Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Bit Behind

So, summer school isn't all that far away, and I've been pondering what to do with the kids.

Oh, sure, there's the usual: we are far enough behind on News-2-You that between what's not done and the two that will be published during the summer in time for summer school, that'll all be taken care of.

Plus, I make journals really long during summer school -- the better to keep them busy. :-)

And, of course, there's the daily...ahem..."social skills" stuff that involves playing Memory, Zoofari (which is really Candy Land but has a neat jungle theme that doesn't look like it was made for very small children), Tic Tac Toe and dice games.

But at this point last year, I was working on journals, had News-2-You printed as far ahead as I could, and had already bought the book of poems we used for our second whole group activity each day.

(I like to do my whole group stuff after each major transition -- come to school, everyone does journals, come in from recess, everyone does our book, come in from PE, etc., everyone does News-2-You.  Helps me pull 'em back in.)

In any event, I've been pondering what to do this summer.  Ever since they cut summer school from five weeks to four, my go-to series for adapted novels (Edcon's, for what it's worth) is just not feasible.  They are cut into ten chapters, yes, but with nineteen days of summer school, you have to count in: one day for about the author and pre-reading activities, one day for a preview of the story, one day for a closing activity/book report, and one day for a movie.  That leaves 15 days to read a 10 chapter book, which means less than two days per chapter.


Last year, we did American-themed poetry.  Each week, I took an era of American history and chose two poems to read -- they were adapted with picture support, and the kids had to do things like classifying (circle all the people), writing convention (highlight all the capital letters) and sight word identification (circle each "the" on the page).

This summer, after pondering it for some time (should I adapt my own book and smush it into seven chapters; should we do more poetry; should we work more in our social studies book), I decided to do Greek myths.

For one thing, this is tangentially related enough that I can let 'em watch the Disney version of Hercules.  For another, I can adapt the myths to as long (a week each?) or as short (two days each?) as I want.

Plus, they're a sixth grade standard.  Yay me.  :-)

However, I just now got around to ordering the book I'll be modifying.

(Not to mention, I'm still typing tomorrow's Matilda chapter, and I'm breaking my rule by almost three hours.)

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