Peak by Roland Smith

Unit Layout

This novel is a four week literture unit that is student paced based on "climbing teams" otherwise known as Literature Groups. The students are required to work throughout the four weeks to accomplish specific tasks as a group and independently. This also allows for small groups to meet with me for Guided Reading Interventions. Examples of student work/projects are given below.

Background Development

We use DiscoveryEd video regarding the history of climbing Mt. Everest with Sir Edmond Hillary as well as the physical impact of high altitude climbing videos. We also reached out globally to connect with experts in this field. Our expert was located at Base Camp Everest and is one of the leading climbers in the world.

Reaching outside our classroom walls

Ropes Course

We extended our learning by attending a ropes course. This brought the students together to learn about cooperation and perseverance. This day long event required all students to try something outside their comfort zone, but relate to the dangers that the characters in the book may have faced. Upon returning to the classroom students reflected on what they where successful at accomplishing, what they wish they had done, and how they related back to the novel.

Daily 5 Lesson Example

Read to Self: Peak Novel pages for week schedule determined by group.

Read to Someone: Article posted in Angel "Calamities - Climbing Everest 1996"

Listen to Reading: Listen to podcast of climbing expeditions by individuals that attempted to climb high peaks.

**Guided Reading Groups: Small groups of 4-6 students are pulled based on Common Formative Assessments (iReady, Weekly Standard Quizzes, and/or informal observations) to work directly with me on leveled targeted texts. These groups target specific skills within the 5 Components of Reading with high interest text.

Work on Writing:

1) Take one of the events from the novel and write it from another character's point of view. This character must have been associated with the event in the novel. They do not need to be in the direct action. Journal entries must be audio recored for your digital journal. Remember to practice 3 times prior to recording. Your focus is to determine how they "see" the events differently due to their own point of view.

2) Plot Development base on the novel. Students will work on identifying the parts of the plot and how it impacts the story and characters. Students will utilize Google Docs and ThingLink as a platform to collaborate.

3) Simile, Metaphor, Cause/Effect. Working with your group you are responsible to locate the items listed in our Google Drive.

Work on Words:

1) Self-Selected Stem Words Week 22 - select two activities from the list to complete (locate 2 words that use this stem, using the "Virtual Dictionary" determine the part of speech of your words, flashcards)

2) Novel Vocabulary: determine page number, part of speech (as used in the novel), synonym for word, antonym for word, determine any "stems" used in the word.

I Am Poems -

This project is used to support objectives of poetry and figurative language. Students had the requirement of writing their own poem based on a object or idea within the novel. Once this was completed the Climbing Groups would collaborate to bring this together. The formate was open base on the requirement that they use "multiple senses" in their presentation.

Gateway - Past, Present, and Future

Research, Writing and Evaluation

Students worked all year to determine a topic of interest to work through the "Big 6" of research and multiples of Bloom's Taxonomy. This project incorporated all areas of curriculum to show how one idea has evolved from the past of ancient times into the present and dreaming of the future. This project was established to expose and prepare all students for the Senior Project required for High School Graduation.

Overview of Gateway Project

I Am a Teacher - Philosophy of my teaching

I am a facilitator.

I see a class filled with self motivated thinkers.

I want students to take control over their own learning.

I know they like choices and making decisions.

I am not the center of the classroom.

I wonder what decisions they will be faced with in the future.

I feel that students are setting individual goals.

I touch on what they are interested in learning.

I am a guide.

I worry that kids are growing up too fast.

I cry out, "I don't get it YET!!!".

I understand that students like individualized learning.

I want independence in my students.

I understand the world is becoming smaller and more connected.

I say get involved and excited about something.

I am a teacher!