Friday, March 28, 2014

Exhibition Night and MORE!

Good morning!

Welcome to the Hardworking Journalists' Exhibition of their Story Elements Brainstorms!

 Our first wall is an explanation of the multiple Story Studies we have completed throughout the school year.  Friends dictated the different titles, authors, illustrators, characters, settings, problems, solutions, and plot summaries of each rendition of different books.  This wall also contains their journal entries noting how the play of the Princess and the Pea differed from the two stories that we read in class.

As you walk into the classroom, there is the student's brainstorm of different possible characters that one could use in a story.  Also in this area is their brainstorm of their ideas about what makes a good story.

As you move through the classroom, you will also note the brainstorm of possible settings, problems, and solutions that could be used in a story.  All of these written and illustrated ideas were generated by the Hardworking Journalists over the months.  They worked on multiple drafts after receiving feedback from their peers.

On the tables, there are Mad-Lib writing prompts for guests to make their own stories using these various story element ideas.

Towards the end walls of our classroom is a display of the various puppets we studied.

Also, our interview with Lori Mitchel, the published author and illustrator of the book, Different, Just Like Me.  Behind this curtain is the theatre where a video of each child's original puppet show was being played.

The Hardworking Journalists started their day by giving their Buddies a tour of the classroom to share their work for Exhibition Night.  This was their chance to practice their agreements for being a host, which are the following:

-Wear business/work type clothes to look professional.
-Greet guests when they come in to the class.
-Introduce yourself.
-Ask if they would like a tour.
-Start with our Story Studies wall (Goldilocks, Stone Soup, Red Riding Hood, and Princess and the Pea)
-Explain the differences and similarities in the books and in the play.
-Show them our Character Brainstorm area
-Invite them to add their possible character ideas to our paper.
-Show them our Settings Brainstorm area
-Invite them to add their possible setting ideas to our paper.
-Show them our Problem and Solution Brainstorm areas
-Invite them to add their possible problem and solution ideas to our paper
-Show them our Puppet Study wall and discuss how finger puppets, hand puppets, and marionettes all are different and require you to do different movements with your hands.
-Show them our interview with Lori Mitchel and share what we learned from this published author/illustrator
-Invite them to add their idea to our "What Makes a Good Story?" paper
-Help them find a seat in the theatre to watch our Puppet Show video
-Invite them fill out a Mad-Lib Writing Prompt using our brainstorm ideas to create their own puppet show!
-Remind guests to take care of our hard work.  Our puppets are tools, not toys.
-Thank them for coming.  

After doing their first try of being a host to guests, the class had a discussion about what went well and what they could do differently next time.  Check out our Discussion Notes Binder to read their ideas!

The Hardworking Journalists have been pretty excited about practicing equations.  This week, after discussing what subtraction was and how it differed from addition, the friends wrote their own equations in their journals.  After solving their equations and challenging themselves to show their work, we had a Gallery Walk.  This was a time for half of the friends to sit near their work as other walked to each person to sit and talk to them about their idea and learn how they came to their solution.

After this time, the student discussed the different strategies they learned from their friends about how to do subtraction.  Check out our discussion notes binder to see what they thought!

Another friend brought in another share for our Puppet Study.  She had worked on making her own hand puppets at home, using paper bags!  She was able to create her own unique characters and showed us how easy it can be.

After school, Exhibition Night was up and running and the students were very excited (and anxious) to share their work.  Enjoy these snapshots that I took of this beautiful night...

As the students took on beings hosts, I was able to listen in on their presentations and later check in with our guests about how they felt about their tour.  Out of all the people that I spoke with there was not a single unsatisfied person.  The Hardworking Journalists did an amazing job and I hope that you recognize how much they have grown throughout the school year.  These experiences are so important and empowering for the children to see themselves as experts.  They are taking the old stereotype of what it meant to be a kindergartner and are making a whole new definition that truly represents them!  It's a beautiful process to witness!

We ended this month with our March Recital of our Songs and Poems, which you can watch >>>HERE<<<.

We spent the rest of our morning before Spring Break journaling about what it felt like to be a host for Exhibition Night.  You can see their reflections in the journals.  

We also practiced sewing!  It's always interesting to hear how different children have had different experiences throughout their six years of life and are able to share their ideas and prior knowledge with each other.  The friends talked about the difference between sewing, knitting, and crocheting and how some moms and some dads have done these different forms of work at home.

This sounded a little scary to some friends who had never held a needle in their hands before and were worried about getting poked.  We recognized these fears and agreed that getting poked by a needle would indeed be painful, but in the end, we would be ok.  It was exciting to hear those friends who were worried proclaim that even though they were scared, they were going to try it out anyways.  Sometimes, I wish I was always recording what these amazing beings can do and say.  They blow me away with how brave they are and how willing they are to take risks.

As they worked and practiced threading the needle in and out of the paper, they were sharing with their friends about how they were getting the hang of sewing and how much fun they were having.  There was a lot of excitement regarding the shapes their lines were making and where they intersected at some points.  Yes, some friends did get poked, but guess what?  THEY WERE OK!!  They shared their experience with their friends and let them know what it felt like, along with making a plan to prevent getting poked again.  Check out their needlework below.

Thank you for sharing you wonderful children with me.  I'll be missing them over Spring Break and I look forward to seeing them again soon!

Love, Gaby