Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New (and Final) Book Starting This Week

We have started The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This will be our last book of the year.

Each night, students will have a chapter to read and a writing assignment from class to finish. Please check with them and make sure they're caught up. By tomorrow, they should be done with Chapter 3 and have written 3 summaries as well as answered 2 essay-style discussion questions.

We're also working on Mythology Newspapers and the Author Study, both of which they will share at their Exhibitions!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Author Study Books

The 3 books for the author study need to be completed by tomorrow! We've got to get moving on this project. I've been waiting for kids to get their books done, but I can't wait any longer. If I do, we won't finish it before the end of the year.

There's a note with more information on this coming home today. Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time Project

Check out our project for the book A Wrinkle in's called the 4 Icon Challenge. Students had to find four images that captured the essence of the novel. They also had to explain why they chose the images that they did. Take a look...

Can't see it? Click HERE.

Also, just a note...we have starten new reading groups. These will be quick, done before Easter, and it'll require a lot of work on the students' parts. They'll have reading to do EVERY NIGHT! Also, don't forget about the Author Study. Reading those books will be a big part of their work over Spring Break.

Be sure to contact me with questions.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Book Starts Today!

We are starting our new book today. It's awesome and it's called When You Reach Me. We'll be using it to explore how to compare and contrast books as well as how to make connections between books.

We're ramping up the pace of things this go-round. We'll be spending only 8 school days on the book, so there are 8 reading assignments of about 25 pages each. Every time they read, students should write a quick summary of the main events. There will also be a writing prompt every day. Sometimes two! It's time to step it up and get them ready for sixth grade.

Also going on right now is our Author Study. For their independent reading, students have chosen an author. They are to read 3 books by that author. We'll then be writing a compare and contrast essay about the books. It would be good if all books are read by the end of Spring Break (April 16).

Stay tuned for more updates and for our Wrinkle in Time Project, which should be ready to share soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Skype Session Tomorrow!

We just got done with the book A Wrinkle in Time. It was excellent and the kids got a lot out of it. We had some deep discussions about characters and theme. I'm really impressed with what they're doing.

Tomorrow, we'll be skyping with a 5th grade class in Salem, Massachusetts that is also reading the book. I can't wait! I'll share the results with you on Thursday. It should be an awesome experience.

Also, we'll be starting a new (and extra awesome) guided reading book, When You Reach Me on Monday. Stay tuned for reading assignments. We're going to only spend 2 weeks on it, because on March 26 we are starting a project on Mythology (which will also be awesome!!!!).

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Author Study is Launching

For the second semester, my reading students will have to complete an author study. This involves:

  1. Reading and taking notes on 3 books by the same author. The author must come from a list I will provide tomorrow. None of the books should be from the same series.
  2. Writing an essay that compares the three books and that includes information about the author.
Reading three books is going to take some time. So I'm going to get students started on this as soon as possible. I'd like to have them choose an author by Tuesday.

I have lots of books in my classroom library and I'm more than happy to share. But I don't have 3 books by every author on the list, so a trip to the local library or bookstore is more than likely going to be necessary.

Look for a full description of the project to come home soon. If you have any questions, be sure to let me know.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homework This Week!

We're getting into A Wrinkle in Time and enjoying it! Tonight they will have to read Chapter 4.

There's also a paragraph they have to write about the character Meg.

All due tomorrow!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Busy Week

Well, we have been working hard lately and there's more to come!

This week, we'll be taking our quarterly reading assessment. I can't wait to see how students do on this. They've been working so hard in class lately, I'm sure it will be great.

Also, students will be finishing up their book projects from their last book. AND they'll be starting their new one...A Wrinkle in Time. Chapters 1 and 2 have to be read by Friday (I'll be giving them their books Wednesday).

I'll be sharing book projects soon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to Work

We are jumping headfirst back into a heavy workload in our Reading Workshop.

I want to update you on what students are working on this week...

*They are continuing their independent reading...I'm encouraging students to read a book from a series so they can participate in our book club that will meet next week.

*They are writing up a blog post about what they learned from exploring a website called Wonderopolis. (You should check it out, it's amazing!) The posts should be done by Friday for all to read.

*They are working on book projects for the books they finished in Guided Reading in December. These projects are, in a word, awesome. Or maybe "epic" is a better word. Either way, they're going to be great. I can't wait to share. They should be done with them on Friday.

What could we possibly do to top these? Well, I'm glad you asked. Later this month, we're starting a new book...and all students in the class will be reading the same book. This should make for some terrific discussions and allow us to really dig deep and develop critical thinking skills. ALSO, two other classes--one in Philadelphia, and one in Alberta, Canada--will be reading the book, too. We'll be working with them to discuss the book via Skype and Edmodo and will be doing book projects with them, too! Pretty awesome, huh? We're going global!!! Stay tuned for details.