I recently passed out to the students a book challenge to go along with their independent reading book. It is optional, but highly recommended. This challenge will help the students with reading skills. With a focus on vocabulary, it can also help improve their reading level. I told the students to fold it and use it as a bookmark and complete what they could as they are reading. If they run out of room on the book challenge page, they can continue writing on a sheet of notebook paper. They will start another book challenge when they start another book. Below is a link to the book challenge (which may be formatted differently than the original). I will have extra copies available in my classroom as well. Thank you for your continued support in your child’s education!
This week we will conclude our story structure, understanding characters, and using context clues skills’ study with a common assessment this Thursday. We will also continue our personification assignment that we started Friday.
In our Old Yeller unit, which will cover these next two weeks, we will work with new vocabulary words, complete a character study, and learn about idioms.
romp – an energetic and noisy way to play
strained – stretched to the limit, either physically or mentally
shouldered – balanced something across the shoulders to make it easier to carry; carried the weight
lunging – making a sudden forward movement
wheeled – turned quickly
frantic – wild with excitement or worry
picturing – creating a mental image of something
bounding – leaping
checking – limiting or controlling something
stride – the rhythm of your walking and the length of your steps
outcast – a person cast out from home or friends
civilization – the ways of living of a people or a nation
tormentors – people that annoy or cause pain
staple food crop – most important crop grown in a civilization
rind – a firm outer covering of a plant
tubers – thick part of an underground stem; potato
aromatic – pleasant smell; aroma
devise – to invent
innovator – a person who introduces new ideas, methods, or devices
complex – made up of a number of parts; hard to understand
envy – desire to have what another person has
bedlam – a state of disorder
scornful – having an attitude full of reject
grudgingly – unwillingly; not wanting to
Our Weslandia vocabulary terms helped us to better understand this great story by Paul Fleischman. We reviewed the vocabulary terms all last week. We focused on different genres of literature and predicted the genre of Weslandia based on the cover. As we read the book we confirmed our prediction. After reading we used a fictional story formula (who, wanted, but, so, then) to summarize the story. We also completed a story map and a cause and effect activity based on events that took place in the story. We will finish our Weslandia unit by completing a flip chart recognizing the author’s usage of figurative language. Before completing our flip charts we will be reading A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, written and illustrated by Fred Gwynne to introduce us to figurative language as well as practice identifying and understanding the meaning of figurative language using other sources. We will also do stations this week with a focus on context clues, figurative language, and our Weslandia vocabulary. Continue reading
This week (9/4) we will continue to focus on the same vocabulary words and skills through literacy groups. Vocabulary quiz will be Friday.
This week (8/28) we will be reading a humorous fictional selection entitled, A Package for Mrs. Jewls, an excerpt from Wayside School is Falling Down. We will continue to focus on story elements, such as characters, setting, plot, conflict, and solution, with more practice summarizing the selection, and adding a vocabulary study. Listed below is the vocabulary we will focus on the next two weeks.
shifted – moved or changed position
struggled – tried but still had difficulty
wobbled – moved unsteadily from side to side
staggered – walked very unsteadily
interrupted – stopped briefly
disturbing – upsetting
specialty – a featured item or attraction
squashing – crushing or flattening
collapsed – fell down
numb – having very little sensation or feeling
Beginning Tuesday, September 4th, I am asking that your 5th grader please read at least 20 minutes each night during the school week. At this time, it is not required that the students complete a reading log or record their reading in their planner, and there is nothing for you to sign. Soon, I will introduce the students to a reading reward program, in which a reading log will be mandatory. I will send you information about the program when we are ready for it to start. Thank you for your help and support in your child’s education!
Today I came to school in a dress and shoes that were too big for me. I had the attention of the students, as they thought I had lost my marbles. I discussed with the students that it is important to choose books that “fit” them. Choosing books that are too big or hard can become frustrating and books that are too little or easy will not be challenging enough. To help students know what the right fit book is for them means knowing where their independent reading level is, both in fluency and in comprehension. Please look for a note in your child’s take-home folder this week, which will explain our DRA testing. Once DRA testing is completed, I will send home another letter explaining your child’s independent reading level. By practicing reading within the student’s independent reading level each night, we should see improvement in your child’s reading level and in their confidence. Thank you for your support! Happy reading!
August 28, 2017
Welcome to a wonderful year in 5th grade at White Oak. I am so excited to get to know your child this year and to work with them in reading. I have high expectations for your child and their reading progress for this school year. In order for your child to achieve these high expectations, we will need to work together. Please ensure that your child reads at least 20 minutes, four to six days a week outside of school. With our busy school day, we don’t always have an opportunity to allow them to read independently.
Knowing their independent reading level is important as well. With the help of Mrs. Bybel, Mrs. Craven, Mrs. Nelson, and Ms. Smith, we will be conducting DRA testing beginning this week to help the students determine where their independent reading level is. This testing will occur over several days. DRA testing involves the student reading a book with a teacher and answering questions before, during and after reading; testing fluency and comprehension. This data helps guide our reading instruction in our classrooms, especially for small group instruction, and allows the student to know what level they should be choosing books to read independently.
Our reading testing will be completed by the end of September. I will be sending home your child’s testing results at that time. Thank you for all you do to read with your child at home! Together, we will make this an amazing year!
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