Friday, January 29, 2016

Persuasive work
Happy Friday!
We began the week in Writer's Workshop with our focus on our persuasive essay. With our graphic organizers complete, we started typing the rough draft essays into our google docs. As we worked, we began to add more information to our paragraphs like our survey results, quotes from notable resources, and citing information from research. Students also focused on using transition words to help their paragraphs flow as well as lengthening sentence structures to sound like 5th grade writers. They are doing a wonderful job!

Persuasive graphic organizer-Planning is important!
Along with our essay work, students typed up their Gift of Self writing and prepared them to share with their 8th grade buddies next week. Many were very eager to share their projects and reactions to their gift.

In Reader's Workshop, our work revolved around our read a-loud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. We continued our focus on inferring within our reading. Most of our discussion was looking at the difference between a prediction and an inference. As I read to the students, I modeled my thinking and charted my inferences. At the end of our read a-loud time, students then had a chance to get comfortable and enjoy their own books. As they read, they charted their own inferencing in their Reader's Notebooks so they could share out their thinking when we regrouped. 
Reading at its best!
Next week we will continue practicing our inferencing skills and will begin to look at the "Point of View" of our two main characters. 
* Tues. Feb. 2 - 5th Math Team &            Digital Media
* Wed. Feb. 3 -5th Intramurals

Friday, January 22, 2016


Most of our work in Reader's Workshop focused on inferencing skills and supporting our thinking with evidence from the books we are reading. We practiced these techniques with our read aloud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. As we are reading, students are writing down any thoughts and wonderings they may have in their Reader's Notebooks. To practice their inferencing skills, students are writing about their thinking with evidence while reading their own chapter books.

 We continued planning our persuasive essays in Writer's Workshop this week. Our focus was on combining a "Grabber" sentence with our thesis statement to form our topic sentence. We then took our planners and began working on a graphic organizer to plan each paragraph for the essay. As the week came to an end, we finished most of our paragraph planning except for the conclusion. Next week we will begin drafting on our computers.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

* Tuesday, Jan. 26- Math team & 
    Speech & Debate team
* Wednesday, Jan. 27- Speech & Debate Meet
* Thursday, Jan. 28- Writing Club

Friday, January 15, 2016

Our class 5th Grade Spelling Bee Finalists
Happy Friday!       

     Congratulations to our Spelling finalists, Josephine, Evie, Sadie, And Ben. They proudly represented the Dolphin and Geese classes in the 5th grade Spelling Bee. 
     As our week began, we worked on our Persuasive essay planning. We read sample essays together and diagramed the different elements of the essays. We also discussed what a thesis statement is and how important it is to the persuasive text. We had an opportunity to look at many examples before trying to write our own. After trying our own thesis writing, we discussed the different "grabber" leads that can hook a reader first before you make your thesis point. As many of you have seen from your child's work, the students are using a graphic organizer to organize their three proofs and supporting details. We will also use an organizer to help structure their paragraphs for the complete essay.

     Students were excited to finally begin our new read aloud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. The first chapter had the students writing about their thinking in their Reader's Notebooks. They wrote about their wonderings and questions to the detailed beginning of our book. Just in the first chapter alone, the author writes about the Bicentennial of our country in 1976, who was the governor Jimmy Carter, school integration, and the friendship between Gabriel, a caucasian boy and his best friend Frida, an African American girl getting ready to start Fifth grade along with some small town
Loving a book!
bullies. The students had a lot of history questions and predictions as to what might be coming for our main characters.  As we read our way through our book, we will continue to work on inferencing skills and writing evidence to support our thinking.

Reader's Notebook entry

Have a wonderful three day weekend!

* No school on Mon. Jan. 18th
* Gift of Self Project due Jan 21st
* Tues. 5th grade Math Team & Speech and Debate Team
* Wed. 5th grade Intramurals and            
    Science Club


Friday, January 8, 2016

Wow! Our week back to school flew by with so much accomplished work. We Started our week with the beginning of a Reader's Notebook unit on Inferring. This concept can become confusing for some students as it can be very close to predicting. We discussed that in order to make an inference while reading books, we have to take what the text says and put it together with our background knowledge or as the kids learned, "schema." We discussed how we all have different thoughts about what we are reading based on our schema and the knowledge we have picked-up through our everyday lives. This is why we all relate to books differently. We also discussed that to infer, you have to "read between the lines." The author of books do not always say everything explicitly for the reader. We will be working with inferencing throughout the rest of the school year in Reader's Workshop.
     We also began our new writing unit, Persuasive essays. We learned that a persuasive essay has four main elements, the issue, your point of view, evidence to support your point of view, and examples to make your writing stronger. We had a chance to start brainstorming "What is important to us" ideas in a class web. After brainstorming, students had a chance to choose a topic that stood out to them or that they felt passionate about. They jotted their ideas down and had short conversations with each other to talk their ideas out. They will have until next Wednesday to think about their ideas and come up with a solid issue to support. If you have a chance, please ask your child what ideas they are thinking of and give them a chance to bounce ideas around. In the end, the students will write a
Our brainstorming
persuasive essay and then complete a presentation project with other students who might have like topics. These presentations will be free choice as to how they want to present and create their end result. More explanation will be explained to them in the coming weeks.

     We ended our week with an introduction to our next read a-loud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. We spent the afternoon researching and using the word liberate and liberation to really understand its meaning since it is of great importance to the story line. This is a story that takes place in the 1960's deep south with a few Jim Crow era issues. Two best friends with extremely different backgrounds learn about the world, themselves, their fears, all while preparing to go to fifth grade. 
Have a wonderful weekend!
* Math and Speech & Debate team meet on Tuesday
* 5th Intramurals on Wednesday