Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Horne Street Update: Week 2

The hurricane sure messed up our schedule.  After having 2 days off the week sure didn't feel like a week.  For the kids it was like having a holiday, so their focus was rather low and Wednesday was sort of a practice in patience, which was fine.  I did need practice in keeping the kids together and focused.

Since the book fair starts this week, we showed the promotional video to the kids last week.  For the 3rd and 4th graders I decided to turn this into a small lesson on advertising.  I asked them what they noticed about the commercials: what did they try to make them feel?  What were they saying about the books?  When I asked for other examples every class brought up the election ads.  For the whole year New Hampshire has been bombarded with political ads and the kids were very eager to see them GO AWAY.  The whole thing led to some great discussions, which sadly had to be cut short since the video was long and the students had to have time to pick and check out books.

For the 2nd and 1st grades, if there was time (some were late due to the hurricane "jitters") I would read to them a book called "Perfect Square" by Michael Hall, which was about a square that kept getting torn up, so it would turn itself into different things.  My goal was to lead them to an exercise where they could cut and rip apart their own squares and make something out of them.  Unfortunately only one class had time, but they showed great enthusiasm for the exercise and enjoyed it very much. 

As for kindergarten, I showed them the book fair video, read to them Perfect Square, and then showed them another video.  It was a reading of Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and James Dean, where they would sing the song from the book.  The kids got up and danced and sang, which was quite exciting and in some cases we showed it again. 

Other than classes I attended two meetings.  One was a curriculum meeting with all of the Dover schools.  We listened to a presentation by the language department and discussed common core and how to fit it better into everyone's schedules.  They also brainstormed ideas for collaboration with the language department.  The other meeting was with the Horne Street staff.  They were discussing the Responsive Classroom discipline I've mentioned before and how it was working and what they needed to work on more.  It was all very interesting to see how school politics worked and how everyone works together.

I'm afraid that is all though.  Nothing too exciting happened, but it was all valuable experience.  This week is my last full week though I will be here on Tuesday and Wednesday next week to help finish with the book fair, and I will be sure to make a last entry for that.  Then Friday I move to St. Louis, MO where my husband has just received a full time job!  It's going to be a busy couple of weeks, but at least the holidays will be quiet.


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