Tuesday, June 12th

In-Class

  • Students finished organizing the classroom library by genre. They began placing genre stickers on books to make identification easy for next year.
  • Make sure to finish and turn-in your final chocolate milk essay (Session 9) immediately. It was due YESTERDAY!

Monday, June 11th

In-Class
  • Students came up with a book organization system for next year. They decided to sort by the required genres for the 40 Book Challenge.
  • Students reorganized the classroom library by genre.
  • Make sure to finish and turn-in your final chocolate milk essay (Session 9) immediately. It was due TODAY!

Friday, June 8th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students edited their essays using a checklist. Final essays are due MONDAY. If you finish early, digitally turn-in so I can grade it this weekend.
  • 5th Grade: Students revised and edited their essays using a checklist. Final essays are due MONDAY. If you finish early, digitally turn-in so I can grade it this weekend.

Thursday, June 7th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students revised their essays using a checklist. We will work on editing our essays tomorrow.
  • 5th Grade: Students learned about the components of a counterclaim and wrote their counterclaim paragraph. We will work on revising our essays tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 6th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students learned about the components of a counterclaim and wrote their counterclaim paragraph. We will work on revising our essays tomorrow.
  • 5th Grade: Students learned about analyzing evidence. We used a layered cake metaphor, where their evidence is the cake and their own analysis of the evidence is the frosting. For every layer of cake, their needs to be a layer of frosting in order to keep their essays from being dry or from falling apart. In the Session 6 Writing Notebook, they copy and pasted their flash draft into the document. They highlighted all of their evidence. They worked to analyze each piece of evidence and break up the highlighting by inserting their analysis. The document has a chart of four questions they can ask themselves in order to start their analysis and a chart of transition words they can use to begin their analysis.

Tuesday, June 5th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students learned about analyzing evidence. We used a layered cake metaphor, where their evidence is the cake and their own analysis of the evidence is the frosting. For every layer of cake, their needs to be a layer of frosting in order to keep their essays from being dry or from falling apart. In the Session 6 Writing Notebook, they copy and pasted their flash draft into the document. They highlighted all of their evidence. They worked to analyze each piece of evidence and break up the highlighting by inserting their analysis. The document has a chart of four questions they can ask themselves in order to start their analysis and a chart of transition words they can use to begin their analysis.
  • 5th Grade: Students analyzed student examples of conclusions to look for items they could include in their own essays. They were given time to look through their own essays to make sure they had all required elements of every paragraph. Students met with their writing partner to double-check for all items. We will start Session 6 tomorrow to work on analyzing our evidence.

Monday, June 4th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students analyzed student examples of conclusions to look for items they could include in their own essays. They were given time to look through their own essays to make sure they had all required elements of every paragraph. Students met with their writing partner to double-check for all items. We will start Session 6 tomorrow to work on analyzing our evidence.
  • 5th Grade: Students met with their writing partner to discuss the strength of their evidence in terms of how well the evidence supported the appropriate reason for their claim. Many began writing their Session 5 Flash Draft last week. Session 5 Flash Draft due tomorrow for 5th Grade LA!
  • Media Announcements: Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Friday, June 1st

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students worked on their Session 5 Flash Draft. It is due Monday for 6th Grade LA!
  • 5th Grade: Students worked on their Session 4 Evidence. Session 4 Evidence due Monday for 5th Grade LA!
  • Media Announcements: Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Thursday, May 31st

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students worked on their Session 4 Evidence. They met with their writing partner to discuss the strength of their evidence in terms of how well the evidence supported the appropriate reason for their claim. Session 4 Evidence due tomorrow for 6th Grade LA!
  • 5th Grade: Students worked on their Session 4 Evidence. They will have tomorrow to complete and discuss with a partner and it will be due on Monday!
  • Media Announcements: Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Wednesday, May 30th

In-Class
  • Students listened to a presentation from Baldwin Public Library about their summer reading programs.
  • Students were introduced to the summer community read titled, The One and Only Ivan. Copies were sent home with the youngest sibling that attends BCS in each household.
  • Media Announcements: Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Tuesday, May 29th

In-Class
  • 5th Grade: Students learned about finding stronger evidence that is accurate and current, backs up their claim/reasons, and is quoted or paraphrased. They found new sources and wrote down new evidence (on Session 4 Writing Notebook in LA Google Classroom) for their argument letters, making sure it met the criteria above.
  • 6th Grade: Students were given four student examples of introductions. They worked to analyze the examples for strengths and weaknesses. This will help when they write their own introductions. Students continued finding new/stronger evidence in their Session 4 Writing Notebook in our LA Google Classroom. Some students began their next flash draft.
  • Media Announcements: Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Friday, May 25th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students learned about finding stronger evidence that is accurate and current, backs up their claim/reasons, and is quoted or paraphrased. They found new sources and wrote down new evidence (on Session 4 Writing Notebook in LA Google Classroom) for their argument letters, making sure it met the criteria above.
  • 5th Grade: Students completed a paraphrasing practice activity in their Session 3 Writing Notebook on LA Google Classroom by reading a short text on natural food remedies and then used paraphrased information to support my research paper. Students will continue practicing quoting and paraphrasing when they continue to research chocolate milk.
  • Media Announcements: Today was our last media lesson. Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Thursday, May 24th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Christian Robinson Illustrator Visit
  • 5th Grade: Students looked at the what, why, when, and how of quoting. They examined two examples to look for structure. Finally, they read an excerpt from an article and chose pieces to quote if they were writing a research paper. They had to insert the quote using the correct structure we discussed. We ended class by looking at paraphrasing. We will finish paraphrasing tomorrow. All of this work will help students to decide if they will quote or paraphrase evidence for their opinion writing.
  • Media Announcements: Today was our last media lesson. Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Wednesday, May 23rd

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students finished their media lesson with Mrs. Truesdell on evaluating websites. This will be the last media lesson of the year. We had enough time to finish our Session 3 lesson on Quoting vs Paraphrasing. Students looked at the water example to see how paraphrasing is structured. Students then completed a paraphrasing practice activity by reading a short text on natural food remedies and then used paraphrased information to support my research paper. Students will continue practicing quoting and paraphrasing when they continue to research chocolate milk.
  • 5th Grade: Students finished their media lesson with Mrs. Truesdell on evaluating websites. This will be the last media lesson of the year. We had enough time to introduce the idea of quoting vs paraphrasing evidence. We will continue this lesson throughout the week with examples, practice, and application to their own note taking.
  • Media Announcements: Today was our last media lesson. Students may now only check out 2 books at a time from the media center. All books are due back on June 4th, when checkout will no longer be allowed. Please return all library books by June 4th!

Tuesday, May 22nd

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students looked at the what, why, when, and how of quoting. They examined two examples to look for structure. Finally, they read an excerpt from an article and chose pieces to quote if they were writing a research paper. They had to insert the quote using the correct structure we discussed. Tomorrow, we will look at paraphrasing. All of this work will help students to decide if they will quote or paraphrase evidence for their opinion writing.
  • 5th Grade: Students needed more instruction on the basic structure of argument writing. They were shown an example of using the planning section of their writing notebook to plan their own argument letters. Students were then given time to finish planning and drafting their letters. Those students that were ready to move on were introduced to the analysis of their evidence (This shows that...This means...).

Monday, May 21st

In-Class
  • Students were taught how to use the "comment tool" in Google Docs to reflect on work and leave notes.
  • Students finished planning their argument letters and finished their flash draft. They were to revise by looking for items they may have missed or by adding more evidence. Finally, they were to use the comment tool to note parts of their letter they liked and parts they need to work on and a plan for how to improve. Please finish flash draft and comments for homework!

