Theodore Roosevelt School
In third grade science the students have been very busy preparing for their big day, the science fair! The students have been working for months perfecting the engineering design process. The students began by inventing something new or improving an idea. Many students chose to invent a new idea! After creating a blueprint, completing a patent, and building a prototype, the students are ready to present their projects at the third grade science fair!
In Reader’s Workshop the fourth grade students have began their nonfiction unit. Throughout the unit, we have explored what types of genres fall under the nonfiction category, how to find the main idea of nonfiction texts, and what nonfiction text features are and how they help us better comprehend a text. The last two weeks we have zoomed in on how a nonfiction text is structured. We have been analyzing articles that tie into celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Black History Month and President’s Day. We have been utilizing Nearpod to analyze ten nonfiction texts and then developed class discussions.
Nearpod is a program that allows the teacher to create a presentation that will be displayed on the board, as well as on each student’s chromebook. Students were able to read a digital text and then annotate the text by underlining and highlighting key details.
Furthermore, students were able to post their responses to teacher created questions on a collaborative board. We could see each other’s responses and hold verbal and written debates with one another. Additionally, we were able to travel to Berlin, Germany to see the now updated “Olympiastadion” that Jesse Owens performed at in the 1936 Summer Olympics. Understanding an author’s text structure allows students to develop a deeper comprehension of the text they are reading. This also assists the fourth grade students in Language Arts class when they are deciding the type of text structure they want to use in their own nonfiction writing.
In 4th grade Language Arts class, students have also began their Nonfiction Writing Unit. We started by exploring mentor texts to identify different text features, author’s voices and the structure and organization of texts. Students worked in small groups to note similarities and differences they identified in various nonfiction texts.
Students also spent time researching various topics of interest using both print-based and digital books from Get Epic, Kid-friendly wikis, articles from Newsela and many more sites! As we moved through the prewriting stage of the writing process, students collaborated with their fellow classmates (or peer authors as we call them in Writing Workshop!) to share learned information about their topic, gain feedback, and work together to think of creative ways to format their writing pieces. By collaborating with peer authors, students have started to think about their audience and purpose for their own nonfiction writing. We’re looking forward to moving along in the writing process and beginning our nonfiction drafts soon!
Our sixth grade students “D.A.R.E” to make a difference! Every Wednesday, DARE Officers Serge and Danny spend the day at TRS teaching the sixth graders good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives. The students learn how to recognize and resist peer pressure. The officers empower them to respect others and to choose to lead lives free from violence, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors. Students are working in small groups creating skits that demonstrate resistant strategies. They role-play pressure situations that anyone might face. On the night of D.A.R.E. Graduation, the sixth graders will be sharing their skits with family and friends.