It seems like once September passes, I blink and Thanksgiving break is here. That has certainly been the case for this October – it went by so fast, I’m still not even sure when it started!
The younger grades have been so excited about Halloween that our lessons and activities have happily surrounded the holiday. Last week, we used a rhythmic story called Rattlebone Rock to experiment with the music that can be found in literature. We even borrowed some instruments from the music room (thank you!) and created our own rhythms and sounds to match the text. Between the oohs and boos, the maracas and the jingle bells, was one of the most fun lessons we have done yet!
This week, we toned down the noise but focused on the spookiness! Students in grades pre-k through 2 each got to hear a special ghost story – with the lights off! We passed around LED flameless candles, shared some scary stories, and talked about the kinds of characters that we see in Halloween stories. Students holding the flashlight had an important job – to keep the beam on the book so that everyone could share in the pictures. It was wonderful to see even our smallest patrons taking pride in sharing stories and making predictions.
First and second grade students also got to participate in a special story and art project called The Witch’s Little House. Starting with a piece of blank paper and a pair of scisssors, we shared a story that included cutting directions on the Smart Board. This activity was a true test of direction following, with multiple steps that had to be done just right! If students followed directions and got help when they needed it, they unfolded their paper at the end to reveal a special jack-o-lantern waiting for them. It was a great surprise!
Third grade has officially launched into our unit on reference tools. Although reference tools aren’t always a student favorite, these skills are critical both in and outside of school. A solid knowledge of reference tools will reflect not only in student SOL and test scores, but also in student ability to research, write, and study correctly. We are tackling the dictionary first, with activities, discussions, and games to help students become more comfortable with the critical tool.
Fourth grade has started one of my favorite units to teach – the Dewey Decimal System! Instead of explaining the way we go about learning Dewey, I’ll show you the video that helps us learn. Be careful… it’s catchy! You’ll find yourself singing about Melville Dewey in no time!
This afternoon, the school will be meeting to discuss new PBIS initiatives and what students can to do show that they are ROARing at Johnson. If you aren’t familiar with what it means to ROAR, this is a behavioral acronym that teachers and staff of Johnson have created to help keep our students safe, happy, and productive. ROAR stands for Respectful, Open-Minded, Actively Engaged, and Responsible. We will be playing games, watching special performances, and maybe even doing some singing together while we talk about what it means to really ROAR!
Have a ROARing start to your November, everyone!