Thursday, October 29, 2015

Visualizing Wonder

Today 4HR read a passage from Wonder by R.J. Palacio and stopped to envision. This strategy helped us to understand the main character, Auggie Pullman's, daily reality and empathize with his struggles.

"In the hallways, which were always crowded, my face would always surprise some unsuspecting kid who maybe hadn't heard about me. The kid would make the sound you make when you hold your breath before going underwater, a little "uh!" sound. This happened maybe four or five times a day for the first few weeks: on the stairs, in front of the lockers, in the library."

Here is what 4HR envisioned:

I can picture the kids in the hallway, with surprised and shocked looks on their faces. I can hear the gasping noises they make as Auggie walks by. I can picture Auggie walking in the hallway, head-down, speed walking to get to his classroom. All around him, I hear the thumping of his classmates shoes. I can feel him wishing to be ignored, and wanting to duck and cover his face.

What do you envision with this passage?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tuning in to Forces and Motion

Question: How could you move a ping pong ball one meter without using your hands?

Today 4HR delved into science. We designed, hypothesised, constructed, revised, tweaked, and tested our constructions. 

Key vocabulary we used were: weight, speed, momentum, gravity, slant, ramp, roll, bounce, incline, decline, launching, touch, friction, push, pull, hit, stretch, elastic, and rubbery.

Watch these videos to find out the thinking behind our constructions.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Amazing, Awesome Story Endings

4HR has been discussing what makes an amazing, awesome, and exciting ending. 

Here are examples:

"I wonder," said Jane.
Mark and Katharine didn't say anything, but they were wondering, too.
But it was a long time before the four children knew the answer." 
-Half Magic by Edward Edgar

It was a bad ending because it sounded unfinished. The good part was the ending left it open for a sequel.

In his eyes shone the reflection of the most beautiful planet in the Universe - a planet that is not too hot and not too cold; that has liquid water on the surface and where the gravity is just right for human beings and the atmosphere is perfect for them to breathe; where there are mountains and deserts and oceans and islands and forests and trees and birds and plants and animals and insects and people - lots and lots of people. 
Where there is life.
Some of it, possibly intelligent.
-Geoge's Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Lucy and Stephen Hawkins

There is a lot of Show Don't Tell in this ending. The author describes this new planet with lots of words. It could have a sequel.

Then together they began to read. They read stories about birds flying north in the spring. They read about picnics in the warm sun. And they read about Buster, the lucky dog who found his bone under the lilac bush.
-Rocket Learns to Read by Tad Hills

This is a cute ending. It matches the book and fits the story perfectly.

Meanwhile Elna opened her box of Cracker Jacks and inside she found... a real diamond ring.
- Meanwhile Back at the Ranch by Trinka Hakes Noble

The ending doesn't tell you important information. There wasn't any Show Don't Tell and the ending wasn't creative. What happens next? It is unanswered. The good part is that the ending isn't too long or too short. It is also a surprise.

Now for homework, you will write a blog post about an amazing, awesome, and exciting ending. Make sure to quote the book, provide the title and author, and explain why it is a good or bad ending.