“Where are you from?” is becoming such a sweet and reflective thought. With the children in the early writing stages of in-depth studies of their beloved grandparents as well as finishing the first half of first grade, we are truly in a time of reflection. We read from Marie Bradby’s Momma, Where are You From? and noticed so many descriptions about life long ago. Note some of her words:
I’m from Monday mornings, washing loads of clothes in the wringer washer
and peach baskets full of laundry to hang on the clothesline
strung from tree to tree –
the sun bleaching the sheets, the wind whipping them dry.
I am from beans – green, lima, and pea – picked, strung, snapped,
and shelled into pans,
then put on the stove to simmer for an hour.
I am from peddlers, driving a creaky old wagon with a big old horse
and calling up and down the street:
“Fish-man! Fish-man! I’ve got fresh trout, spots, and
croakers today! Fish-man! Fish-man!”
Then, later in the book:
Momma, where is that place?
Where is that place, Momma?
It’s where the edge of town met the countryside;
where the city sidewalk ended and chickens ran through yards.
Where families grew into a neighborhood as close as a knit sweater;
Where we threw up a hand to everyone we saw.
We are thinking deeply about our grandparents and the lives they lived – the things they experienced as children, their homes and families, their schools and careers, the historical moments that changed their lives. Those things all indeed impact us – and make us who we are as grandchildren. Interestingly enough, as we look back on that beautiful book, children often remark, “When we talk with our grandparents or hear our parents tell their stories, it really does feel like it happened to us!” I can already tell that many of your children heard sweet stories and experienced important (and sometimes simple) traditions, helped make favorite family dishes and learned about some harder times even – during these last several weeks. Thanks so much for beginning their research into their loved ones in such authentic and real ways. In our classroom, we will be reading texts, too, about life long ago – from our social studies textbooks to beautiful family stories from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
If you wish to see introductory information, engagements and the complete criteria again for these projects, please look here…
Introductory information from November: cfihistoryofus.blogspot.com/2017/11/thoughts-on-our-next-expert-project.html
Homework engagements focusing on grandparents:
Similarly, in our classroom, we will be reflecting, too. We will be thinking as learners, classmates and community members about “Where are we from?” We came to CFI as twenty-one independent little people – most of us with few connections to anyone here. Just look. Eighteen months later, look at the close-knit friendships, the powerful stories, the eloquent presentations, the thoughtful books created during writing workshop, all the amazing things these children can do! Over these next weeks, we will work hard to look back as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, social scientists, and community members – and realizing how far we have come!
Furthermore, all of this reflecting will set us in a powerful place, almost ready for our first grade student-led conferences! We will continue working and pulling together a smorgasbord of important things to share with you on that special day. For now, you need to know that our student-led conference days will be held primarily on the 15th and 16th of February – either before, during or after school. If you have a preference for particular days or times for your family’s conference, please email me to let me know. Thanks for doing what you can to be here for that special day of looking back!
For the Week of January 10 - 16*Reading Logs – By popular demand, our reading log entries for the rest of this month will focus on the grandparent project itself. Since these projects should be written in a memory book or album, please feel free to write that information directly into the keepsake book itself - or on index cards or papers to be adhered there. Although I’ll be including all the criteria in the interactive reading log, you are welcome to write all your research in your project book. If the interactive reading log pages are blank for the rest of the month, that is fine. Our focus for the month will be on that project. That being said, if you would like to star your favorites and/or count the books read during December and January, you are more than welcome to do so. We will definitely begin gathering that data again in February and will share related information about our growth as readers during our Student-led Conferences.
*Grandparent Expert Projects - Look over the expert project criteria (either on the blog or in the interactive reading log prompts) and talk about how the information you gathered over the holidays can meet these criteria. Begin writing those facts. As stated, these projects are to be done in a smaller book format – not a poster board. Please don’t rush out to buy a fancy album though; some of the most meaningful keepsake books have been written on white thicker paper and bound.
*Penny Jar - We’ve been playing a game at school - adding a set number of pennies each day to a bucket and counting to learn the new total. Challenge your child to count, add more pennies each night, figure the total, and write the new amount. Continue the game, encouraging them to “count on” each night from their written number rather than recounting from the very beginning.
Friday, January 19 - Half-day dismissal (Please be sure your child knows their lunch plans.)
Monday, January 29 - Friday, February 2 - Grandparent Project Presentations
Friday, February 2 at 11:30 - Busride to Sandhills Library
Friday, February 9 at 2:20 - Our Learning Celebration
Wednesday, February 14 - Our Friendship Day Celebration
Thursday & Friday, February 15-16 - Student-led Conference Days