Friday, May 18th

In-Class
  • Disability Awareness Workshop all day.

Thursday, May 17th

In-Class
  • Students went over how argument letters/essays usually go, specifically how to formulate a thesis and structure a body paragraph with topic sentences and evidence.
  • Students began planning their argument letters and some students started flash drafting.

Wednesday, May 16th

In-Class
  • Students had a media lesson on evaluating websites. This will help them when choosing sources to cite for their argument essays.
  • Students planned out their three reasons to support their claim about chocolate milk in schools. They should finish writing out their three reasons tonight on the Session 2 Writing Notebook in our LA Google Classroom. Make sure reasons do not repeat and are not evidence.

Tuesday, May 15th

In-Class
  • Students continued Session 1 by collecting evidence in a T-Chart "for" and "against" chocolate milk at school.
  • Students worked on citing the source for each of their notes and marked which pieces of evidence are most convincing on each side of the argument. This needs to be finished for homework.
  • Students will begin flash drafting their argument letters to Mr. Morawski. They practiced their letter by naming their claim and supporting reasons to their writing partner.

Monday, May 14th

In-Class
  • Students were introduced to the new writing unit. The first part of this unit requires them to write a persuasive letter to Mr. Morawski, explaining why they think the school should keep or get rid of chocolate milk. They will learn the process of writing a research-based argument piece in order to apply the same process when writing essays.
  • Session 1 was about collecting evidence to think through various sides of an argument. Students read articles and watched videos that provide evidence for both sides of the argument. They began to collect evidence in a T-Chart. We will be using an electronic writing notebook in our LA Google Classroom.

Thursday, May 10th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade Only: Students completed the ELA MSTEP.
  • All Junior Scholastic article work was due last Friday (5/4). Please complete, if not done already. There were 4 assignments total.
  • Students can view their Nonfiction Reading Assignment Rubric to see specific feedback on the score they earned. Students can also revise based on my feedback and notify me by email. I will review the changes and alter grades if necessary.

Wednesday, May 9th

In-Class
  • Students went to media with Mrs. Truesdell. She taught a lesson on how fake news spreads across digital media sources and gave tips on how to prevent it.
  • Students completed Quizizz's on Literary Devices and Figurative Language. We analyzed our results in order to correct misconceptions.
  • All Junior Scholastic article work was due last Friday (5/4). Please complete, if not done already. There were 4 assignments total.
  • Students can view their Nonfiction Reading Assignment Rubric to see specific feedback on the score they earned. Students can also revise based on my feedback and notify me by email. I will review the changes and alter grades if necessary.

Tuesday, May 8th

In-Class
  • Students finished presenting their Figurative Language and Literary Devices BookSnaps. They continued to fill out notes while students presented. They defined each concept and gave an example from our mentor text, Home of the Brave.
  • All Junior Scholastic article work was due last Friday (5/4). Please complete, if not done already. There were 4 assignments total.
  • Students can view their Nonfiction Reading Assignment Rubric to see specific feedback on the score they earned. Students can also revise based on my feedback and notify me by email. I will review the changes and alter grades if necessary.

Monday, May 7th

In-Class
  • 5th Grade students presented their Figurative Language and Literary Devices BookSnaps. They began to fill out notes while students presented. They defined each concept and gave an example from our mentor text, Home of the Brave. We will finish presenting tomorrow.
  • 6th Grade students finished presenting their Nonfiction Reading Assignments.
  • All Junior Scholastic article work was due last Friday (5/4). Please complete, if not done already. There were 4 assignments total.
  • Students can view their Nonfiction Reading Assignment Rubric to see specific feedback on the score they earned. Students can also revise based on my feedback and notify me by email. I will review the changes and alter grades if necessary.

Thursday, May 3rd

In-Class
  • 5th Grade students presented their Nonfiction Reading Assignment.
  • 6th Grade students will present their Nonfiction Reading Assignments tomorrow.
  • All Junior Scholastic article work from this week is due Tomorrow. (Four assignments total)

Wednesday, May 2nd

In-Class
  • Students worked on their Nonfiction Reading Assignment in order to prepare to present tomorrow (5/3).
  • Students finished up any of the Junior Scholastic article work from Monday and Tuesday. All of this work is due Friday.

Tuesday, May 1st

In-Class
  • Students read a Junior Scholastic article called "Quick Answers to Tough Questions on Global Warming".
  • Students completed a Google Doc on our LA Google Classroom where they had to cite textual evidence to answer questions from the article. They had to write the exact location of the evidence within the article. This work will help them when they are collecting evidence to support their opinion writing.
  • Students completed a Google Form article assessment to measure their level of comprehension on the article.

Monday, April 30th

In-Class
  • Students read a Junior Scholastic article called "Eyes in the Sky".
  • Students completed a Google Doc on our LA Google Classroom where they had to find 4 benefits and 4 drawbacks of using drones. This work will help them when they are collecting evidence to support their claim and the counterclaim during our opinion writing.
  • Students completed a Google Form article assessment to measure their level of comprehension on the article.

Thursday, April 25th

In-Class

  • Students received a lesson on Global vs Local text structures.
  • Students continued the nonfiction reading assignment.

Tuesday, April 24th

In-Class

  • Students continued the nonfiction reading assignment. They are working with a partner to choose a nonfiction article. They are analyzing the article and filling out the Google Slide template in our LA Google Classroom, including
    • A Summary
    • Author's Purpose
    • Text Structures
    • Nonfiction Signposts
    • Big 3 Questions

Monday, April 23rd

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to the nonfiction reading assignment. They will work with a partner to choose a nonfiction article. They will analyze the article and fill out the Google Slide template in our LA Google Classroom, including
    • A Summary
    • Author's Purpose
    • Text Structures
    • Nonfiction Signposts
    • Big 3 Questions

Thursday, April 18th

In-Class

  • Students continued with the nonfiction signposts. They filled out the Nonfiction Signpost Note Sheet posted on our LA Google Classroom while being introduced to them. They had to fill in notes on what the signpost is, the anchor question to ask/answer when they come across the signpost, and what the answer leads to. They did this with the first two signposts: Contrasts & Contradictions and Absolute & Extreme Language.
  • Students watched a video clip that exemplifies each signpost and answered the anchor question using evidence from the video.

Wednesday, April 17th

In-Class

  • Students took a final assessment in Media with Mrs. Truesdell to measure their progress with digital citizenship.
  • Students were introduced to the first nonfiction signpost...contrasts and contradictions.

Tuesday, April 17th

In-Class

  • 5th Grade: Students took the ELA MSTEP assessment.
  • 6th Grade: No LA

Tuesday, April 10th

In-Class

  • Students continued working on their End-of-Book Project. They are working with their group to find the most important theme of their book and the scene that best exemplifies that theme. They will turn this scene into a 3 minute skit.
  • Today was the last day to work on the project and videos will be presented on Thursday.

Monday, April 9th

In-Class

  • Students continued working on their End-of-Book Project. They are working with their group to find the most important theme of their book and the scene that best exemplifies that theme. They will turn this scene into a 3 minute skit.
  • Many groups are struggling with making their video 3 minutes long. They will work tomorrow to brainstorm ideas for adding scenes or information that supports their theme. Tomorrow is the last day to work and videos will be presented on Thursday.

Thursday, March 29th

In-Class

  • Students continued working on their End-of-Book Project. They are working with their group to find the most important theme of their book and the scene that best exemplifies that theme. They will turn this scene into a 3 minute skit.
  • Many students were absent, so groups will be given a day or two after break to finalize their project.

