Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Apollo Middle School 10/18

Today was fairly laid back with seven readers.  We began with everyone choosing their book for October that they get to take home and keep! A few boys really wanted to get multiple books and had a hard time choosing which one they wanted for October.  In addition to choosing new books to order, most of the students received their September book orders (we haven’t had RAPS for three weeks since before Fall Break). 

Most were too excited about their new Minecraft Joke Book that they didn’t want to do anything but read and share jokes they thought funny, and since five students ordered the same book and they all read different parts first, we had a great time! 

Since almost all students wanted to read today, only two got to the I am from poem.  Though they did not finish it this week, I’m excited to see their final products in the following weeks.

Cameron Middle School 10/18

After a relaxing and enjoyable Fall Break for the RAPS Team and our students, we were so happy to be back in the classroom together! In the past, some of the students had mentioned that they were huge fans of scary stories, so we thought there was no better time than October to dive into some creepy short stories! The RAPS team found some wonderful and frightening texts from the CreepyPasta blog, in which anonymous authors contribute stories in order to hone the craft. One of the stories, pictured below, resonated with many of the pupils, so they drew some reactions to it.

First, though, we tried to introduce them to the genre, as a whole. We asked them to think of scary stories that they had heard in the past. What made them so scary, and why did they stay with you long after you had heard them? Many of them pointed to details such as monsters and the feeling of being threatened, but some others attributed the genre to the unexpected, and a feeling of dread. We drew all of these thoughts together, and we asked them to look out for them as we read. 

Some of our students wanted to react to the first story, so they drew out memorable scenes and descriptions of the story, highlighting what contributed to the feelings of dread. Others, however, wanted to read more, and experience that feeling all over again. Some of them drew these pictures and discussed how the author made these moves, while others read the remaining two stories, working on some difficult vocabulary and making tough inferences.

Either way, we thin we were able to bring our students into a new and compelling genre, which they hopefully remember around this spooky month! We look forward to heading back next week. We plan on ordering some more books and having one last scary activity!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wright Middle School 10/17

Last week was Fall Break in Metro Nashville, so we didn’t get to meet, but we made up for missing a week by having a lot of laughs and adding a new rapper!  During our last session, we had worked on I am from poems, and they all wanted more time to work on them.  The girls in class have finished writing their poems but will need next week to finish making it artistic.  One student, who made lots of headway last time, finished his poem and was able to be creative in other ways.

What started as a reading reaction mural, as I had introduced it, quickly turned into a class universe mural inspired by the books they are reading, ideas in their heads, and RAPS conversations.  Only one student could work on it today, but we intend to work on it more together in the coming weeks. 

The inspiration for the change came from the accompanying art to a student’s I am from poem.  In his art, he created an underwater city with a dome, above it is an ocean full of animals: whales, fish, bunny rabbits, and laser eye shooting sharks.  Humans had apparently tied an anchor to the rabbit’s leg in a mob type killing.  Those humans are Australians who thought of interesting ways to solve their rabbit overpopulation problem. 

 I’m very excited to see what they come up with together, and they are too!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Litton Middle School 10/5

We had a large group of Litton students gather on their last day of school before Fall Break! It is so great to have new faces joining RAPS, discovering the beauty of reading for fun and exploring literature's power to communicate so much.

 After our usual time devoted to silent reading, Litton scholars began to plan their "Found" poems. They chose several lines, words, or phrases straight from the text that embody the book, a character, or convey some message about the text. The lines from their text then take a form of the poet's choice. Some may choose to write a traditional linear poem, while others will create elaborate forms that connect to their book's message. 

We wish all of MNPS a fun and safe Fall Break! When Litton students return, they will begin planning an ongoing project to create book trailers, a game version of their book, and other interactive projects!  

RAPS mentors have constructed a tree in Wyatt to display student work! We look forward to more growth!