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Upper El, 11/2-11/6: A new month, a new genre, and a new president!

Upper El students were as awesome as ever this week, embracing our chilly mornings and never complaining! We kicked off November with a new genre study: Historical Fiction! Students will be reading historical fiction in their literature circles, we'll be reading books as a class during Reading Workshop, and students will write their own historical fiction stories during Writing Workshop!

Also in Writing, we received the names and interests of our Maine pen-pals! This will be our fourth year corresponding with Ms. Kalyn (a former DGS teacher) and her students. The class began planning and drafting their letters this past week.

Our class also began working on their Academic Choice projects in Social Studies, but much of our Social Studies time this week was devoted to conversations about the election. I was so impressed with students' ability to discuss the tense election with empathy and sensibility. The class appreciated our prior lessons on the electoral college as they observed the projected winners for each state throughout the week. We also had interesting conversations about differing state laws pertaining to voting.

Monday's walking field trip to Mimosa Cemetery was delightful. After a brisk morning, moving our bodies and being in the sunshine felt wonderful. The class moved through the cemetery respectfully, and they were so engaged. I heard conversations about the ages of people (math!), observations about war veterans and familiar local names (social studies!), analyses of the messages on headstones (reading!), and Mr. Derek even suggested using names found in the graveyard for characters' names in our stories (writing!). Students didn't want to leave when it was time to return to campus. Many voiced that they'd like to explore additional cemeteries in the future!

Please read more about our week in the below newsletter!

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