Friday, March 4, 2011

Author David Schwartz's Visit Culminates Math Day

How Much is a Million? is David's Schwartz first published book for children. Since its publication in 1985, this book has delighted and intrigued all of its young readers.
David Schwartz shared his experiences as a child with students during his visit. In first, second and third grade he stumped his teachers with his" why" questions such as, "How many grains of sand are there in a handful of sand?"
I'm sure that David's teachers found it no surprise when his passion for inquiry and discovery combined with a love for reading and math created his career trajectory as a children's book author.
Teachers and Gwen our librarian, have been reading David's books to students in preparation for Math Day and David Schwartz's visit. Many of our students have also been reading his books at home. It was wonderful to listen and watch our students' participation in the sharing of his books. Their thinking about mathematical issues in nature and the world around us is impressive. Even our prekindergarten students were enthusiastic participants.
David Schwartz's love of reading and writing shone throughout his presentation. In Lower School, students and teachers share this love.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reading The Skirt with Third Graders

"After stepping off the bus, Miata Ramirez turned around and gasped, "Ay!" With this intriguing first sentence from the book The Skirt, third graders are pulled into the story and Miata's problem. She has left her folklorico skirt on the bus after she and her best friend Ana have moved from seat to seat in order to escape a few of the boys who are being a nuisance. Miata has been rehearsing the folklorico with her dance troupe for months and will be performing it on Sunday. As she left it on the bus on Friday she is very worried about how to get this skirt that has a lot of meaning for her mother back. Her mother wore this skirt as a girl in Mexico and is looking forward to seeing Miata perform in it.
Students have made connections to Miata and her tendency to forget and lose things. They also have made connections to her family life and the way her parents and younger brother celebrate the end of the work week, the way she cooks with her mother and watches out for her younger brother. We have also discussed how Miata's friend Rodolfo can at times bother her and other times be a great friend. Many students have shared similar experiences with friends and siblings. There are many opportunities to make predictions as to how Miata will solve her problem. Students are mixed as to whether an adult will find out that Miata has lost her special skirt and help her or whether Miata and her friends will solve the problem.
Everyone reading this book is looking forward to our next session of reading.