Wednesday, March 28th

In-Class

  • Students continued working on their End-of-Book Project. They are working with their group to find the most important theme of their book and the scene that best exemplifies that theme. They will turn this scene into a 3 minute skit.

Monday, March 26th

In-Class

  • Students finished their NWEA Reading testing.
  • Make sure you have read your entire book club novel!

Tuesday, March 20th

In-Class

  • Students continued their work on Reading Response 3.19 where they have to make a claim of a time their character acted in a contradictory manner. They have to quote evidence from the text to support their claim and explain how the evidence supports their claim.
  • Students discussed possible contrasts and contradictions from their book and at least finished the "evidence" column of their table by filling in a direct quote from the book that shows the signpost.

Monday, March 19th

In-Class

  • Students revised their 3.14 responses and are allowed to revise their responses as many times as it takes to reach mastery in all areas of the rubric. Please encourage your child to revise his/her responses based on our feedback. They just need to email their LA teacher to let us know which assignment they have revised.
  • Students were reminded of the first Notice and Note Signpost (stopping points for comprehension) called "Contrasts and Contradictions. They were introduced to Reading Response 3.19 where they have to make a claim of a time their character acted in a contradictory manner. They have to quote evidence from the text to support their claim and explain how the evidence supports their claim.

Thursday, March 15th

In-Class

  • Students looked at more sample reading responses from other students to analyze parts of CERs. Some students are still really struggling with including an exact quote from the text that supports their claim (evidence). They are also struggling with including an explanation of how their evidence supports their claim (reasoning).
  • Students are allowed to revise their responses as many times as it takes to reach mastery in all areas of the rubric. Please encourage your child to revise his/her responses based on our feedback. They just need to email one of us to let us know which assignment they have revised.
  • Students were introduced to Reading Response 3.14 where they had to make a claim of how their story will make them a better person. They had to quote evidence from the text to support their claim and explain how the evidence supported their claim.
  • Work on grammar path ("Commonly Confused Words III). It is due TOMORROW!

Wednesday, March 14th

In-Class

  • Students looked at sample reading responses from other students to analyze parts of CERs. Some students are still really struggling with including an exact quote from the text that supports their claim (evidence). They are also struggling with including an explanation of how their evidence supports their claim (reasoning).
  • Students are allowed to revise their responses as many times as it takes to reach mastery in all areas of the rubric. Please encourage your child to revise his/her responses based on our feedback. They just need to email one of us to let us know which assignment they have revised.
  • Students were introduced to Reading Response 3.14 where they had to make a claim of how their story will make them a better person. They had to quote evidence from the text to support their claim and explain how the evidence supported their claim.
  • Work on grammar path ("Commonly Confused Words III). It is due this Friday, March 16th because it is a relatively short and simple unit.

Tuesday, March 13th

In-Class

  • Students continued working on Reading Response 3.8 where they had to make a claim of a time their thinking was changed, challenged, or confirmed. They had to quote evidence from the text to support their claim and explain how the evidence supported their claim.
  • Students discussed their books with their book clubs.
  • Work on new grammar path ("Commonly Confused Words III). It is due on Friday, March 16th because it is a relatively short and simple unit.

Monday, March 12th

In-Class

  • Students were updated on the first round of our March Madness Reading Challenge. Students who advanced to the second round received their next reading log. They have tonight, tomorrow night, and Wednesday night to read and the signed log is due back Thursday by LA class time.
  • Students continued working on Reading Response 3.8 where they had to make a claim of a time their thinking was changed, challenged, or confirmed. They had to quote evidence from the text to support their claim and explain how the evidence supported their claim.
  • Work on new grammar path ("Commonly Confused Words III). It is due on Friday, March 16th because it is a relatively short and simple unit.

Friday, March 9th

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to our March Madness Reading Challenge. Students are encouraged to read for as long as they can and record their information on a special log that was sent home today. Please initial/sign their log if you agree with the amount they have read. The first round of the bracket challenge is this weekend and their log is due back on Monday. If they do not get their logs initialed/signed, they do not total their amount in minutes, or they lose their log, they are disqualified.
  • Students introduced Mr. Joseph's class to noredink.com and got them started. Our students then took their growth quiz for the last grammar unit and the pretest for the next unit. This new path ("Commonly Confused Words III) is due on Friday, March 16th because it is a relatively short and simple unit.

Thursday, March 8th

In-Class

  • Students continued to practice book club protocol. They analyzed pictures of themselves in book clubs to come up with the positives and areas of improvement for their clubs. They are encouraged to revise their responses anytime they don’t like their levels. They will move up levels if they revise their response to meet expectations.

Wednesday, March 7th

In-Class

  • Students reflected on their 3.6 responses and revised their responses. Students continued to practice book club protocol. They are encouraged to revise their responses anytime they don’t like their grades. They will move up levels if they revise their response to meet expectations.

Tuesday, March 6th

In-Class

  • Students worked on 3.6 Reading Response, which asked them to answer three of our "Book" questions from the BHH Framework we have worked on previously. The three questions were "Who is telling your story?", "What is your story about?", and "What does the author want you to know?".
  • Their answers to the last question needed to include a claim (what they think the author wants them to know), evidence (a direct quote from the text), and reasoning (explanation of how the evidence proves the claim).
  • 3.6 Reading Response due tomorrow (on our LA Google Classroom).

Monday, March 5th

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to book club protocol and were able to view a fishbowl discussion.

Tuesday, February 27th

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to the five book choices for our "Analyzing Themes" book clubs through a book tasting.
  • Students sampled each book and ranked them.
  • See pictures of our book tasting on SeeSaw.

Monday, February 26th

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to the first Notice and Note Signpost...Contrasts and Contradictions. We talked about how it can appear in one of two ways...when a character doesn't act like he/she normally does or when a character acts in a way that people don't normally act in the same situation. We also discussed the anchor question that goes with the signpost...Ask yourself: "Why is the character doing or saying that?" Finally, we discussed that the answer to the anchor question usually leads to a prediction or inference about the character, setting, or plot.
  • Students practiced the first signpost by watching a clip from the movie, "Lion King". We read the picture book, "Baseball Saved Us", and practiced finding the signpost.
  • 6th Grade: R&E is due TOMORROW (2/27)! You will present during Social Studies time.

Friday, February 16th

In-Class

  • Students took the "Verb Tense II" growth quiz.
  • Students took the "Rules of Capitalization & Capitalizing and Formatting Titles" pretest. They set up their next path in their writing notebooks on the "Rules of Capitalization II" and "Capitalizing and Formatting Titles" units. This new path is due on Friday, March 9th.
  • "Redo" narratives were due by today. I will take the highest grade between the original and the redo narrative. If a redo narrative wasn't submitted, the narrative grade in the class is final after today.
  • 6th Grade: R&E due date has been CHANGED to Tuesday, February 27th. This will allow students to have a backup day when they return for break in case they need to finish.

Thursday, February 15th

In-Class

  • Students viewed a video of kids having a real book discussion. Students share positive and negative habits they observed from the video.
  • Students still need to complete the crossword puzzle on the article that helps them with understanding the important vocabulary involved.
  • Students need to finish this work for homework, if not completed in class.

Wednesday, February 14th

In-Class

  • Students continued their inner-outer circle Socratic Seminar. Partner As used their BHH notes on "The Bully" to have a discussion and deepen their understandings. Partner Bs collected and analyzed data on the students involved in the discussion.
  • Students met with their partners and discussed the observational data. They were able to pick out positive and negative habits and we discussed which ones would be important when we move into our book clubs.
  • Some students still need to complete the crossword puzzle on the "Olympic Thaw?" article that helps them with understanding the important vocabulary involved. Students need to finish this work for homework, if not completed in class.

