Friday, October 28, 2016

8th grade Buddies

Thank you to all of our parents for their support and positive discussions during our 5th-grade conferences. Your children are a real joy to spend our days with. They make us think, and laugh every day.
Buddy drawing

During our Reader's Workshop this week, we stayed focused on our read aloud and working with inferencing in our individual choice books. We also enjoyed an extra day in the library with Ms. Stuhr. She shared a few Halloween spook stories that made us laugh.

Our Writer's Workshop continued to focus on paragraph writing. We used our knowledge of paragraph structure to write descriptive paragraphs for our 8th-grade buddies. We drew our own designed monsters and then gave our writing to our buddies to follow the steps to drawing the monster. The 8th-graders then shared their directions for the 5th-graders on how to draw a monster using their computer technology. The buddies had a great afternoon together!

We ended our week with writing letters to our Uganda Penpals. Mr. Roscoe picked up our letters on his way to the airport for his 30 hour trip to St Bahkita refugee School in Uganda.

Mr. Roscoe and teachers
Last week, 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. Your child is coming home this weekend with their letter assignment to be completed at home and returned to school by next Wednesday, Oct. 21. If you would like more information on this school, I have included the link:
Students at St. Bahkita

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday dancing..."Sunshine in our pocket"
Happy Friday!

This week flew by! We started our week in the library with Ms. Stuhr. We worked on the "investigating" step of the "Inquiry Process." During this step, we worked in our teams to research possible answers to our designed questions on our group topics and we practiced note taking with "dot jots" to help us not plagiarize.
Inferencing work

In Reader's Workshop, we continued our work with inferencing while reading our read aloud, Animal House and Iz. We talked about inferencing in a group and coming up with the best answers to describe our thinking. Working together, really helped each of us with clarifying our thinking, discussing our thinking, and asking questions. The best work   happens when we put our heads together!

Letter writing
We were just as busy in Writer's Workshop as well. Our focus was on our second practice paragraph. We continued to focus on paragraph structure and the use of transition words to help the flow of our writing. Next week, we will begin our planning of our narrative writing piece. We also had a chance to work on our letter writing to our Uganda pen pals...this was great fun! 

* Rollins/Smith Fall Parent, Student, Teacher Conferences are 
   Oct 24, 26, & 27.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Poetry and Nature
Happy Friday!
Although our week was short, we accomplished a lot of great work. Our focus took place with the use of personification in writing. We discussed why an author would use this piece of figurative language in a story. The students were excited to find many examples of personification in their own independent reading books. Earlier in the week, the students took their nature personification and joined their writing with other classmates to write collaborative poetry. Along with poetry, we continued our work on proper paragraph structure. Our focus was on writing great topic sentences and using transition words to help a paragraph to flow.
Collaborative Poetry

In Reader's Workshop, we continued our read aloud Animal House and Iz. Our concentration was on inferencing. We took notes about our thinking and inferring as we read while students later had practice reading their independent reading books and using stickie notes to locate important information in their books where they had to use their inferencing skills. We continue to talk about how inferencing is not predicting but rather "reading between the lines." This reading concept takes a lot of practice and deep reading. We will be practicing inferencing skills all year through independent reading and as whole group work.

* Conferences will be held Oct. 24, 26, & 27. Email sign-ups have      been sent home.
* Oct. 18 5th-grade Intramurals will be CANCELLED
* Oct. 22 Picture Retakes. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Personification and Nature
Happy Friday!

This week's Writer' Workshop lessons continued to focus on writing effective paragraphs. Students are writing practice paragraphs in class with a focus on keeping the paragraph on one topic and having creative topic sentences to introduce their writing. We also looked at the use of adjectives and making our writing better. By the middle of the week, we learned about personification and how figurative language can enrich our writing. The Geese had an opportunity to write personification while observing nature. The Dolphins will try their writing next week.

Our Reader's Workshop turned to Inferencing. We took a look back at the meaning of metacognition as well as schema or background knowledge. Students learned how inferencing is when we mix our schema with what the text says to infer. In other words, how to read between the lines for understanding. We practiced inferencing with a short story before we started applying this skill to our new read aloud, Animal House And Iz. Be sure and ask your child how our new crazy story began.

* No School Fri. Oct. 7 and Mon. Oct. 10