Thursday, November 9, 2017

8th-grade buddies
Another short week with lots of learning.
We ended our week with our 8th-grade Buddies. We got together to continue our community work. This month we designed Christmas cards for childhood cancer patients.

In Reader's Workshop, we focused our learning on practicing our inferencing skills. We watched a Pixar silent short film as well as looked at a few Norman Rockwell paintings to practice gathering information visually and applying our schema to infer information about the pieces. We then used our new learning and applied inferencing to our independent reading.

We are nearing the end of our read aloud and preparing for a visit from the author next week. Lauren Wolk will be here November 16 to share the day with our students. 
Great Leads

In Writer's Workshop, we continued our work on our narrative writing pieces. We focused our mini-lessons on "Great Leads." The kids learned about the six strongest leads for starting a personal writing. They had a chance to write three or four leads for their story. They were also able to share these leads with partners to help them decide which lead was best to use in their writing.
Enjoy your long weekend!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy Friday!

In our short three days this week, we focused our attention on figurative language writing. We discussed the difference between a simile and a metaphor and we played with personification. We had a chance to go outside and observe nature and our surroundings before trying our hand at personifying the things we noticed. 

The next day we spent some time outside again and became one with the outside world while writing poetry using our new figurative language tools. What an amazing bunch of writers! They were very eager to share their creative writing. Next week we will finish our planning of our personal narratives and begin to draft our pieces while incorporating our figurative language tools.

In Reader's Workshop, we began to discuss Inferencing. We learned that when we infer, we are putting together our schema or background knowledge with what the text says. Another way to look at it is to say that we are "reading between the lines" for meaning. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Friday!

Ghost Stories on Monday with Ms. Stuhr and 
5th/8th-grade Buddy Food Drive walk on
Friday, What a great week!
5th-grade conferences next week 10/30-11/1

Friday, October 20, 2017

Great Readers!
Happy Friday!

We had a busy week planning and beginning personal narrative drafts. Students looked through their journal writing to find a personal story to expand into a narrative essay. We started with a memory reflection and jotted down notes on a graphic organizer. This organizer was filled in with any all details that the student could give including using their senses to help with more detail descriptions. 

In Reader's Workshop, we continued to focus on character traits and the details and people in a character's life that influence the character's actions. We continued our read aloud Wolf Hollow and began to question our main character about her decisions. Students also had a chance to write questions to the main character in their independent reading books. 

Growth Mindset Ideas
We ended our week with class discussions about Growth Mindset and how this thinking can help our daily life. We watched a short video about the failures of famous individuals and how many times they tried before they met their success. We also chose an "Affirmation" for next week: "I don't mind making mistakes as long as I UNDERSTAND what I did wrong!" We wrote about things we have learned by making mistakes and how this thinking can help us succeed. Video we watched:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sharing Pen Pal Letters
Happy Friday!
Another short week with lots of action!

In Writer's Workshop, we drafted and finalized our pen pal letters to our sister school in Uganda, We continued our work on paragraph structure, and we wrote a fun Halloween monster description to share with our 8th-grade buddies. This writing was practice in step by step direction writing. We created our own monsters and then wrote the directions on how to draw and color them. Our buddies then took those directions and away they went to recreate our monsters. Fun always ensues when the buddies get together.

Our Reader's Workshop focused around our read aloud, Wolf Hollow. We continued our study of character traits, looking at how a character can have many levels of traits, good and bad depending on the things that are influencing them. Our One Book One School program had an exciting get together this week. The entire school mixed up into small discussion groups with different teachers and from 8:00-8:25, we discussed and had a great time with new friends while talking about the book so far and the shocking events happening in the story. Ask your child to share the details of our exciting read.

An email will be going home this week regarding parent/student conferences with Smith and Rollins. Please read and sign-up as soon as possible as time slots fill up quickly.

* School Photos Mon. Oct. 23
* 5th-Grade intramurals are canceled next Wed. Oct. 25
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Great Book!
Happy Thursday!

Our short week went by quickly. Our Reader's Workshop focus remained on character traits that help define a character's personality. Paying close attention to Betty and Annabelle's actions and words in our read aloud, have helped us engage in wonderful and lively class discussions with deep thoughts being expressed. Students also had a chance to put their knowledge to work when writing about the characters in their independent reading books. 

We finished our first Wordly Wise Vocabulary lessons and the students tried their first assessment. We worked through each part of the assessment together so the students could learn the way the assessments are set up and they can be familiar with them for the remainder of the school year. They did a fabulous job for their first time!

In Writer's Workshop, we continued our writing practice with paragraph structure and we began to look at our first figurative language example, "Onomatopeia." 

Mr. Roscoe and teachers
Mr. Roscoe came to talk with us about Harrison Middle School's sister school in Uganda. He shared pictures and movies of Uganda and the children that attend St. Bahkita Primary School in Beweyale, Uganda. We learned how this is a refugee settlement with people who left Sudan for safety reasons. The students were very excited to learn about how we are going to write letters and become pen pals with these children.  If you would like more information on this school, I have included the link:
Students at St. Bahkita

Friday, September 29, 2017

Kahoot fun
Happy Friday!

Most of our week was centered around our read Aloud, Wolf Hollow. Our main character Annabelle is really struggling with a new town bully. As we read about Annabelle's decisions, we have focused on the setting and character traits of the many characters in the story. We've discussed how important a setting can be, even becoming a character itself. Students also had an opportunity to write their first letter in their Reader's Notebooks about the setting in their independent reading books. We also played a computer game called Kahoot where the kids competed with comprehensive knowledge about Wolf Hollow.

Students were also introduced to their Wordly Wise Vocabulary books this week. We worked slowly through lesson one together so they could get a feel of how the lessons will progress through the year. We will continue to work on this book next week and look at how the book connects to Quizlet, a computer game that helps them study the words in each lesson.

Next week, in Writer's Workshop, we will continue our work with paragraph structure. The week of October 10th, we will begin to choose topics for their first essay writing, Personal Narratives. A lot of the narrative work will be focused on Figurative language use such as metaphors, personification, and similes in order to help their writing become for descriptive.
* Tues. 10/3-5th intramurals 2:45-4:20
* Tues. 10/3-5th math team  2:45-4:15
* Thurs. 10/5 Flu shot clinic