Ms. Chow's Classroom News
Writing: The school cancellations pushed back the start of our applied grammar activities, as we were focused on a strong start to The Miracle Worker in our two days of classes the last week of January. In November we applied the usage of active verbs and participles in describing “The Storm.” In December Where The Red Fern Grows was rich in description – adjectives, adverbs, and vivid verbs – and we slowed down our reading to appreciate how the author continually created “pictures” in our minds. Now we are examining how prepositions and prepositional phrases are used to create relationships in a sentence, describing but without incorporating verbs or subjects in their phrases. By reading and creating “prepositional poems” we will see the power of what Mrs. Buzard terms “the humble little fellows that help phrases within a sentence hook up properly without drawing much attention to their selves.” Each prepositional poem consists of a series of prepositional phrases, leading up to a single independent clause that completes the poem. At first, using photos for inspiration, students will compose their poems using a common starting point, and then eventually branch out creatively where their own imagination leads them. The second preposition activity will be a “bedroom description” piece of writing. Students will identify the “theme” for their bedroom and then create a “video view” of the room using prepositions to move the reader’s eye throughout the scene, maintaining the theme and depicting the physical relationship of the contents of the room.
From Mrs. Buzard: As students complete their Mythology Newspaper articles, I am saddened to think that our mythology unit has come to an end. Your children are just absolutely fabulous, and their enthusiasm and energy has made our mythology study full of entertainment and joy. As we do move on, however, I am equally excited about our next unit of study that will focus on nonfiction literature. We will read and analyze William Gibson’s play The Miracle Worker. In addition to reading the play, students will read two chapters from Helen and Teacher: The Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy by Joseph Lash. Both chapters give an intimate look into the lives of two such remarkable and lovable women whose lives become so entwined that Helen said upon Annie Sullivan’s death that half of her soul went with her. In the first reading students will learn about Annie’s early journey in and out of the Tewksbury almshouse which profoundly influenced her for the rest of her life. In addition to reading and analyzing, students will also be studying about sixty vocabulary words from the text that have been identified as words or derivatives of words that frequently appear on the SAT tests. It is a great delight getting to teach your children!
From Mr. Buzard: This past week we completed our study of the classic novel Where The Red Fern Grows with a final test featuring open ended questions whose answers demanded supports. We also spent a couple of days with the short story The Lady or the Tiger. As a writing activity, students were asked to provide their own ending to the question the author, Frank Stockton, left open when he wrote the story in 1882. “Which door did he open?” Students did a great job of continuing in the author’s voice and each brought the tale to a close in their own unique fashion. We shared the endings in a “pass and react” activity and each of our authors collected written comments from the entire class. Next week we plan to slide into a quick study of the application of prepositions. Students will be writing “preposition poems” and also complete an assignment describing their bedroom through the correct use of many prepositions. The continuing teamwork and effort by the students in class is a pleasure to observe every day.