Tuesday, February 13th

In-Class

  • Students participated in their inner-outer circle Socratic Seminar. Partner As used their BHH notes on "The Bully" to have a discussion and deepen their understandings. Partner Bs collected and analyzed data on the students involved in the discussion. We will continue our debrief of behavior tomorrow.
  • Some students still need to complete their Google Form assessment on the "Olympic Thaw?" article. The assessment is located in our LA Google Classroom.
  • Students still need to complete the crossword puzzle on the article that helps them with understanding the important vocabulary involved.
  • Students need to finish this work for homework, if not completed in class.

Monday, February 12th

In-Class

  • Students read a Junior Scholastic article called, "Olympic Thaw?". The article focuses on the relationship between North and South Korea during this Winter Olympics. The paper issue has not been delivered yet, but students can access Junior Scholastic online and use our classroom password (petstep6) to access the article.
  • Students completed a Google Form assessment on the article. The assessment is located in our LA Google Classroom
  • Students completed a crossword puzzle on the article that helps them with understanding the important vocabulary involved.
  • Students need to finish this work for homework, if not completed in class.

Thursday, February 8th

In-Class

  • Students learned about a Socratic Seminar as we move toward book clubs. The purpose is to practice the skills necessary when discussing literature, such as the ability to add onto another person's idea to deepen understanding.
  • Students partnered up based on one partner wanting to participate in the discussion and the other partner wanting to observe the behaviors going on during the discussion. I met with the observation group to go over the specific behaviors they would be observing and the rules/protocol of the discussion. The other group continued to gather notes and deepen their notes on the literature we will be discussing. Finally, the observation group split up and met with their specific partner to explain the rules/protocol. We will have our seminar next LA session.

Wednesday, February 7th

In-Class

  • Students read the short story, "The Bully". They were reminded to read carefully/slowly, and take notes/highlight/underline.
  • Students worked on a Google Doc that had sentence starters for all of the BHH Framework components. They were to fill it out as completely as they could using information from the short story. This assignment is due tomorrow so we can discuss in class.

Monday, February 5th

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to the "Heart" section of the BHH Framework. We practiced the two "Heart" questions with Crash: What did I learn about me? How can this make me be a better person?
  • Students began to write "Heart" notes on their own books and need to finish for homework.
  • Tomorrow they will practice with a common text and complete notes on all of BHH. This will allow us to have a whole group discussion about what they found.

Friday, February 2nd

In-Class

  • 6th Grade LA: Students were introduced to the "Head" section of the BHH Framework. We used the same chapter as yesterday, but made sure to point out that with "Head" notes, we don't just write our thinking about each observation we made for "Book". Instead, we are to write about what surprised us about the characters or plot, what the author thinks we already know (background knowledge), what changed, challenged, or confirmed our thinking, and what we noticed in general. We discussed how "noticing" when things are important is the most difficult part, especially if they are small details. This will be our focus over the next couple of weeks as we work on "Notice and Note Signposts". They must complete "Head" notes over the weekend for a chapter of their book. They also completed their "Phrases and Dependent Clauses" growth quiz and completed the "Verb Tense II" pretest. They should fill out their new path in their writing notebook, which is due Friday, February 16th.
  • 5th Grade LA: Students discussed the difficulty of completing "Head" notes and shared some of their best notes. We read more of Crash. They also completed their "Phrases and Dependent Clauses" growth quiz and completed the "Verb Tense II" pretest. They should fill out their new path in their writing notebook, which is due Friday, February 16th.

Thursday, February 1st

In-Class

  • 6th Grade LA: Students were introduced to the "Book" section of the BHH Framework. We read a deep chapter of Crash and analyzed it for information to fit within "Book". Students realized that "Book" observations should be important to the book now and in the future, but should not contain any of their own thinking or opinions. Students will complete "Book" notes on a chosen chapter of their own novels tonight for homework.
  • 5th Grade LA: Students were introduced to the "Head" section of the BHH Framework. We used the same chapter as yesterday, but made sure to point out that with "Head" notes, we don't just write our thinking about each observation we made for "Book". Instead, we are to write about what surprised us about the characters or plot, what the author thinks we already know (background knowledge), what changed, challenged, or confirmed our thinking, and what we noticed in general. We discussed how "noticing" when things are important is the most difficult part, especially if they are small details. This will be our focus over the next couple of weeks as we work on "Notice and Note Signposts".

Wednesday, January 31st

In-Class

  • 6th Grade LA: During this class period, all 5th and 6th grade students attended a presentation by Sarah Weeks (author of our summer reading novel, Save me a Seat).
  • 5th Grade LA: Students were introduced to the "Book" section of the BHH Framework. We read a deep chapter of Crash and analyzed it for information to fit within "Book". Students realized that "Book" observations should be important to the book now and in the future, but should not contain any of their own thinking or opinions. Students will complete "Book" notes on a chosen chapter of their own novels tonight for homework.

Tuesday, January 30th

In-Class

  • Some students had to finish their personal narrative reflection from yesterday reflection. They used my suggestions to make last minute changes and printed a copy.
  • Their narrative is coming home with a cover sheet attached to the front. It explains why the narrative grades are being counted for Quarter 3. It also outlines an opportunity for students to write a "redo" narrative. Some students felt that they didn't pick a story idea that mattered or had a deeper meaning, so they want another shot at showing their true narrative writing skills. The "redo" narrative is due Friday, February 16th (last school day before break).
  • Please sign the cover sheet and return it still attached to your child's narrative by this Friday, February 2nd. If you would like a copy of the narrative, please have your child pull it up on Google.
  • The students were given an introduction to the BHH reading framework. BHH stands for: Book, Head, Heart. It is a way to get students to think about what the text is trying to tell them and what types of messages they take to heart. This framework will lead into the first reading strategy...Notice and Note signposts. Over the next few weeks, students will learn how to recognize different signs the author is trying to have us notice.

Monday, January 29th

In-Class

  • We discussed why personal narrative grades would go toward the students' Quarter 3 grade. A copy of their narrative, a graded rubric, specific written feedback, and a cover sheet explaining my rational will come home with your student this week. Please look over everything, sign the cover sheet, and send it all back in to school with your child by Friday. If you'd like a copy of their narrative, have your child pull it up from Google Classroom. There will be an opportunity for your student to write another narrative. I will take the highest score of the two.
  • Students took a pretest on our next reading unit: Notice and Note Signposts. They used quizizz.com, which is a self-paced test. The exact link is on our LA Google Classroom. It showed them a small excerpt and they had to pick which signpost the excerpt demonstrated. They received immediate feedback and could track how they were doing compared to classmates. We will begin the unit tomorrow.
  • Students were handed their very first narrative from the beginning of the year and compared it to their current narrative to write a reflection. They used my suggestions to make last minute changes and printed a copy.

Thursday, January 25th

In-Class

6th Grade LA
  • Students were reminded of/introduced to Response and Exploration (R & Es) activity.
  • Students began their R & Es. Have your student show you the materials on our LA Google Classroom.
5th Grade LA
  • We finished the dialogue format lesson today and the students applied the lesson to their narratives. Their narrative final copy was due at the end of class today. Please finish it tonight and click the Turn In button on Google Classroom tonight, if you didn't finish.

Wednesday, January 24th

In-Class

6th Grade LA
  • Students went to media and watched a video on copyright protection. They completed an interactive activity.
  • Their narrative final copy was due at the end of class. Please finish and click the Turn In button on Google Classroom tonight, if you didn't finish.
5th Grade LA
  • Students received their last grammar minilesson for this unit on dialogue format. We will finish the lesson tomorrow, practice, and apply the lesson to their narratives. They will have the rest of the class period tomorrow to finish their final copy. It is due at the end of class TOMORROW.

