Learning & Creating with the RobotSpiderOwlBrains!

Tuesday, April 28th
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Presentation of individual Science Fair project proposals, with teacher & peer feedback. Clarification & discussion of expectations for quality of presentation (the idea of "audience" will be crucial in this endeavor, as it is in everything that we do: it doesn't matter what you learn or what you do if you are unable to communicate your learning to others). Description and discussion of the elements of an experiment, and how experimentation falls within the larger structure of the Scientific Method. How do we write an engaging & effective question to drive our investigation once we have identified a topic of interest? What is the difference between an experiment and an activity? What do you hope to accomplish through experimentation, why is this of interest to you, and why should this be of interest to the whole class? This is the component of opinion writing that is essential to project (and grant) proposals, i.e., convincing others that your project idea is worth their time and money. Approaching our understanding of experimentation as we understand narrative elements, i.e., through our question words (who, what, where, when, why, and how), and including the answers to all six questions in our project descriptions & proposals. WHAT are you trying to determine [QUESTION]? WHY is this important to you, to the class, and to the world, and WHO will participate and benefit from the learning [REASON]? WHERE, WHEN, and HOW will the experiment take place [PROCESS and MATERIALS]. Extended Learning Assignment: Rewrite project proposal, including question, reason, process, and materials. Proposal should also include proper formatting (title, paragraphing, capitalization & punctuation) as well as any and all necessary illustrations. Due tomorrow (Wednesday). Students will be coming home with a copy of a strong example of the type of work expected on this assignment.
-IRA: Ember [Ch. 3]: Continue conversation about setting, focusing on the creation of shared sensory experience through the use of detailed descriptive language. Thinking critically about an author's word choice in trying to share their vision of a setting with their audience.
-Revive NoBo, discuss plans to revisit earlier writing through the lens of our extensively expanded understanding of setting. Read & begin to rewrite Chapter II: The Volcano with a focus on expanding the sensory experience of the reader through the inclusion of detailed descriptive language. Continue writing for Extended Learning.
-Geography Packet #3 (weeks 21-30) handed out, due NEXT THURSDAY (May 7th).

Monday, April 27th
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Math Facts Practice x7A. Review of mental math strategies & importance of automaticity in math facts recall. Complete x7B for ELA.
-Independent work time on plant data tables & root structures. Transplanting student spiderlings into larger containers & examining spiderling root structures.
-IRA: Ember [Ch. 3]. Distribution & discussion of new Ember map, taken directly from the book. What was missing from the old version, and what can we learn from the differences? Why did the cartographer who made the first map choose to represent the features on the map as they did? Focused conversation on setting, and the elements of detail included in a strong description of setting. Details should activate senses through creative descriptive language, at least 3 out of 5. Consider the use of senses beyond the "standard," e.g., experiencing sound via tactile sensation (vibration), experiencing tactile sensations & smells via taste (moisture, decaying rubber). Practicing orienteering skills & descriptive language through tracking character movements on the map.

Friday, April 24th
-Field Learning Opportunity at UW for Engineering Design Days. We rode the Metro bus downtown & transferred to continue to close to the UW campus. We acquired a stack of campus maps, and took a roundabout route through campus as we practiced our map-reading and other related orienteering skills. Students divided into groups to explore the event. Some of the exhibits visited: robotic fish & other submersibles; extracting DNA from strawberries; building & launching water-powered rockets; exploring solar cells & using them to power small vehicles; painting with interactive software; electroplating.
-Extended Learning: Drawing upon inspiration from the FLO and considering our class study of plants, begin to develop a proposal for a class Science Fair project.

Thursday, April 23rd
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Review of Geography Packet 2, weeks 18-20. Discussion of various contents & concepts related to cartography, including: island chains (and national ownership of islands; geography (writing/drawing the earth) vs. cartography (writing/drawing maps); regions & what defines a region (shared characteristics). Review of fractions & their use in representing our scores on our assignments.
-Student work check, processing assignments from over Spring Break. Independent work time: finishing assignments, developing next draft of Observational Data Table, investigating spider plant root structures (untangling root balls & drawing representational illustrations of root structure).

