Washington Fifth Grade Holds Poetry & Punch with Parents

Washington Middle School fifth graders in Deb Rein’s and Priscilla Menzies’ class recently held a “Poetry and Punch” for their parents and families as part of their poetry ELA unit. Students recited poems they created and also read poems from Where the Poems Dance, a book donated to every fifth grader by author Nila Webster. Mrs. Webster also donated books to every JPS elementary school in past years.

“The Poetry and Punch with parents went very well,” said Washington Middle School fifth grade teacher Deb Rein. “The students were ecstatic to share their poetry and very proud of themselves. I think it is important to get parents involved and to make them feel welcome in our schools. Coming together to share our students’ successes fosters an important piece of communication between home and school.”

Students began their poetry unit with a study of nature at Conservation Days at the Lutheran Camp, a visit to Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and a trip to Mission Meadows Ropes Course. Students spent time on each trip tapping in on how nature made them feel. After each trip, students wrote in a journal and/or shared their thoughts and feelings with their classmates.

“Studying the many facets of nature through our science curriculum and part of our ELA work, made my students think more deeply about topics such as endangered animals, conservation; what we can do to protect it, and how nature makes us feel when we are in it,” said Mrs. Rein. “The donations of Where the Poems Dance connected the students nicely to nature again as it is the theme of many of the poems in the book.”

During this unit, students worked on skills such as connecting a central idea to many pieces of text, with the overriding idea being that nature can inspire. They also worked on using background information to show ownership within their poetry along with completing a graphic organizer with a main idea and details that support it. Students shared ideas in group discussions to support their own thinking, and helped others clarify what they were trying to say in their poems. Students typed and edited their work and placed it into Homework Share, a folder connected to JPS’ server, which is available to all staff to view student work in progress.

“Mrs. Menzies and I were very proud of our students and impressed with their final pieces,” said Mrs. Rein. “Our goal was to help students find whatever it is that lets their imagination take them away and for them to enjoy reading poetry as much as they do a great book! Many of the students beamed with pride sharing their work with their family members that attended the event.”

posted on 07/08/2015 - filed under: Academics, Common Core, Community, ELA, Middle School, Parents, Spotlight, Staff, Students