Friday, November 9, 2018

Sharing writing
Happy Friday!
What a great week of learning!
We started our week with a new Growth Mindset goal," It is not about how quickly I finish, It is about the effort I put forth to complete the task." Students discussed in groups their thinking about the statement and we read about famous successful people who took longer to accomplish their greatness.

Collaborative workers
In Writer's Workshop, we continued to work on our practice narrative writing piece. Students are taking this piece through the writing process with a focus on mini-lessons such as great leads and the use of figurative language to help with showing, not telling. This week's lessons worked on knowing when to transition to a new paragraph and writing dialogue with punctuation. After we finish this practice writing, students will independently write a new narrative for grading.

We started a new read aloud this week. We watched a book trailer to get us excited about our new book, The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen:
     In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
     As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. 
     An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

This book is filled with historical action as well as a puzzle to solve by the end of the book. We are in for a wonderful adventure with this one.
Have a wonderful long weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Happy Friday!
In Reader's Workshop, we finished our read aloud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. As the two main characters, Gabe and Frita transitioned to Fifth-Grade, they had a lot of fears to overcome through the summer. They move through their summer learning a lot about their town, their friends, and their family. They deal with typical 10-year-old fears along with racism in their town. In the end, they learn that as long as a person has friends and family that love them, they can accomplish anything in life. During this book, our discussions centered around the growth of a character through a book, visualizing setting with descriptive writing, and plot. 

We will begin our next read aloud Next week...stay tuned!

Our Writer's Workshop was abuzz with awesome writing and sharing. Our focus this week continued to be using figurative language in our writing along with great leads. We learned about the most popular six leads that authors use and then applied them to our own work. After writing, students each shared their lead ideas in front of the class and asked their classmates to help them choose the best lead for their narrative writing. I was so proud of their respect for each other's work and their thoughtful advice.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2018

16 students in a square yard
Happy Friday!
This was a busy week! Our focus in Writer's Workshop continues to be on Figurative Language and how it can help our writing to be more descriptive, helping a reader feel the writer's emotions. We've been practicing using personification (giving human qualities to non-living things), similes, and metaphors. Next week we will continue this study with hyperbole and alliteration. We had many options to practice these techniques through our daily writing in our journals and will soon be starting our personal narrative essay.

Reader's Workshop continued with our read aloud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. We discussed the meaning of "schema" (our background knowledge) and how it helps us to understand what we read as well as make inferences about our reading. In our story, we are tracking the many changes happening to our characters and looking at how great writers develop a character. We are discussing character growth and how their experiences change who they are by the end of the book.

Our vocabulary study this week focused on the use of "its" and "it's" in our writing. Next week we will look at the proper use of their, there, and they're.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Happy Friday!
     This week was filled with learning and fun. Due to our power outage, we had a short week which focused on more paragraph writing practice and more wonderful reading. 
     In Reader's Workshop, we worked on how strong readers read nonfiction articles and books for understanding. This practice was focused on understanding the main idea, difficult and new vocabulary, and searching for facts. We also learned how to form our own questions about the information we read in order to further our learning.
 On Wednesday and Thursday, we enjoyed "Bibliotrek" in the library. This is a new 5th and 6th-grade activity designed by Ms. Stuhr, Mrs. Weinrich, and Mrs. Castonia. Students trekked through many different activities based on different popular books in our library. See photos below for all the fun.
We ended our week with our 8th-grade buddies and our walk to the Yarmouth food pantry. It was a crisp bright morning filled with laughter and giving back to our wonderful community. In the end, we were able to bring in   lbs. of donated food.
     Have a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Wonderful Writers
Happy Friday!

Another hard-working short week! Our week consisted of Writer's Workshop with a focus on Figurative Language, specifically, personification. We had a chance to go outside in the warm weather to write and personify nature. We also continued to practice writing grabber topic sentences and incorporating our new vocabulary words (see below).

In Reader's Workshop, we continued our read aloud, The Liberation Of Gabriel King. Our main characters are finding all kinds of trouble while trying to free each other of their fears. Our focus was spent on looking at setting in a story and writing about the setting in our independent reading. Next week, We will be starting to look at using our schema to make inferences about our thinking while reading. 
Our Vocab focus this week.

Please donate to our 5th-Grade Food Drive. We are collecting until Oct. 18.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Working together!
Happy Thursday!

Although we had a short week, much was accomplished.
During Reader's Workshop, we continued our read aloud with a focus on setting and the importance of setting in a story. We discussed how a setting can sometimes be a character within the story. Much discussion took place around the importance of writing a setting well in order for a reader to put themselves in the plot. We also continued our work with figurative language and the study of personification.

In Writer's Workshop, we worked on our pen pal letters to our friends in Uganda, Africa. To prepare for our narrative writing work, we continued our practice of paragraph writing with a focus on "topic" sentences that grab the reader and introduce the topic.

You should have received an email regarding our Food Drive with our 8th-grade buddies. We are collecting canned and dry foods starting next Tuesday, Oct. 9th. We collected 1,900 lbs last year and are challenging ourselves to break the record this year. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to give back to their community.
Have a wonderful long weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Happy Friday!
Enjoying a good book!

Can you believe that we have almost been in school for a month? The students are getting in the swing of things and we have settled nicely into our routines. We are focusing our Writer's Workshop efforts on proper paragraph structure. We are practicing the writing of creative topic sentences to introduce a topic with three supportive details. Next week we will continue our work on paragraphing and closing sentences. This work is preparation for our narrative essay work coming soon.

In Reader's Workshop, we began our new read aloud, The Liberation Of Gabriel King. Our story finds Gabriel struggling with moving up to the Fifth-Grade. This book will evaluate friendships, family, bullying, and racism in the deep south during 1976.

We also started our lessons in a year-long unit of "Figurative Language." We will be reading and evaluating how authors use figurative language to bring their writing to a more creative and higher level of expression. Students will be trying their hand at this technique through the year. Our focus this week was personification.
* We are collecting gently used picture books and beginner chapter books for our pen pals in Uganda.