Wednesday, April 22nd
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Review of Geography Packet 2, weeks 16-17. Discussion of various contents & concepts related to cartography, including: map keys & legends; labeling answers, including proper use of spelling, capitalization, and abbreviation conventions; description & representation of different natural geographical features (landforms) on a map; natural vs. man-made borders; peninsulas vs. islands; bays, lakes, sounds, and harbors.
-IRA: The City of Ember [Ch. 1-2]: 
Ember is one of my favorite books to teach, and considering what they were able to do with Coraline, I'm excited to see what the class comes up with in their analysis of our latest shared read. This story is beautifully crafted & presented in a variety of ways, first and foremost (for our interests) being the complexity & detail of the setting (no spoilers). The book begins with a map of the city, which we started using today to track the movements of the characters. With dry erase markers and maps in plastic sleeves, we traced the paths taken through the city, at which point students had to explain the route taken using cardinal directions (N/S/E/W), relative directions (left & right), and significant landmarks. We sectioned the city into quadrants based on intermediate directions (NW/SW/NE/SE) to help each other find new locations from the story. Then they began to spot differences between the map in the front of the book and the version that I found online & printed for them (new maps coming tomorrow!), and we detoured accordingly. We finally got around to the actual reading, finishing off Chapter 2 (with frequent breaks to follow the characters' movements), during which my students showed no mercy in calling out any word I might have misread or punctuation I might have missed (I was worn out from four square at recess and making more slips than usual, I suppose). As I began to transition the class to the next activity, I looked at the clock and realized that we had been in circle for nearly an hour and a half. Everyone in the circle was completely engaged in the lesson, and we were all a bit surprised that so much time had passed. It's moments like this, when we really perform & grow as a learning community, that help me look past all of the testing nonsense & other assorted bureaucratic annoyances. We finished the day off with some independent work on our observational data tables for our spider plants, and the first handful of students got to examine the spider plant root balls that we'll be untangling (pictures soon, and that will make much more sense). 

Tuesday, April 21st
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Review of Geography Packet 2, weeks 13-15. Discussion of various contents & concepts related to cartography, including: map keys & legends; labeling answers, including proper use of spelling, capitalization, and abbreviation conventions; description & representation of different natural geographical features (landforms) on a map; waterways of North America; physical maps & how they differ from road maps; metric vs. US customary representations of distances; use of symbols on maps & map legends; brief discussion about possible United States research & art project.
-Class trip to Delridge Library.

Monday, April 20th
-Class meeting: Welcome back from Spring Break! Discussion of what we'll be covering & accomplishing this week, including: new seating arrangements & collaborative work groups; review of records binders & portfolios, and continuing to develop master checklist for binders; reviewing geography background work & beginning orienteering training; returning to our creative writing & character development; advancing our study of spider plants, as well as beginning to plant & study sunflowers & grass.
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Review of Geography Packet 2, weeks 11-12. Discussion of various contents & concepts related to cartography, including: cardinal & intermediate directions on a compass rose; relative directions; map keys & legends; labeling answers, including proper use of spelling, capitalization, and abbreviation conventions; description & representation of different types of roadways on maps; the numbering patterns of the U.S. Highway & Interstate Highway systems (studying a road map of South Dakota, totally blew their minds to learn that I90 in SD is the same here in WA, and that you could get on I90 in Seattle & drive all the way to Boston, MA [we traced the route on a US road map]). Review of use of fractions to represent scores on our assignments.
-Cleared the class outbox, and began organizing all returned assignments into proper location & order in either records binder or spiderfolio.
-Field Learning Opportunity: walk to the High Point playground (at the top of the long staircase off Delridge across from the school). Review of pedestrian safety rules & responsibilities (i.e., it doesn't matter if you as a pedestrian have "right of way" vs. a moving vehicle, because if you get hit by a car, even if you were not legally at fault, you still got hit by a car, and that's no fun). Discussion of local plant species, focusing on dandelions. Are dandelions a "weed?" What defines a weed? How do dandelions spread? Demonstration of seed dispersion. Class decision to cultivate & study dandelions as one of our focus plants. At the playfield, introductory conversation about orienteering skills & using our understanding of directions on a compass to identify our position relative to our surroundings. Discussion of the use of the sun to establish position: the sun rises (roughly) in the east, sets in the west, and (as we are in the Northern Hemisphere) travels across the southern half of the sky from our point of view (changing in degree depending on the season, to be discussed at greater length at a later time). Practice determining cardinal & intermediate directions & relative positions of objects in the surrounding area (calling out a direction, students have to run to that edge of the field & be able to explain their reasoning for choosing that spot). Brief discussion of angles involved in describing directionality, specifically that there are 90 degrees between each of the four cardinal directions. Review of conventions regarding orienteering descriptions, e.g., a two-way street or staircase must be described using both directions that a traveler can move (N/S for a street on which one can travel both north & south).
-Return to school for PE. Extended Learning: take advantage of the last of this beautiful weather & go play outside.

Thursday, April 2nd
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Morning Math Meeting: MFP x3A. Discussion of strategies applicable to developing automaticity in math facts (e.g., listing out multiples, using expanded form, counting on). Complete x3B for ELA.
-Geography review: Whole-class correcting of our introduction to geography & cartography exercises. Concepts covered: globes vs. maps; continents & oceans, including naming & capitalization conventions; relative positioning on the Earth; map structures, including title, compass rose, and map key; cardinal directions (and symbol conventions) and intermediate directions (and conventions); establishing direction of travel on a map; using a map grid to locate features. Also, reviewing the use of fractions to represent scores on assignments. Brief discussion of the challenges of cartography, specifically trying to represent a spherical shape with a two-dimensional image.
-Begin class reading of "The City of Ember." Reminder about "spoilers" and request to not read ahead or watch the movie independently. Brief discussion of concepts to be covered, with a focus on development of setting. Transition to discussion of story elements encountered in the first chapter, and how these ideas connect to our prior & future learning. Concepts discussed: cartography & parts of a map; urban planning & accounting for the needs of a human community; identification of main & supporting characters, and the possibility of the setting serving as a main character in the story.
-Discussion of plans for our ongoing work. We will be looping back to our earlier narrative fiction writing, using our deeper understanding of character development, themes and tropes, and narrative arcs to expand & improve our superhero/villain stories. Starting to think about the setting of our story, Seattle, and how we can begin to envision an idealized version of the city that incorporates more sustainable infrastructure & practices. Laying the groundwork for discussion of neighborhoods & the social implications of neighborhoods segregated by race.
-Independent work time. Completing geography packet (weeks 5-10) for extended learning, due tomorrow. Continuing work on individual decoupage projects.