Tuesday, January 23rd

In-Class

6th Grade LA
  • Students were given a minilesson on dialogue rules and dialogue format. They were given a reference sheet with examples.
  • Students were given several practice sentences to correct dialogue format.
  • Students applied the lesson to their own writing as they continued to edit and publish their narratives.
  • They will have one more class period tomorrow (Wednesday, January 24th) before their narrative is due at the end of class.
5th Grade LA
  • Students were reminded of verb tenses. We went over several correct and incorrect examples of verb-tense shifts.
  • Students completed practice problems requiring them to identify verb tenses and verb-tense shifts, as well as fix incorrect shifts.
  • Students applied the lesson to their own writing as they continued to edit and publish their narratives.
  • They will receive one more grammar minilesson on dialogue format before their final narratives are due at the end of class on Thursday, January 25th.

Monday, January 22nd

In-Class

6th Grade LA
  • Students were reminded of verb tenses. We went over several correct and incorrect examples of verb-tense shifts.
  • Students completed practice problems requiring them to identify verb tenses and verb-tense shifts, as well as fix incorrect shifts.
  • Students applied the lesson to their own writing as they continued to edit and publish their narratives.
  • They will receive one more grammar minilesson on dialogue format before their final narratives are due on Wednesday, January 24th.
5th Grade LA
  • Students learned that a run-on sentence has two complete sentences in one. We discussed two options for fixing a run-on sentence...Option 1 is to break up the run-on into two separate sentences using end punctuation and a capital letter. Option 2 is to use a comma and conjunction (and, or, but, because, etc.).
  • Students continued working on a "Sentence Fragments and Run-ons" worksheet and finished Part C on the front side in class.
  • Students applied the lesson and practice to their own writing as they continued to edit and publish their narratives.
  • They will receive two more grammar minilessons on verb tenses and dialogue format before their final narratives are due on Thursday, January 25th.

Friday, January 19th

In-Class

  • Students completed their noredink.com "Components of a Sentence II" growth quiz.
  • Students completed their noredink.com "Phrases and Dependent Clauses" pretest and filled out their new grammar path, due on Friday, February 2nd. Please finish filling out your path if you didn't finish in class.

Thursday, January 18th

In-Class

6th Grade LA
5th Grade LA
  • Students received a review lesson on commas in a series (with a small debate about the Oxford Comma).
  • Students received a lesson on using commas correctly in other situations such as setting off introductory phrases, adding tag questions, addressing someone directly, etc. They completed a comma practice sheet, then students began applying the lesson to their own writing.
  • Students received a lesson on fragments and run-on sentences. They learned that a complete sentence has a subject, predicate, and a complete thought. If it is missing one of those items, it is a fragment. Students learned that a run-on sentence has two complete sentences in one. We discussed two options for fixing a run-on sentence...Option 1 is to break up the run-on into two separate sentences using end punctuation and a capital letter. Option 2 is to use a comma and conjunction (and, or, but, etc.).
  • Students began working on a "Sentence Fragments and Run-ons" worksheet and need to finish Part B on the FRONT SIDE for homework.

Wednesday, January 17th

In-Class

6th Grade LA
  • Students went to the media center and completed online scenarios and games on cyber bullying.
  • Students received a lesson on fragments and run-on sentences. They learned that a complete sentence has a subject, predicate, and a complete thought. If it is missing one of those items, it is a fragment. Students learned that a run-on sentence has two complete sentences in one. We discussed two options for fixing a run-on sentence...Option 1 is to break up the run-on into two separate sentences using end punctuation and a capital letter. Option 2 is to use a comma and conjunction (and, or, but, etc.).
  • Students began working on a "Sentence Fragments and Run-ons" worksheet and need to finish the front for homework.
5th Grade LA

Tuesday, January 16th

In-Class

6th Grade LA
  • Students received a lesson on "when to use transitional words/phrases" and "how to punctuate transitions" then applied it to their own writing. They received a handout that included some commonly used transitions in narratives/stories.
  • Students received a review lesson on commas in a series (with a small debate about the Oxford Comma).
  • Students received a lesson on using commas correctly in other situations such as setting off introductory phrases, adding tag questions, addressing someone directly, etc. They completed a comma practice sheet, then some students began applying the lesson to their own writing. They must finish editing their second draft for commas tonight.
  • We will continue our grammar minilessons with topics such as verb tense and punctuating dialogue.
5th Grade LA
  • Students were visited by the author, Alison DeCamp. She wrote one of the battle books. She shared some insights about the writing process/profession, and gave inspirational messages about becoming a writer.

Friday, January 12th

In-Class

  • Students watched the spelling bee.

Thursday, January 11th

In-Class

  • Students received an editing checklist for this unit. The list has examples to help while they are editing.
  • Students edited for easier items such as capitalization and end punctuation.
  • Students received a lesson on paragraphing and then applied it to their own writing.
  • We will continue our grammar minilessons with topics such as verb tense, using commas to set off phrases, and punctuating dialogue.

Wednesday, January 10th

In-Class

  • Students went to media for a lesson from Mrs. Truesdell and to check out books.
  • Students took their next noredink.com pretest for the new grammar unit. This unit will focus on sentence-level grammar, as opposed to word-level with the last unit.
  • Personal narrative second drafts (blue paper) were due today! Please finish tonight, if you haven't done so already. We begin the editing process tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 9th

In-Class

  • Students heard a personal narrative written by a professional author. They analyzed the story and looked for parts the author went fast, medium, and slow. They also discussed WHY the author chose to go the speed she did. They came up with "although all elements and parts of a story are important, we don't have to spend a lot of time on each one. We should spend the most time on the heart of our story, which is the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution." Students were given time to continue drafting with this idea in mind.
  • Students were interrupted and we analyzed the ending of the mentor story for the day. We came up with what makes a good ending, as they were beginning to write their endings. They came up with "a good ending needs to relieve the tension of the story and connect back to the heart of the story".
  • Students continued drafting with all of this revision advice we have been studying:
    • Bring out the true meaning of the story
    • Follow the pattern that stories usually follow (external plot line)
    • Include thoughts and physical reactions to show emotions (internal plot line)
    • Elaborate on important parts (heart of the story)
    • End by relieving the tension and connecting back to the heart of the story
  • Second draft is due at the beginning of class TOMORROW!

Monday, January 8th

In-Class

  • Students learned that the events they plotted on the plot diagram last week helps to tell the "external plot line". They learned that the emotions/feelings the main character is having along the external plot line is called the "internal plot line". Students came up with ways to show the internal plot line when writing their narrative. They said that they can include their thoughts and their physical reactions to show what they are feeling. For example, if they are nervous at a certain point, they can mention frantic thoughts or questioning themselves. They can also show the physical reaction like sweaty palms or heart racing faster.
  • Students continued writing their second draft (blue paper) including all of the revision strategies we have learned about so far:
    • Bring out the true meaning of the story
    • Follow the pattern that stories usually follow (external plot line)
    • Include thoughts and physical reactions to show emotions (internal plot line)
  • Second draft is due at the beginning of class Wednesday!

Thursday, January 4th

In-Class

  • Students plotted their stories on a plot diagram to make sure they had all/enough of the necessary elements.
  • Students marked strong elements with a "star" and weak elements with a "question mark". We discussed ideas for making the weak areas, stronger. This is due tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 3rd

In-Class

  • Students' 1st draft narratives were evaluated over break. They are using a tremendous amount of detail and their writing has really come a long way since the beginning of the year! The common area of weakness was bringing forth the true meaning of the story. Many students are using great detail to only tell the events of the story and are forgetting to hint at the bigger meaning. Today's minilesson addressed this common issue.
  • Tomorrow, we will plot our stories on a plot diagram to make sure our stories have all/enough of the necessary elements.

