Autobiographies

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

During the month of January, we defined what an autobiography is (which is a really big word for a 5 year old) and have been reading interesting autobiographies by Jackie Robinson, Bessie Coleman, and other African American inventors, scientists, engineers, athletes, and activists. Now each student is writing their own autobiography, including their room in their house, a self portrait, interesting facts about them, things they like to do with their family and friends, and how old they are. We also asked them to visualize and then build their favorite place in or outside of their home. Some students chose to build their bedrooms and others chose to make their backyard where they like to barbecue. Teachers looked up the meaning of students’ names. For example, Jamal means handsome and Jael means leader.

Students were very excited to learn the meaning of their names and have internalized that meaning with pride. For example, once Jael found out that his name means leader, he has really stepped up as a leader in our class, has helped other students and has been leading through example and continues to “tell” other people that his name means leader.

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Naomi and Cameron are working on their autobiographies. Their cards represent the meaning of their names and they are writing and drawing about their birthdays.

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We created these charts for kids to read and be able to spell words that they are using in their writing. As a part of our art, we are modeling how to draw people, foods, and faces. Kids are beginning to develop a confidence in their drawing abilities. Kids would tell us that they “don’t know how to draw things”, but now we are hearing less of that. They are growing and developing as young readers and writers.

Our class has been exploring and practicing how to use shapes as a way of drawing pictures. For example, they can use an oval to make a face and circles to make eyes.

During Writer’s Workshop, students are sounding out words and writing the sounds they hear (you might hear them say, “I’m stretching the word out like a rubber band” at home), making letter and sound connections, using sight words in their writing with standard spelling, leaving spaces between words, and rereading what they’ve written.

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This is an anchor chart that students are learning to use while writing. They are beginning to internalize it and use the steps on their own. They can also use it to check their work once they are done writing.

Each student built their favorite place in or outside their home. As a part of our storytelling curriculum, students dictated their “story” about this favorite place to a teacher. Storytelling is an important tool to use for kids developing literacy skills.

Building and making is a way for some students to know something deeply, while others learn best through seeing, hearing, and speaking. We want to give you a glimpse of what students are doing in the classroom so you are virtually visiting the Dolphin class and learning with your child. This is a way for you to spark a conversation with your child about what they are learning. We feel that the parent and school connection is vital to student’s success in school.

Below you will find your child’s story and model of their favorite place at home.

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“I built my bedroom and kitchen at my house. The living room has my cousin playing games on iPads with me. I used a lot of 3-D shapes; squares, rectangular prisms, a big cube and a small cubes. I also used a triangular prism. In my kitchen, I have my grandpa and grandma, my dad and mom’s friends. My uncle is there too. They are eating pancakes.” -Jael

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“I built my bedroom. I built my mom’s bedroom too. I like to sleep in my bedroom and play games on my mom’s phone. I try and read books in my bedroom like fairytale books. I used rectangles, cubes, squares, and rectangular prisms. That’s it.” -Cameran

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“My favorite room in my house is the kitchen. I like to cook with my mom. We like to make pancakes, bake cakes, make chicken and rice and beans. Sometimes I color with my mom in the kitchen. I used triangular prism, cubes, rectangular prism and bears.” -Amarilis

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“My favorite room is my bedroom in my house. Mommy and Daddy are sitting on the bed with me. I’m the red person, my dad is the yellow person and my mom is the blue person. I used cubes, triangles and a rectangle for the door. ” -Lenin

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“The living room is my favorite room in my house. We get to watch TV and watch the Disney Channel. I jump on the chair and put my face in the chair. Sometimes I play with my brother in the living room. We play jump on the chair and that’s all. I used the 3-D shapes like rectangular prisms, flat squares and one cube.” -Jamal

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“My favorite place in my house is outside in my backyard. We have barbecues a lot with all of my family. My Great-Grandma, my Mommy, my Nana, Uncle Tim and my big cousin Kendra. We eat a lot of steak and my Uncle Tim loves steak. We have a dance contest. I like to dance and win. That’s the end. I used a lot of cubes, triangular prisms, rectangular prisms, and a pyramid. I also used only yellows tiles and some of the colored bears.” -Nehemiah

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“My favorite room is my kitchen. I built a table with my mom, dad, me and my cousin Poppa. We are eating pancakes together. I built the stove to cook the pancakes on and my refrigerator. I used one rectangle, four small cubes for pancakes, a rectangle for my kitchen table. The stove is one big cube, and four small cubes for the knobs to turn on the fire. I like to make popcorn, sometimes muffins and oatmeal.” -KhaiRyce

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“My favorite place is my living room. I built a TV with video games. Me and my dad are sitting on the couch playing video games. I used a cone, cubes and rectangles. I used two tiny cubes.” -Jason

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“I built the floor of my bedroom first. I’m sitting on the floor in my bedroom. I built my bed where I sleep when I get tired. I have toys in my room and a dresser to put my clothes. I used cubes, squares and rectangles.” -Yuri

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