Wednesday, April 1st
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Morning Math Meeting: Discussion of vocabulary used in upcoming assessments, focusing on the term "expression" and its various uses. Comparison of mathematical structures to those of language (digits as letters, numbers as nouns, functions as verbs & adjectives, expressions as sentences). Discussion of the importance of "automaticity" in math facts for success in future math learning. Math Facts Practice [MFP] x2, two-minute drill. Correct 2A as a class, complete 2B for extended learning.
-Book Clubs meet. Finish individual student conferences. Meeting with book clubs to review Discussion Director tasks, focusing on the characteristics of effective discussion questions vs. "trivia"-type questions (i.e., straight reading comprehension & recall tasks).
-Finish watching "Coraline." Class discussion regarding the differences between the book and the movie, establishing "author's purpose" in the screenwriters' choice to alter certain elements of character, setting, & plot. Focusing on the reasons behind adding the young boy character, and the impact that this had on the perception of Coraline as a female lead (instead of having to find inner strength & solve problems on her own, the movie version of Coraline was more "damsel in distress" that had to be repeatedly saved by the boy). Discussion of how these changes make us feel as readers & viewers. Ongoing conversation on gender roles & stereotypes in books, movies, and comics; starting to delve into body image concerns & expectations for male vs. female characters, and how we as both consumers & (eventual) producers of media can influence this process.

-Reflection: Beginning our opinion/persuasive writing practice. What has been your experience with gender inequality/inequity in books/TV/movies/comics? How do you feel about these issues, and how can we start to think about fixing the problems that we identify? Continue reflection writing for extended learning.

Tuesday, March 31st
-SSR with plants. Reading logs, administration.
-Class meeting to discuss past 3 days. What went well, what can we change for the future, and how can our student leaders refine their technique & approach to help ensure success class-wide.
-Independent work time, completing assigned tasks. Individual student conferences to check progress on assignments & provide feedback.
-Class meeting: upcoming testing activities. Understanding context & consequences of standardized assessment activities for 2nd & 3rd grade (and beyond).
-Book Clubs meet, begin review of reading response assignments.

Tuesday, March 17th - Monday, March 30th
-SSR with plants, 30 minutes. Administration, documentation.
-sPIders art project: practicing & refining handwriting/numeral formation; techniques of decoupage including materials analysis; completion of whole-class project; creation of individual sPIder pieces, incorporating prior knowledge of spiders & precision-based artistic techniques.
-Book Clubs: writing effective discussion questions; establishing & describing context; developing summaries through analysis of narrative elements; effectively communicating & driving conversations about literature.
-Beginning in-depth study of core concepts of geography: how to read & interact with various styles of maps; how to use maps to find information & answer questions about various geographic & geologic concepts; how to create maps in order to represent learning & understanding of concepts related to human geography, urban planning, and fulfilling the basic needs of human life.
-Reviewing & refining artistic techniques involved in drawing portraits, starting with self-portraits inspired by our reading of "Coraline."
-Reviewing & refining our understanding of themes, character archetypes, and tropes in literature, preparing to loop back to narrative writing project (super heroes & villains) for revision, expansion, and publishing.
-Continuing to track & record observational data on our spiderlings; refining documentation & illustration techniques & procedures.

Monday, March 16th
- SSR with plants, 30 minutes; administration.
- Discussion of techniques involved in the creation of the sPIders project, focusing on reasons for "priming" the plywood sheet that will serve as the substrate for the project. Demonstration of materials & process skills of decoupage. Review of project expectations.
- Class work time on pi tables, starting on production drafts, concurrently studying for memorization challenge (took place before lunch; top 5 finishers joined me for lunch & pie).

- Interactive Read-Aloud: Coraline, Ch. X. Review of summary skills, covering necessary narrative elements. Character study of other mother compared to the cat, providing evidence for claims regarding themes of control and will.
- Chores, reflection (finish for Extended Learning). All-school assembly to recognize classroom winners of pi challenge.
- ELAs: continue working on pi tables. If a marker was borrowed, cannot be borrowed for a subsequent night (i.e., need to complete work tonight or in class). Book Club jobs & books turned in tomorrow. Finish daily reflection.