Friday, December 22nd

In-Class

  • Students were given more ideas for how to stretch out their endings, as that was a weak point overall from our beginning of the year narrative. Students finished writing their 1st draft, received feedback from a peer, and revised based on that feedback.
  • Some students were able to share their endings so that we could hear what a great ending sounds like!
  • Students turned in their 1st draft so that I could reevaluate narrative skills during break to make new strategy groups.
  • When we come back from break, we will spend a week or so on editing and publishing. The editing will focus on old concepts such as capitalization, punctuation, and spelling, but also new concepts such as sentence structure, correct comma usage, and verb tense.

Thursday, December 21st

In-Class

  • 6th Grade students went through our checklist of all of their advice for making our stories "the best they can be" a final time. They checked off additional strategies they thought would be important to use in the end of their drafts. They continued to write their first draft with those strategies in mind. They shared their leads and received feedback based on if they hinted at the conflict or not.
  • 5th Grade students went through a checklist of all of their advice for making our stories "the best they can be" a second time. They checked off a few strategies they thought would be important to use in the middle of their stories when drafting. They continued to write their first draft with those strategies in mind. Some students were able to share their leads and received feedback from the class as to whether or not they hinted at their conflict.

Wednesday, December 20th

In-Class

  • 6th Grade students went through our checklist of all of their advice for making our stories "the best they can be" a second time. They checked off additional strategies they thought would be important to use in the middle and end of their drafts. They continued to write their first draft with those strategies in mind.
  • 5th Grade students went through a checklist of all of their advice for making our stories "the best they can be". They checked off a few strategies they thought would be important to use right from the beginning when they started drafting. They began to write their first draft with those strategies in mind. The biggest area we talked about focusing on was our lead. We discussed how in the lower grades, they learned to write character and setting leads. Now they are working on hinting at the conflict or lesson in the story in their lead. Some students were able to share their leads and received feedback from the class as to whether or not they hinted at their conflict.

Tuesday, December 19th

In-Class

  • 6th Grade students went through a checklist of all of their advice for making our stories "the best they can be". They checked off a few strategies they thought would be important to use right from the beginning when they started drafting. They began to write their first draft with those strategies in mind. The biggest area we talked about focusing on was our lead. We discussed how in the lower grades, they learned to write character and setting leads. Now they are working on hinting at the conflict or lesson in the story in their lead. Some students were able to share their leads and received feedback from the class as to whether or not they hinted at their conflict.
  • 5th Grade students continued their Elaboration and Craft Rubric Activity presentations. They were introduced to our drafting process.

Monday, December 18th

In-Class

  • 6th Grade students finished presenting their Elaboration and Craft Rubric Activity in order to share out advice on each area of the narrative rubric. They received a checklist of all of their advice to use as a reference when they write their first draft starting tomorrow.
  • 5th Grade students finished their spelling bee. We were not able to get to a final winner as they went to the end of the word list. We decided on a tie. Students finished creating their Elaboration and Craft Rubric Activity presentations. We will finish presenting them tomorrow and begin drafting.

Friday, December 15th

In-Class

  • Students participated in the classroom Spelling Bee.
  • 6th Grade: Congratulations to Gabe and Nathaniel! Gabe was our classroom champion and Nathaniel will join Gabe in representing our class at the school Spelling Bee.
  • 5th Grade: Congratulations to Sophie and Mina! We will find out who the winner is on Monday, but no matter the outcome, they will both represent our class at the school Spelling Bee.

Wednesday, December 13th

In-Class

  • Students went to media and worked on lessons about identifying spam/phishing.
  • Students were introduced to the Spelling Bee, which will be held at the classroom level this Friday, December 15th. If you would like to look over patterns for different languages, this is a great resource.

Monday, December 11th

In-Class

  • Students analyzed student examples of "Elaboration and Craft Rubric Activity" Google Slideshows.
  • Students in 6th grade had a full class period, so they were able to finish creating their presentations and we were able to begin presentations. Students in 5th grade had a shortened period, so they did not finish their presentations and we did not begin presenting.
  • Students will have more time this week to finish.

Friday, December 8th

In-Class

  • Students took their noredink.com growth quizzes in the area of grammar they worked on for the last two weeks. Group 1 took a pretest on the last unit of basic grammar and Group 2 took a Basic Grammar Final Exam. The exam was the same assessment that was given at the beginning of the year, and included questions from every unit the students worked on since then.
  • Some students were able to finish writing out their grammar path in their writing notebooks and got it initialed by me. Students who did not finish writing their path need to finish writing it over the weekend so that it can be initialed by me on Monday!

Thursday, December 7th

In-Class

  • Students were introduced to the next page of the narrative rubric, regarding craft and elaboration.
  • Students worked with their writing partner to analyze one area of the rubric. They broke down their area into observable success criteria and defined any keywords they thought the class might struggle with. They looked through the student-created example, "Goosebumps", and graded the piece in their specific area of the rubric. They collected evidence from the text that proved the grade they gave. Finally, they wrote advice to the class for when they go to write their first draft, in terms of their area of the rubric.
  • Students will write their first draft next week, grade the piece, and come up with at least 2 goals based on the rubric.

Wednesday, December 6th

In-Class

  • Students read the next student-created personal narrative example together called "Big Sister".
  • Students used the first page of the narrative grading rubric that is used to score student work. They broke the rubric down into success criteria. Students analyzed the writing piece and looked for the criteria. They ranked the example in each area based on how much criteria was met.
  • Students will practice with the next page of the rubric, regarding craft and elaboration. Students will grade their own writing piece and come up with at least 2 goals based on the rubric.

Tuesday, December 5th

In-Class

  • We read the next student-created personal narrative example together called "Goosebumps".
  • Students received the first page of the narrative grading rubric that is used to score student work. We broke the rubric down into success criteria. Students analyzed the writing piece and looked for the criteria. They ranked the example in each area based on how much criteria was met.
  • Students will practice with another piece tomorrow. The next page of the rubric will be introduced later in the week regarding craft and elaboration. Students will grade their own writing piece and come up with at least 2 goals based on the rubric.

Monday, December 4th

In-Class

  • Students were given a packet of personal narrative exemplars written by real 5th/6th grade students.
  • We read the first student example together and began a list of "Ways We Can Make Our Writing the Best It Can Be". We wrote down some observations from the student example.
  • Students were assigned a partner and read the next student example. They worked with their partner to add to our observational list. We will continue this list tomorrow by looking at a student example that exemplifies what "End-of-Year" writing looks like. This list will be typed and given to the students to remind them what to include while they begin to draft their first narrative.

Thursday, November 30th

In-Class

  • Students were reminded of our teaching point in writing yesterday: Many students slip out of their point of view while writing, and assume details instead of writing exactly how they experienced the event. An example of this is: I flipped over my bike and everything went black. My sister ran into the house to get help, wondering if I was alive. In order to stay in my point of view, I would write: I flipped over my bike and everything went black. I woke up to my mom and sister's face staring down at me from above. They asked, "Are you ok?" I couldn't answer because of the pounding in my head.
  • Students began a new entry. My mid-workshop teaching point was about including details that ring true to the story. Students analyzed a student example where the student added details that he would not pay attention to in the heat of the moment. For example: I sat down in the green metal chair.
  • 5th Grade: Students need to publish their "Plot Diagram" summaries in our LA Google Classroom by TOMORROW (12/01). Don't forget to click the "turn in" button.

