The Monday after spring vacation is always an odd day, as kids re-adjust to the routines even as they are staring at the end of the school year not long down the road (I think, for us, in about eight weeks). And let’s face it: it’s a bit odd for me, too, to get back into my rhythm of teaching.
As usual, I was up way too early, thinking about the day’s plans and how to engage them back into our work. I decided we’re going to hold off for a day on digging into the sections of the novels they were to read over vacation (The Watsons Go to Birmingham and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle) since I know there are going to be some who did not read or did not remember to bring their books home. This gives them an extra night to catch up before we head into the center of both stories.
We will likely spend a bit of time working on our graphic organizer for our Environmental Essay Project as I work with them on organizing thoughts on the wide range of topics they have chosen to write about. Later this week, the real writing begins and I want them to have as many organizational strategies as we can muster to keep them focused.
So, what will we do, then?
I won’t get to our official poetry writing/reading unit for another few weeks, but still — it is April. I think what I will do is pull out Walt Whitman’s O Captain, My Captain and read it to them. We used a Time for Kids article before vacation to learn more about the Civil War and we talked a lot about President Lincoln’s role, and assassination. (And who can resist the classic scene in The Dead Poet’s Society, right? Poetry is of the heart).
And then, I am going to pull out some of our Poems for Multiple Voices, and see what kind of cacophony of words and voices we can create with poetry as a class. (And in a bit of a connection to my book review the other day of Practical Poets, I have a whole collection of poems for two voices that celebrate mathematical ideas which are a hoot to read.)
We’re easing back into learning …
Peace (after the break),