Greetings from the Talent Development department at Sharon Elementary!
We hope everyone had a fun and relaxing spring break! Mrs. Holden and her family had a fun-filled trip to Washington, D.C. - ask her about visiting the Spy Museum! Mrs. Gaines spent the week taking her children on adventures around the Charlotte area, including strawberry picking, the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C., and a trip on the light rail to Imaginon. Now it’s time to buckle down and work hard as we approach the downhill slope of the school year!
The fifth graders had a very busy March due to their participation in the 5th grade musical production, Rhythms of the Mississippi. Students enjoyed performing in the show and learning more about the characters and places mentioned in the script. We hope it will be a fond memory for them that they will carry with them to middle school!
Speaking of middle school, our focus from now through the end of the year will be to get the students as prepared as possible to make the transition. Please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Gaines or Mrs. Holden if you need help preparing your child to handle the new challenges ahead. This is a great time of year to revisit the concept of “growth mindset” and remind our students that even when we encounter challenges, if we keep trying and practicing, we will be able to reach our goals.
In literacy, we spent the last few weeks before Spring Break studying the genre of poetry. Students read and analyzed different poems from such famous poets as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, William Wordsworth, and Gary Soto. We discovered that like an onion, a poem has many different layers to be discovered, and that we have to read poems multiple times to dig down into the deeper meaning beneath the surface. At this point in the year, we have covered all of the state literature standards (and then some!) and will now be spending some time reviewing all the genres, terminology, vocabulary, and analysis skills we have learned to prepare for EOG testing. We will also be studying some history of the Civil War to prepare students for their field trip to Charleston in May.
In math, students completed their animal sanctuary proposals. We were very proud of how hard they worked. This task had multiple parts and students have shown improvements in their research and time management skills. Over the next couple of weeks we will be wrapping up our teaching of state math standards and moving into to EOG test prep. In addition to providing support to classroom teachers, Ms. Holden will work with students in small groups to target specific skills and standards as needed as well as provide independent enrichment activities to students who have shown consistent mastery.
In 4th grade literacy, we have concluded our study of poetry. Students seemed to enjoy using the program Schoology to read and analyze poems and have discussions about them in a virtual setting. Mrs. Holden and Mrs. Gaines enjoyed being able to “check in” with students and view their progress, even when we weren’t physically in the same room with them. From now until the end of May, we will have students finish up any incomplete assignments on Schoology and then we will help students in small groups with end-of-year review in preparation for the EOG tests.
In 4th grade math we are wrapping up our teaching of state math standards and moving into EOG test prep. In addition to providing support to classroom teachers, Ms. Holden will work with students in small groups to target specific skills and standards as needed as well as provide independent enrichment activities to students who have shown consistent mastery.
3rd grade readers have also enjoyed using Schoology to study fairy tales and folktales using the Junior Great Books curriculum. Students have been practicing using the RAPP strategy (Restate, Answer, Prove It, Proofread) to answer questions about the stories, and have also had a chance to do some creative writing in response to their reading. Please ask your student to show you their Schoology account if you are interested in reading their work. You can also see the grades for their work along with the rubric used for grading. We will now conclude our use of Schoology for the year, and Mrs. Holden and Mrs. Gaines will be rotating to different classes and working with students on comprehension skills using short stories and nonfiction texts.
In math, students wrapped up their study of fractions with a fractions choice project. They used various methods such as presentations, games, and scrapbooks to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of fractions concepts. Now we are entering a study of geometry. Students will be using tangrams to complete logic challenges that will test their knowledge of geometry terms. We will also introduce a tangrams project that students will work on later in May.
2nd grade reading groups are continuing to work with a unit created by the College of William & Mary entitled “Beyond Words,” in which we examine the ways by which authors use language to entertain their readers and create wonderful images in our minds. Students have read some poems and short stories in which the authors used similes and metaphors to add new images to the stories and ideas presented in the text.
In math students have been introduced to online resources to facilitate blended learning. This model of learning allows students to be introduced to topics and practice skills at their own pace. Students are required to complete much of their work independently during workshop while Ms. Holden rotates to each class throughout the week to “check-in” on student progress and to provide enrichment activities related to the unit of study.
Our Kindergarten and 1st grade students will receive enrichment at various times throughout the year. Please note, these students are not considered “TD” students since TD identification begins in 2nd grade. K and 1st grade students can participate in the Jr. Great Books program which is lead by parent volunteers here at Sharon. Students selected by their teacher will meet in a “book club” group for one month with a parent volunteer who will lead a discussion of quality short stories and creative and analytical activities to go with each story. At other times, K and 1st grade students may be pulled to work with Mrs. Gaines or Mrs. Holden if they have demonstrated mastery of the material their class will be covering in math or reading. These groups will change frequently based on class assessment data, and parents will be notified if their child is working with one of us in a group.
If you have any questions about the TD program at Sharon, please contact us via email:
Ann Gaines - email@example.com
Sarah Holden - firstname.lastname@example.org