Wednesday, November 29th

In-Class

  • Students went to the Media Center for their last rotation of the "digital literacy" stations and to check out books.
  • We continued our Personal Narrative writing unit with a teaching point about staying in our point of view. Many students slip out of their point of view while writing, and assume details instead of writing exactly how they experienced the event. An example of this is: I flipped over my bike and everything went black. My sister ran into the house to get help, wondering if I was alive. In order to stay in my point of view, I would write: I flipped over my bike and everything went black. I woke up to my mom and sister's face staring down at me from above. They asked, "Are you ok?" I couldn't answer because of the pounding in my head.
  • We will begin a new entry tomorrow and look at including details that ring true to the event.
  • 5th Grade: Students worked on their "Plot Diagram" graphic organizers. Here is an example of a completed plot diagram with our mentor text.
    Many students worked on publishing their "Plot Diagram" summaries in our LA Google Classroom and some began to revise their summaries with the checklist they received today. It is due FRIDAY (12/01). Don't forget to click the "turn in" button.

Tuesday, November 28th

In-Class

  • Some students had to finish pretests for their next grammar paths. These new paths are due Friday, December 8th.
  • A "Plot Diagram" summary success criteria checklist was introduced to both LA classes. If students revise their summaries based on this checklist, they should have a complete summary. Students were given a color-coding system to make it easier to see if they had all of the literary elements in their summaries. The color-code system in on the checklist.
  • 6th Grade: Students finished up their "Plot Diagram" summaries in our LA Google Classroom and used the checklist to revise. These summaries are due TOMORROW (don't forget to click the "turn in" button).
  • 5th Grade: Students worked on their "Plot Diagram" graphic organizers. Here is an example of a completed plot diagram with our mentor text.
    Many students worked on publishing their "Plot Diagram" summaries in our LA Google Classroom and some began to revise their summaries with the checklist they received today. It is due FRIDAY (12/01). Don't forget to click the "turn in" button.

Monday, November 27th

In-Class

  • Students took growth quizzes on the noredink.com grammar paths they have been working on for the last few weeks. Students then took pretests for their next grammar paths. These new paths are due Friday, December 8th.
  • 6th Grade: Some students finished their grammar tests and worked on their "Plot Diagram" graphic organizers and some students began publishing their "Plot Diagram" summaries in our LA Google Classroom. Here is an example of a completed plot diagram with our mentor text. These summaries are due Wednesday, November 29th (don't forget to click the "turn in" button).
  • 5th Grade: Some students continued to revise their SWBSTT summaries by completing a self-revising checklist based on peer comments. Most students published their "final copy" SWBSTT summary in our LA Google Classroom. It is due TOMORROW (11/28). Don't forget to click the "turn in" button.

Monday, November 20th

In-Class

  • 6th Grade: Students worked on their "Plot Diagram" graphic organizers and some students began publishing their "Plot Diagram" summaries in our LA Google Classroom. These summaries are due Wednesday, November 28th.
  • 5th Grade: Students continued reflecting on their own SWBSTT summaries by completing a self-revising checklist. They looked for each piece of success criteria and revised their summary if it was missing or incorrect. Some students moved on to peer-revising, where they swapped summaries with a partner and looked for the same success criteria they looked for in their own summary. Some students began to revise based on peer comments and were ready to publish online. The published, "final copy" summary is due Tuesday, November 28th.

Friday, November 17th

In-Class
  • Students continued their work in SWI. We focused on the inquiry question: "When does suffixing cause changes at the joins?"
  • 6th Grade: Students examined several word matrices and made word sums for each matrix. We will discuss the patterns we came across to discover the "rules", the next Friday we meet.
  • 5th Grade: Students explored a word matrix for the baseword, "move", to find a pattern of what suffixes cause the spelling of the baseword to change. From that pattern, we hypothesized that suffixes beginning with a vowel change the spelling of basewords that end with a silent e. We will continue to test our hypothesis as we move on to other lessons.
  • Both grades went to the media center to preview the book fair.

Thursday, November 16th

In-Class
  • Students continued reflecting on their own SWBSTT summaries by completing a self-revising checklist. They looked for each piece of success criteria and revised their summary if it was missing or incorrect.
  • Some students moved on to peer-revising, where they swapped summaries with a partner and looked for the same success criteria they looked for in their own summary.
  • Some students began to revise based on peer comments and were ready to publish online. The published, "final copy" summary is due TOMORROW FOR 6TH GRADE ONLY. Fifth grade students will have time to self-revise, peer-revise, and publish in class tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15th

In-Class
  • Students reflected on their own SWBSTT summaries by completing a self-revising checklist. They looked for each piece of success criteria and revised their summary if it was missing or incorrect.
  • Some students moved on to peer-revising, where they swapped summaries with a partner and looked for the same success criteria they looked for in their own summary.
  • Some students were able to revise based on peer comments and were ready to publish online. The published, "final copy" summary is NOT due tomorrow. Students will have time to self-revise, peer-revise, and publish in class tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 14th

In-Class
  • Students reviewed the elements of literature and glued a "cheat sheet" of the elements, including corresponding examples from Little Red Riding Hood into their reading notebooks.
  • Students learned about the second summary strategy which involves listing information along a plot diagram. They used the "cheat sheet" to fill out the parts of Little Red Riding Hood along the plot diagram. Some students began completing a plot diagram for a part of their own novel in order to prepare to write the next kind of summary. This is NOT homework.
  • SWBSTT summaries are due Tomorrow, November 15th and should be written in the "Reading Response" section of their reading notebooks.

Monday, November 13th

In-Class
  • Students used the information they filled out for Steps 1 and 2 of the SWBSTT summary graphic organizer to create a cohesive summary on a part of their novel. These summaries are due Wednesday, November 15th and should be written in the "Reading Response" section of their reading notebooks.

Friday, November 10th

In-Class
  • Students took growth quizzes for the noredink.com grammar path they worked on over the last 2 weeks.
  • Students took pretests for their next grammar units.
  • Students wrote down their specific path in their writing notebooks.
  • These new paths will be due Monday, November 27th.

Thursday, November 9th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: We discussed filling in the SWBSTT graphic organizer using a part (page or chapter) of the novel they are reading. They will complete step one of the SWBSTT strategy tonight.
  • 5th Grade: We discussed filling in the SWBSTT graphic organizer using a part of the novel they are reading. We used the Crash example to see what details from the text help to support the important pieces of SWBSTT. They will complete step 2 tonight for homework.

Wednesday, November 8th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students learned about the major elements of literature before we move into summary because summary requires knowledge of the elements in order to pick out important parts to include in the summary. Students received notes on the elements that they glued into their reading notebooks. Here is an example of the notes. We began a discussion on finding the elements in a story by using "Little Red Riding Hood" as an example. Students will continue filling in the elements for this story in their notebooks FOR HOMEWORK TONIGHT. Here is an example of how it might look.
  • 5th Grade: Students continued stations in media. With the time after media, we discussed filling in their SWBSTT graphic organizer using a part (page or chapter) of the novel they are reading. They will complete step one of the SWBSTT strategy tonight.