Friday, March 13th
- SSR with plants, 30 minutes; administration.
- Measure spiderlings, record on Observational Data Table w/illustration
- Class work time (sPIder project, catch up on Book Clubs & other weekly work)

Thursday, March 12th
- SSR with plants, 30 minutes; administration.
- Class work time (sPIder project)
- Interactive Read-Aloud: Coraline, Ch. IX. Discussion of summary, main ideas & details, narrative elements, and themes present. Establishing & presenting thematic connections through text-based evidence.
- Book Clubs meet, discuss/complete DD/CC

Wednesday, March 11th
- SSR with plants, 30 minutes; administration.
- Review of expectations & plans for class art project, including individual responsibilities for production & participation.
- Class work time. Selection of images (colors, textures) from NatGeo magazines to use in collage portion of project. Discussion of techniques related to tearing & cutting paper, examining the aesthetic & tactile differences in results. Studying & copying pi table, focusing on precision & accuracy in data transfer & number formation, building toward both collaborative project & memorization challenge.
- Interactive Read-Aloud: Coraline, Ch. VIII. Review of tropes & themes, in-depth discussion on artifacts as objects either imbued with meaning (used as a plot device, i.e., tropes) or used as evidence to support a claim (e.g., in telling a story about going to a concert, an artifact might be a ticket stub or autograph).

Tuesday, March 10th
- Discussion of class art project. Review of understanding of number vs. numeral vs. digit; charting vs. graphing; tiling as an exercise in building arrays. Discussion of process tasks involved in the art project, including rewards for going above & beyond established expectations.
- SSR with plants, 30 minutes. Administration with payday.
- Independent work on Pi tables, focusing on ensuring precision & accuracy in formation of numbers. Begin practicing memorization challenge.
- Tech PCP: working through practice SBAC (Smarter Balanced testing) activities.
- Class visit to SPL Delridge to check out new books.
- New Book Clubs assigned, as well as new SlackerPackets as necessary. DD/CC due Thursday, WW/AA due Friday, BR/CC due Monday. SlackerPackets due Friday, when another will be assigned for the weekend. **This will be the standard schedule for Book Clubs until further notice.
- Reflections, to be continued & completed for extended learning. Additional ELA: continue to practice Pi handwriting & memorization skill tasks.

Monday, March 9th
- SSR: 30 minutes reading aloud to spiderlings. Administration, reading logs.
- DLP: review of meter & syllabification. Challenge word of the day [expropriate]. Discussion of morphemes, the smallest meaningful pieces of a word, often referred to as roots, prefixes & suffixes (the latter two collectively called affixes). Decoding & definition of morphemes, including: "ex," propri," "ate/ite," "morph," "pre," "ad." Review & identification of stress patterns & corresponding names of metric feet.
- Introduction of "pi," in anticipation of both the upcoming school-wide Pi Bee and our PTA Art Auction project. Discussion of why Pi Day occurs when it does, specifically in terms of this year's once-a-century alignment (3/14/15 @9:26 = 3.1415926). Review of numbers, numerals, digits, and symbols, and how they relate to one another.Discussion of "infinity," including full decoding ("in" [not] + "fin" [end] + "ity" [state or quality]). Review of place value & importance of labeling numbers with appropriate unit of measurement. Rational vs. irrational numbers.
- IRA: Coraline, chapter IV (continued). Ongoing conversation regarding theme, author's purpose, character development, tropes & archetypes.
- Book Clubs meet to review final jobs, receive feedback on their work.

Friday, March 6th
- SSR with spiderlings; administration. Independent work time, transitioning to cooperative strategic board games.

Thursday, March 5th
- Discussion of ongoing responsibilities related to plants project, book clubs, and ongoing documentation. Plans for spending this Friday (and Fridays beyond) engaged in board games, both as a way to practice a wide variety of academic & social skills and as an incentive for completing all classwork on time (students who need time to catch up, for whatever reason, will have the opportunity to spend as much time as necessary finishing their work).
- Review of basics of plant care. Essential needs of humans vs. plants, specifically concerning oxygen & CO2. 30 minutes independent reading aloud to plants, focusing on elements of prosody.
- DLP: Review of yesterday's learning: metric verse, syllabification, and identification of poetic feet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_%28prosody%29); iambic & anapestic stress patterns; systems & conventions for visually representing stress patterns in words (macron & breve vs slash & X). Looking at our previous challenge words, graphing stress patterns, looking for iambs & anapests; researching names of other stress & syllabic patterns. Identifying the syllabic count & stress pattern of each student's name. Review of morphemes related to numeric description: di- & bi- for 2, quad & tetra for 4. Challenge: what is "sesquipedalian"? Six syllables: hexasyllabic; repeated dactyl (stress-unstress-unstress): didactyl. Hexasyllabic didactyl!
- Book Clubs meet, cover Discussion Director & Context Connector. Collaborative work on Word Wizard, shared reading. Alternatively, independent work on SlackerPackets.
- Interactive read-aloud: Coraline Ch. VI. Review of yesterday's conversation regarding tropes, expanding the concept of theme. Discussing events in the story related to themes of personal identity, will, and bravery, and how themes are developed via plot devices. Analysis of author's purpose in word choice, text structure, tropes, and character development.

