Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Reading

GOAL students know that I expect them to read over the summer, but I recently found out about a fun way to document that reading. Thanks to the Free Technology for Teachers blog, I discovered a program sponsored by Scholastic this summer called the Scholastic Summer Challenge. It looks like a great resource for both students and parents alike. I'll be documenting my own reading on Goodreads.com. I hope to learn enough about that site this summer to incorporate it into my routine for students to document their own reading in the fall.

Here is a great link with summer reading ideas for gifted kids. It includes some great reading lists!

Happy reading, everyone!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hannibal, 2011

We had a great trip to Hannibal last week with the 7th grade GOAL class... enjoy the highlights on this PhotoPeach!

Hannibal, 2011 on PhotoPeach

Thursday, May 26, 2011

7th GOAL Animated Movies

Here are the links to all the 7th grade GOAL stop-motion animated movies from this quarter. We're excited to premiere them tonight on the big screen as part of our GOAL movie night fundraiser!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekly Preview: 5/23-5/27

Our last full week. Where did this year go???

6th GOAL: Students will be finishing their GPS scavenger hunts this week. After that, they will assessing the scavenger hunts, writing thank-you notes for the chaperones who went on our field trip to Nauvoo, completing reading contract self-evalutations, and participating in a class quiz bowl.

7th GOAL: Students will be taking their field trip to Hannibal, MO, on Tuesday as part of their Tom Sawyer unit. On Friday, students who made their assignment journal goals will reap the reward at Coral Ridge Mall for the day. So, in between, GOAL students this week are going to be continuing to hear Tom Sawyer, getting animated movies ready for our movie night Thursday, completing reading contract self-evaluations, competing in a class quiz bowl, and writing thank-you notes for chaperones.

8th GOAL: Students are frantically finishing their documentaries, so they're ready to present on Thursday night. They'll also be writing thank-you notes for trip chaperones, completing reading contract self-evaluations, assessing the documentaries (their own and their classmates'), watching their elementary Challenge Egg-Drop video, and competing in a class quiz bowl.

7th Language Arts: No spelling this week... our books are handed in for the year! This week, students will be finishing pen pal letters that were due last Friday, choosing their favorite piece of writing for their permanent writing folders, assessing the fractured fairy tale Zoobursts of their friends, having a spelling bee, and participating in a pass-write activity where students build on the ideas of others.

Whew! It's a lot to pack in, but we can do it. We have to make every minute count!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekly Preview: 5/16-5/20

6th GOAL: On Monday and Wednesday (Tuesday is Library Day), students will be setting up their GPS scavenger hunts. On Thursday and Friday, another group from their class will be completing the scavenger hunt. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

7th GOAL: Students will be assessing animated movies on Monday. For the rest of this week, we'll be finishing up Tom Sawyer in preparation for our trip to Hannibal next week. We'll also be touching on GPS skills as a mini-unit.

8th GOAL: This week, students will be working hard to finish up their documentary films. The movies will premiere (along with the 7th grade animated movies) on Thursday, May 26, our GOAL movie night.

The 8th grade GOAL class had a great time on their overnight trip to Des Moines last week. They visited the Des Moines Art Center, the State Historical Museum of Iowa, Drake University campus with a tour from an FHS alumni, and the Science Center of Iowa where they saw the Hubbell IMAX movie and saw the new Body Worlds exhibit. Click the photopeach below to see some highlights!

8th Grade GOAL to Des Moines on PhotoPeach

7th Language Arts: Students will be finishing up their last pen pal letters this week. Letters are due Tuesday for teacher edit, and final drafts are due Friday. Week 32 spelling words focus on words ending with -tial, -cial, -cious, and -tious. Page 195 and pretest corrections are due Wednesday.

Week 32 Words

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Science Fiction Booktalks

Here are the science fiction titles I booktalked today for library day. Enjoy!

Larklight by Philip Reeve

Starcross by Philip Reeve

Mothstorm by Philip Reeve

The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Weekly Preview: 5/9-5/13

6th GOAL: Monday was our big trip to Nauvoo... what a great time... click the play button on the Photopeach movie below to see the highlights! For the rest of the week, students will be planning their GPS Scavenger Hunts. We hope to be hunting next Thursday and Friday.

Nauvoo, 2011 on PhotoPeach

7th GOAL: Students will be finishing their animated movies this week... editing, adding music, uploading to YouTube and SchoolTube... getting them ready to present on our GOAL movie night on May 26!

8th GOAL: Students will be working on their documentaries... getting pictures uploaded and in order, writing storyboards, and finding music. Next week, they'll be recording and getting everything in order. The documentaries will be presented on the GOAL movie night on May 26. This class leaves after school Thursday for their big Images of Greatness trip to Des Moines.

7th Language Arts: Students will be starting their final pen pal letters of the year. Rough drafts are due this Thursday. Spelling for week 31 has to do with adding -ly to words ending in "ic." Pretest corrections and p. 190 are due on Wednesday.

Week 31 Words:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Booktalks: Historical Fiction

GOAL students are getting close to finishing their reading contracts for the year, but some are having trouble finishing their historical fiction genre requirement. I found a website with a lot of great suggestions... click here to see all the young adult historical fiction titles they've compiled on this site.

From that list specific books that I quickly pulled from our library this morning include:

Indio by Sherry Garland

A Bone from a Dry Sea by Peter Dickinson

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (and its sequels Skylark and Caleb's Story)

The Legend of Jimmy Spoon by Kristiana Gregory

The Stowaway by Kristiana Gregory

I know our Fairfield Middle School library has a lot more from the list too, so dig in. Enjoy some historical fiction today!

Weekly Preview: 5/2-5/6

6th GOAL: We're continuing our work w/ GPS & Geocaching. Monday, students jigsawed articles about how GPS receivers work, the history and applications of GPS, and the basics of Geocaching. Later in the week, they'll be using GPS technology to map different locations on school grounds and to build their own scavenger hunt.

7th GOAL: We're still working on our animated movies. We hope to be done filming this week so we can move into adding sound and finishing the movies next week.

8th GOAL: We're continuing work with documentary filmmaking. This week's focus is writing the script for our films and getting our interview footage uploaded to iMovie.

7th Language Arts: No spelling this week. We're finishing up our fractured fairy tale Zoobursts (due Friday) and getting ready for the big Pen Pal Party on Friday morning where we finally get to meet our pen pals face-to-face!