickly today.  We also worked on questioning in our daybooks this week.  We have 5 different daybook groups and I have been doing lots of juggling this week during our reader’s workshop. 

We have started a new science unit:  Land and Water.  Teams of students will use stream tables to learn how water shapes land and how land can influence the path of waterways.  We will change different variables throughout our exploration of earth science.

In writing we finished our Powerpoint presentations yesterday.  THEY ARE AMAZING!!!  Today and tomorrow we will be working on a NECAP constructed response practice problem. 

In math we continue to learn about fractions.  Yesterday we explored the fraction/decimal equivilants.  Today we began learning how to compare and order fractions.  We learned that comparing fractions to 1/2 is a useful strategy.  We also learned that if we are ordering fractions with the same denominator, we order them based on the numerator.  If the denominators are the same, but the numerators are different  . . . we know that the bigger the denominator the SMALLER the fraction.  This can be a challenging skill for kids.

Thank you for sharing your children with me.