Wednesday, March 4th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Reading Logs, Administration. Continuing to practice reading an analog clock to the nearest minute.
- Plants! Replacing dead plants, troubleshooting issues of plant care, updating charted data accordingly. Review of priority of information, emphasizing the importance of common formatting & notation in data collection & reporting. Recording observational data with updated illustrations, focusing on attention to detail in the way that we record changes to the object of our observations.
- Daily Language Practice: Continue class reading of The Lorax, mapping the metric signature of the text. Discussion & research of names & designations in scanscion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scansion). Concepts covered: pentameter, tetrameter (detour into quad vs. tetra, both morphemes representing "four"), hexameter; iamb/iambic, anapest/anapestic; systems of notation used to identify & represent patterns in words & speech in general; importance of cadence in understanding & improving prosody (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosody_%28linguistics%29); use of rests, substitution, and other related elements in The Lorax; importance of attention to punctuation (specifically quotation marks), line & paragraph breaks, and other text elements when reading both silently & aloud; listening to others during choral reading, and adjusting cadence accordingly; and establishing & sustaining rhythm when reading metered verse. And that was all in 30 minutes!
- Interactive read-aloud: Coraline Ch. V. Reading derailed by in-depth conversation about magic mirrors. Discussion of tropes (connected to prior learning about character archetypes) as plot devices. Many examples of common fantasy tropes evident in students' NaNoWriMo stories, including natural disasters, time traveling dinosaurs, evil twins (with facial hair and/or different hair styles to distinguish), etc.
-Plants! Completing observational data charts & illustrations, updating master data table. Planting spiderlings, discussing basics of plant care. Reading to our plants, practicing skills related to elements of prosody.

Tuesday, March 3rd
- Field Learning at the Frye Museum! Tours of current exhibits, followed by a lesson on abstract art. Students listened to selections of jazz and classical music, using chalk on black paper to create abstract representations of the music.
- Interactive read-aloud: Coraline Ch. IV.
- Plants! Completing measurement, charting, and illustration tasks.
- Book Clubs: New assignments. Discussion Director, Context Connector, and reading to 1st target due on Thursday. Remaining jobs & reading completed by Monday. SlackerPacket assignments due by Friday morning.

Monday, March 2nd
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Reading Logs, Administration & Payday. Minilesson: reading an analog clock, to the nearest minute.
- Daily Language Practice: Discussion of meter, rhythm, rhyme, and inflection in developing our understanding of cadence in speech (and writing with the intent of reading aloud). Review of roots "meter," "ped-" (foot) as relevant to both time signature & syllabification. Reading Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" as a study in metered verse; class read-aloud to find the cadence in each passage.
- Plants! Creation of growth chart: how we will track & represent data, across time, with a large number of samples. Learning how to structure & create charts to perform this function, with a focus on priority of information & precision in mechanical skills related to these tasks (e.g., using rulers & graph paper).
- Read-aloud: Coraline, Ch. III. Review of importance of various elements of cadence in reading out loud, with particular attention to punctuation, dialogue, and line & paragraph breaks.
- Plants! Continue chart creation, adding structures for supplementary observational drawings. Focus on precision & accuracy in our use of tools for these purposes.
- Extended Learning check: Book Club jobs & SlackerPackets. Last chance turn-in tomorrow.

Friday, February 27th
- Class meeting: conflict resolution & learning experiences.
- Plants! Completing our data table of initial measurements, creating plant name labels.
- Community lunch: How to make tortillas.
- Chores: classroom deep clean
- Read-aloud: Coraline, Ch. II

Thursday, February 26th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary.
- Daily Language Practice: Word of the Day [sesquipedalian]. Focus on syllabification markers (e.g., between unique consonants). Discussion of roots "pol-," "ped-," "-lian," "amphi-," "bio-," "paed-."
- Book clubs meet, complete Discussion Director & Context Connector tasks.
- Class meeting to attempt conflict resolution.

Wednesday, February 25th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary.
- Daily Language Practice: Word of the Day [interpolate]. Discussion of root "inter." Focus on syllabification and primary vs. secondary stresses.
- Circle, full Stone-Tree-Bear sequence. Class discussion regarding racism, labels, and mutual respect among members of our community.
- Spider plants! Structure of roots & leaves. Discussion of why some of the leaves are turning brown & beginning to decompose. Using new steel rulers, practicing drawing the types of data collection charts that we'll be using for this unit. Compiling data on individual plants and representing in table form, including initial measurements of leaf length and number, as well as beginning to track dates of observation and changes to the context of the plants (e.g., the day they were clipped is Day 0, and all other days count from there). Naming & labeling personal plants.
- Read-Aloud: Coraline, Ch. I
- Independent work on Book Club jobs or SlackerPackets.
- Chores & reflection.

Tuesday, February 24th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary.
- Daily Language Practice: Word of the Day [adduce]. Discussion of roots "ad" and "duc." History & etymology of "poop."
- Selection of next Read-Aloud book: Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Class community agrees to not seek out the book or movie on their own, including a promise to avoid "spoilers" if a student has already read the book or seen the movie.
- Class trip to SPL Delridge for checkout.
- Chores & reflection.

