Friday, April 20, 2018

Litton Middle School 4/20/18

The past two weeks at Litton Middle School have been full of Kwame Alexander...we are getting so excited for his visit and doing all that we can do to engage with his books. Several students enjoyed doing a read-aloud of the text. Poems are meant to be read aloud, and the students get really into the roles and rhythms! Leading up to the author visit at Vanderbilt, we are reading as much as we can. We also are starting Kwame Alexander micography art projects. Students choose a symbol that is important to the text and lines from the text to create the image with words. This week, students chose their symbols (guitars, music notes, hearts, the infamous silhouettes from the covers soccer and basketballs) and started to find the best lines from the books to support their vision. Next week, they will actually begin to draw and write their final product. We can't wait to see how these turn out! Also...big shout out to Ms. Crandall who was named Isaac Litton Middle School's Teacher of the Year! She is inspiring to work with!

Madilyn created an artistic mask inspired by the character"Haymitch" from The Hunger Games.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cameron 4/18

We had a great penultimate week at Cameron! In preparation for Kwame Alexander's visit, we kept on reading Booked. Though we had to read at an accelerated pace, due to our short time together, the students demonstrated remarkable skills in identifying plot, characterization, and the different ways that Alexander uses his poems to create tone! The content spoke to many of our students, and they loved having the chance to take the book home and read on their own time.

We also had a chance to work with the fifth and sixth graders on an important topic, as they enter junior high. As cyberbullying affects numerous students across the country, Cameron thought it appropriate to utilize class time to teach students skills for dealing with bullying, as well as affirm their commitment to helping in any situation. It was powerful to see students engage with this issue, and we think it was cool that they got to see us in a regular setting, where we can use our lived experience to become mentors.

Next week, Cameron undergoes standardized testing, so we will not be in the building. However, we will be back for one last week, before Kwame Alexander visits on the 7th!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cameron 4/11

After what sounded like a relaxing spring break for our students, we were excited to be back at Cameron Middle School! After wrapping up our unit on coding, we got to pass out some free books to our students! They were so excited to take the books home and begin reading that we had trouble getting their focus.

In preparation for Kwame Alexander's upcoming visit to Vanderbilt, we have begun reading Booked, Alexander's novel-in-verse that deals with a middle-school soccer player's coming of age story. The students were enthralled with the style and content of the book, and they loved taking turns reading. We can't wait to continue reading with them, and they were so excited when we mentioned that Mr. Alexander will be visiting them soon!

We also helped the students as they began a new class project on a new book. Though the students didn't get much of a chance to start this new book, we got to assist in a fun gallery walk, as the students were asked philosophical questions, such as "Is it possible for people to change?" We look forward to helping out with this portion of class as well, and we can't wait to be back!

(The blog is currently experiencing issues with uploading pictures, so we will get them up as soon as possible!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cameron 3/28

This was our final week with the inventors and coding unit and we were absolutely thrilled with our students' progress! Though we would have loved to get into some more intense coding modules, Scratch served as a wonderful way for us to integrate our focus on storytelling and coding directions. Our students spent their final moments, today, creating a story using the scratch directions, having their characters interact with one another and act out based on the actions of others. It was a fun activity that they enjoyed!

We also had the chance to give our students another Scholastic Book Order! Though Scholastic has been painfully slow in fulfilling our orders, we have promised our students that they will receive them, even if they must be mailed after the school year ends! The class is excited to finally get their books, and we hope that they allow them to work on their English skills at home!

Next week, Cameron is on their Spring Break! So, the RAPS team will spend their week off beautifying Wyatt with some of our students' works!