Monday, February 23rd
- Monday Morning Assembly: Lunar New Year celebration with guest Lion Dancers!
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary.
- Daily Language Practice: Word of the Day [adduce]. Discussion of representation of various consonant sounds & blends, and how they are represented in phonetic spelling (specifically, hard "c" = \k\; soft "c" = \s\). Covered variations in C, G, Z, X, and Y.
- Spider plants! Structural observations & drawings. Numbering & labeling conventions to distinguish generation & parentage of plants. Measurement of 3-dimensional objects, with a discussion of the purpose/use of a ruler as a tool (i.e., a ruler is a tool used for measuring distance, which can be expressed as "length," "width," "height," or "depth" relative to the observer, whereas "inches" and "centimeters" and so on are units of measurement, part of a measurement system [also a tool in it of itself] that are used to describe the length of an object. Hooray for semantics!!). Selection, clipping, and preparation for rooting of spiderlings. Discussion on the function of roots in plants, and the process by which spiderlings transform in preparation for developing & extending their own root structures.
- Book Clubs: meet in groups, review tasks completed over the weekend.
- Chores, reflection. Extended Learning: complete daily reflection, and decide on a proper name for your plant.

Friday, February 20th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Catching up on Book Club reading as necessary. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary. Galacticash store open.
- Circle: Full sequence of Stone-Tree-Bear. Emphasis on fluidity of breath, maintaining focus & breath through pose transitions & external stimuli.
- Daily language practice/ Word of the Day [ramose: consisting of or having branches]. Connection of root to other known words; discussion of meaning and synonyms for ramify and ramification.
- Field learning: orientation walk around Longfellow Creek, navigating to & from stairs to High Point. Focus on learning to listen & attend to our surroundings (step one: if your mouth is working, your ears are not!).
- Class lunch! Watching Charlotte's Web, finishing up Word Webs (to distribute on Monday), independent paper craft.
- Library: Introduction to some favorite series, checking out new books for the week.
- Reflection: Looking back on the day, and then the week, focusing on our personal experiences in relation to our projects & each other.

Thursday, February 19th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Catching up on Book Club reading as necessary. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary. Galacticash store open.
- Circle: Full sequence of Stone-Tree-Bear. Emphasis on posture & focus in group breathing, thinking about how we respond to challenges to our focus. Review plans for the day & week, including expectations for both individual & group responsibilities in Book Clubs.
- Book Clubs: Team review & response with Discussion Director questions & Context Connector insights. Remaining jobs, with completion of reading assignment, expected for Monday.

- Spider plants: initial observational discussions. Focus on physical properties with an emphasis on interrelationships & functionality of various components. First observational drawings completed.
- Word Webs: continuing class work on project, with an emphasis on the precision & accuracy of cutting & gluing the drawings to the backing papers. Continue class read of Charlotte's Web, finishing our study of the book tomorrow with the final chapters & a comparative viewing of the movie version of the story.
- Reflection: Emphasis on personal experiences throughout the day, learning to communicate the successes & frustrations experienced in a way that allows the reader to access & empathize with the writer.
- Rounding off the day with a bit of Razzle Dazzle! 

Wednesday, February 18th
- Silent Independent Reading, 30 minutes. Catching up on Book Club reading as necessary. Filling out Reading Logs, managing administrative responsibilities as necessary.
- Circle: Review experiences from the past week. Breathing exercises: Stone-Tree-Bear sequence. Review postures, elements of mindfulness. Discussion of verbal & non-verbal cues in building relationships, including the importance of consent in any & every physical interaction.
- Introduction of our new planter box & rack, with brief discussion of plans for classroom gardening. Priorities: what do we want to grow, and why? Leading ideas are grasses & spider-friendly habitat.

- Daily Language Practice, word of the day [agog] with phonetic spelling & thesaurus practice
- Class discussion: needs vs. wants, surviving vs. thriving. What do humans NEED to survive? Everything comes down to top 3, in order: Shelter, Water, Food. Review the Rule of 3s: humans can survive (approximately/on average) 3 minutes w/o oxygen, 3 days w/o water, and 3 weeks w/o food. Initial conversation about what has contributed to humanity's ability to thrive in their environments: domestication of plants & animals, making & using tools, communication.
- Charlotte's Web wrap up, review of Word Webs assignment (due last Friday). As result of my illness & absence, this assignment (and our related celebration) has been extended to this Friday. The assignment remains the same: individual word webs created for each member of the class, with no repeated words. We will be spending a bit of class time through the end of the week working on the cutting/gluing/mounting of the webs, but it is expected that all are completed for this Friday.
- Reflection: We're trying to get into the habit of spending 5-10 minutes at the end of each day writing about our experiences. Focus is on the narrative nature of reflective practice, not just listing events (a list of events, like the daily schedule, is a good working outline, as it gives us the main points; the value in the narrative reflection lies in the inclusion of details and personal experiences).
- Chores: still familiarizing ourselves with the responsibilities included in each classroom zone. Working on becoming as detail-oriented in the clean-up phase of the day as we are in the rest of our work.
- Extended Learning: Continue reading Book Club selections. Discussion Director & Context Connector due tomorrow (Thursday); novels & jobs packet completed by Monday.

**** I apologize for the break in reporting. Time spent documenting is time not spend planning & setting up project based learning opportunities, and as a teacher I am constantly seeking this balance. As our class, myself included, continues to develop authentic documentation methods & related skills, this section will be supplemented (and eventually replaced) with student-generated content. ****

Monday, December 8th
- All-school assembly; class meeting to review this week's tasks & responsibilities
- Morning Math Meeting: multiples of 8; 12-hour vs 24-hour representation; number sentences
- Measurement: in-depth investigation of standard classroom rulers. Discussion of meaning of "meter" in essence (verb, to measure) and in context (centimeter, millimeter, thermometer); precision in measurement & general use of a ruler as a tool; relationship & conversion between meters, centimeters, millimeters; practicing drawing lines of defined length & checking each other's work
- Scale: developing rubrics for self-, peer-, and teacher assessment. Spider models will be graded out of 20 points, with a maximum of 4 points available in each of 5 categories: proportional segments, body shape, color & detail, overall fabrication, & STP [smooth, tight, & pretty]

- Independent work time, SIR

Friday, December 5th
- Review of project expectations, including task & behavioral management
- Spelling Sparkle, Vocab List 5 assessment

- Spider questions: which questions (from previously compiled list) are specific to each Research Team, and which are general questions to be answered by all four groups; independent work time
- Character Study to Spider Study: For ELA, write a 2+ page origin story for your character. We are thinking along the lines of narrative writing used to convey a set of information, using this approach to present our spider information at a later date.

Thursday, December 4th
- Spider project papier mache
- Research focus: How to ask useful questions
- SCALE in representation of spiders; ratio & proportion

- SIR, 30 minutes

Wednesday, December 3rd
- Spider project: armature creation & papier mache

Tuesday, December 2nd
- Morning Math Meeting: powers of 2; number sentences (with brief review of relationship between positive & negative numbers); proportion & scale in modeling. Overview of the months of the year & how they got their names, with emphasis on Latin roots for 7 (sept/hept), 8 (oct), 9 (nov/non), & 10 (dec) and how this applies to our understanding/discussions of geometry.
- Spelling Sparkle: Vocab list 5 assessment tomorrow!
- Discussion of spider model process & procedures, including behavioral expectations. Beginning to create the armature with balloons & masking tape, with attention paid to relative [proportional] dimensions of primary anatomical features. Importance of precision & accuracy in learning all of the process skills involved in the modeling process.

- SIR, 30 minutes.
- Scheduling & priorities over the next three weeks, focusing on time & task management strategies.
- Research team work time: finishing balloon armatures, completing diagrams, continuing to refine focus of spider research & reporting through analysis of potential questions to be asked.

Monday, December 1st
- Whats New/What's Changed: In-depth discussion & review of policies, procedures, & systems as applied moving forward. Assignment of personal materials boxes, definition of responsibilities of several classroom jobs.
- Spider research: review of compiled questions, consideration of relevance of each. Which questions need to be answered by each group, regardless of specialization, and which questions are applicable only/mostly to each specific research team? Discussion of formatting of informational research presentation, ensuring the inclusion of all relevant information.
- Reintroducing Sustained Independent Reading [SIR]: expectations for reading material selection & all related documentation.
- Spider diagrams: review of scale, proportion, magnification, & importance of attention to detail in
every aspect of our work.

Friday, November 21st
- Morning Math Meeting: multiples of 7; number sentences (review of Order of Operations [PEMDAS]); elapsed time; magnitude & magnification in depicting scale
- Chapters XI-XII share, review of expectations for rewrite (6 pages, dialogue, demonstration of acquired skills in detail development, storyboarding with illustrations & main plot points)
- Review of all ELA options for November Break (see ELL page)
- Spider project work

- Choice time (board games, engineering, art)

Thursday, November 20th
- Morning Math Meeting: counting down by 20; number sentences (emphasis on multiplication & division); review of magnitude & scale in diagrams & illustrations.
- Spider project work
- Chapter XII scenario: Good Twin/Evil Twin

Wednesday, November 19th
- Morning Math Meeting: multiples of 9; number sentences; time & money
- Spelling Sparkle: Vocabulary List 5. Students received printed copies of VL5, to be glued into their writing notebooks.
- Spider Project components: Review & discussion of 4 components of the ongoing Spider Project, which will be the primary focus of their morning work through Winter Break. They are (1) illustrated informational text; (2) accurately depicted papier-mache spider models; (3) dramatic presentation; and (4) Choice project. More details forthcoming as the students determine the scope & intended results of their projects.
- Review of character Skill Scale with completed categories of STRENGTH & SPEED. Today's focus is on TOUGHNESS. Small group (RT) discussion to develop draft of relative scale, leading to whole-class development of standard 1-10 scale for this trait. Continue thinking about INTELLIGENCE, ENERGY PROJECTION, and FIGHTING SKILL; drafts of these categories will be developed in the next week or so. Additional discussion regarding long-range plans for Skill Scale, character bios, development of ongoing & interactive character-based card game, etc.
- Chapter XI scenario: Seattle! Where every house is a haunted house! Keep in mind all focus skills discussed to date, including dialogue (expected in every chapter) & character consistency. Reminder: Dialogue packet due this Friday.

Tuesday, November 18th
- Review & practice of meditative/breathing postures: rock pose, tree pose
- Citation of web sites; online research via Dr. Crawford's Spider Myths website
- Internet site suffixes overview: .org, .com, .edu, .biz
- Review of citation/resource processes & formats
- Review of Linnaean taxonomy, focus on binomial naming convention (genus species)
- Research focus: 5 substantial questions (i.e., cannot be answered with just a few words, invites further conversation & research)

- Visit from Dr. Crawford from the Burke Museum, presentation and Q&A session, with spider identification bonus round
- Chapter X scenario: Giant spiders are attacking the city! Attention must be paid to the detailed depiction of the spiders, both in appearance & behavior, in addition to consistency in depiction of characters & their relative power levels.

Monday, November 17th
- New Math Meeting format, now with 20% more obfuscation!
- Rolling up our characters: using d10s to determine levels of character traits (strength, speed, toughness, energy projection, intelligence, fighting skill). Review of relative scale. Small-group discussion to develop relative scale for strength. Whole-class conversation & development of strength scale. Prioritization of traits (which are the most important to the character & therefore will be assigned the highest scores); introduction to probability with d20.
- Chapter IX development: Shrink Ray! Start thinking about your character in terms of the newly-established power levels.

Friday, November 14th
- Spider research continued: development of initial fact sheet & diagram
- Chapter VIII share: dialogue!
- Select from Chapters V-VIII for weekend rewrite, minimum 4 pages. Expand & explain, including at least one properly-formatted conversation. Use "How to write dialogue" packet as a guide.

Thursday, November 13th
- Vocabulary List 5 review; Spelling Sparkle
- RT review & practice of Anansi plays
- Developing spider research projects: informational components
- Chapter VII share: plot structures, chain of events & causality
- Chapter VIII development: An underground city is discovered beneath Seattle! Focus on the chain of events in your story, making sure that events lead into one another without too many detours.

Wednesday, November 12th
- Spider illustrations: new drawing guides, practice
- Brainstorm & share: What have we learned this year?
- Vocabulary/Spelling List 5: Linnaean Taxonomy
- Citation & Reference: Citing your sources, copyright, plagiarism, APA style & other conventions
- Chapter V/VI share: deconstructing plot points; how to focus in on the story & save tangents for later story ideas; characters' emotional experiences; constructive feedback on peer writing
- Chapter VII plot development: A villain has built a machine to control the weather, turning Seattle into a desert! Giving extra attention to your character's personality, thinking about how various scenarios will effect your character both emotionally & in terms of how they use their super powers.

Monday, November 10th
- Introduction of  spider research projects. Teams will choose 1-2 species to study in depth, with a variety of project components to be determined (including presentation via text & digital media, illustration, drama, poetry, etc.).
-Chapters V (Power Swap: Pt. 1) and VI (Power Swap: Pt. 2): Students working in groups of 3 heroes or 3 villains. Super powers are exchanged through means TBD. At least 2 pages per chapter, for a total of 4-6 pages minimum. Story must have clearly defined beginning (how the swap happened), middle (hero/villain adventure), and end (resolution & resumption of original powers). Remember, all characters need the opportunity to use their powers at least once per chapter.

Friday, November 7th
- Student production of Mary Poppins
- Plot outlines: Roller Coaster model
- How to write a strong beginning, middle, & end
- Finish student conferences to set up records binders

Thursday, November 6th
- Class meeting [conflict resolution, plan for resumption of kickball at recess]
- Introduction of Anansi/Spiderella plays; discussion of role assignment & dramatic production options (live action, masks, puppets); first read-through in RTs
- Performance Arts: group skits
- NaNoWriMo: Chapter II/III share; how to give constructive criticism with specific examples; how to self-select writing for revision & expansion
- Relative Scale: formatting & convention; discuss convention for measuring STRENGTH (how much the character can lift, in lbs.)
- Chapter IV scenario selection: A villain has built a giant bomb in the city!
- Review narrative elements; partner development of plot points
- Independent writing session: 35 minutes

Tuesday, November 4th
- Narrative elements: Characters, settings, & plot (relating to books review details)
- Relative scale review; focus on SPEED. Small group work to develop relative 1-10 scale for SPEED
- Share out Chapter I, with a focus on overall writing production ("Think with your pencil") and plot outlining (as an extension to prior storyboarding activities)
- Chapter II development: A volcano erupts in the middle of Downtown Seattle! Focus on setting the scene, with as much descriptive language as possible to help the reader imagine being in the scenario

- Independent writing session: 40 minutes