Monday, November 6th

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Students attended the Birbery Challenge Kickoff. The 10 books were revealed to them through book trailers and students learned the rules of the challenge. An informational flyer will go home on Wednesday. Students will be able to check out Birbery books starting this Friday.
  • 5th Grade: Students started their work with summary. We discussed what it is and why we use it. Students were introduced to the first strategy of summary: SWBSTT = Somebody Wanted But So Then Theme. In order to understand this strategy, we had to back up and discuss elements of literature, including exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. We used "Little Red Riding Hood" to identify examples of the elements. Students examined an example of SWBSTT in action using Christopher Columbus as the character. We read a chapter of Crash and looked at how the SWBSTT graphic organizer would be completed for that chapter.
  • Please remember to bring the novel you are reading with you to class on Wednesday!
  • All missing/incomplete work for Q1 was due TODAY!

Friday, November 3rd

In-Class
  • We continued SWI Lesson 1 Part B on the inquiry question: Why don't we just add an <-s> to the end of every word to make it plural? Students reviewed the rule, "Every spoken syllable of English needs to have a vowel" and used this rule to come up with examples.
  • Students worked with a partner to come up with five examples of when syllables don't change so <-s> is needed and five examples of when syllables do change so <-es> is needed.
  • Students explored a word matrix for the baseword, move, to find a pattern of what suffixes cause the spelling of the baseword to change. From that pattern, we hypothesized that suffixes beginning with a vowel change the spelling of basewords that end with a silent e. We will continue to test our hypothesis as we move on to other lessons.
  • 5th Grade: Students attended the Battle of the Books Kickoff. They received an informational brochure on the Battle, including important dates. Students were able to check out battle books or received their book bundles if they ordered them.
  • Please remember to bring the novel you are reading with you to class on Monday!
  • Students received missing/incomplete assignment reports. All missing/incomplete work due by Monday!

Thursday, November 2nd

In-Class
  • 6th Grade: Continued using the personal narrative generation strategy of letting other authors' words spark our own words. We set up our next idea list: "Other Authors' Words". The first author's words we used came from our mentor text, Crash. Students discussed how the chapter related to stories from their own lives. Then we listened to two of their classmate's stories and connected their own personal stories again. We wrote down these three examples of author's words on our new idea list and students began to list memories they have that connect to the authors' words. They need AT LEAST 3 ideas by Wednesday! For each idea, they need to underline the major action/event, circle the feelings/emotions, and box in the deep realization/theme. Here is my example!
  • 5th Grade: Students listened to a mentor text and picked out parts where the author tried to bring the reader right into the story. This led to more conversation about dreaming the dream of the story and how to put higher level details in their stories. Students picked their next idea that they will write as an entry and story-told the event to a partner to bring the reader right into their experience. They began writing their next entry. This "Places that Matter" entry is due on Wednesday!
  • Students received missing/incomplete assignment reports. All missing/incomplete work due by Monday!

Wednesday, November 1st

In-Class
  • Students went to media and completed stations on digital citizenship and social media identity.
  • 6th Grade: Learned new personal narrative generation strategy of letting other authors' words spark our own words. We read another chapter of the mentor text, Crash, and began thinking about how the chapter could spark our own ideas for our next personal narrative.
  • 5th Grade: Learned about dreaming the dream of the story and how to put higher level details in their stories. Students began to set up next idea list using places that matter in their lives.

Friday, October 27th

In-Class
  • Students took an SWI pretest to see what they already knew about word study to compare at the end of the year.
  • Students set up their noredink.com grammar paths for the next two weeks. This path needs to be completed by Friday, November 10th.
  • Students were given work time to catch up on missing assignments, or complete some of their homework for the weekend ("Focus on Theme" assignment, theme sticky note, noredink.com path, etc.).

Thursday, October 26th

In-Class
  • The students worked on their "Focus on Theme" assignment.
  • 6th Grade: We went over the next strategy for generating personal narratives. Students set up a list of "Special Places" and wrote down memories they had at each place that could be turned into a story that matters. Students need AT LEAST 3 ideas by Wednesday! Here is a picture of my example.
  • 5th Grade: Students were introduced to my example "Turning Point" story. I showed them how to pick an idea from their list, start in the action, and write with their deep realization in mind. They picked one of their "Turning Point" story ideas and began to write their first entry. This entry is due Wednesday!
  • The "Focus on Theme" assignment is due Tomorrow for 6th and Monday for 5th.

Wednesday, October 25th

In-Class
  • 6th grade students had a substitute while I was at a PowerSchool meeting.
  • The students were introduced to a "Focus on Theme" assignment. They read a short story. They then answered some Key Questions on a separate piece of lined paper. They needed to write complete answers and answer ALL questions (some questions had multiple questions within them). The final activity asked them to pick from a bank of common themes that show up often in literature. They had to write a mini-story on their lined paper that implied the theme, not explicitly stated it. The story could be any genre (fantasy, realistic fiction, personal narrative, etc.).
  • The "Focus on Theme" assignment is due Tomorrow for 6th and Monday for 5th.

Monday, October 23rd

In-Class
  • Students were reminded/learned about finding themes in literature. Major ideas included:
    • Lesson, moral, realization that author wants you to take away from the story.
    • More than one word. A sentence.
    • Don't have to agree with the theme for it to be a theme.
    • Stories can have more than one theme.
    • Larger than the story and should be about life. Shouldn't have character names or specific conflict in it.
    • Example: Story involves being scared of a roller coaster, but the character ends up going on and having fun. Theme would NOT be, "Roller coasters are scary, but can be fun in the end. Theme MIGHT be, "Sometimes the scariest experiences in life can be the most fun experiences too!"
  • Students practiced finding the theme of a short story with me and then practiced with another short story in partnerships.
  • Finally, students inferred the theme of their own book or part of book (chapter, page, paragraph, etc.). They were to complete a sticky note that had their inferred theme, text evidence (quoted or paraphrased), and background knowledge. If they didn't finish in class, it is homework.
  • We will use our work with theme to write two types of summaries this week.

Friday, October 20th

In-Class
  • Students reviewed the teaching point from Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) last session. The inquiry question was, "Why is there a <g> in sign? They two major concepts they derived from this question are that it affects pronunciation and connects the family of words sharing a common meaning to the base word.
  • Students completed as many word sums as they could for the base word "pack". They shared their ideas to the rest of the class.
  • The inquiry question that drove our explanation became whether or not you add the suffix <es> or <s> to the end of a word when making it plural.
  • We arrived at the rule, "In the English language, every spoken syllable needs at least one vowel." Examples: fox = one syllable, foxes = two syllables so it needed the vowel <e> in the second syllable. pack = one syllable, packs = one syllable, so it didn't need the extra vowel.
  • Next week, we will explore how this rule works with words ending in a vowel. Example: pack + age + s or + es?

Thursday, October 19th

In-Class
  • Students examined their Turning Points idea list and looked for the deep realization they made in each story.
  • 6th grade has had more practice in identifying themes and moved quickly through the process of finding the deep realization, which is really a theme. They were able to start their first entries, writing fast and furious. Some students began another entry.
  • 5th grade needed more practice with finding the deep realization, so they were given extra examples and worked with partners to find their realizations. They will begin their first entries next week.

Wednesday, October 18th

In-Class
  • Students set up their first list for generating personal narrative ideas. The list revolves around turning points in their lives dealing with first times and last times, as well as times they realized something. This will lead to deeper and more meaningful story ideas.
  • Students began to add ideas from their own lives to their lists. They need to have at least 3 ideas added to their list by tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 17th

In-Class
  • Both Envisionment Activities were due today!
  • Students learned about using details that appear earlier in a text to comprehend deeply, especially at confusing points. We practiced using several parts of our mentor text.
  • Students added a chart of "Ways We Can Read with Power" to their reading notebooks (all of our minilesson points and practiced strategies). They will add each new strategy to this list.
  • Students picked one strategy to focus on as they read and discussed their work with a partner.

Friday, October 13th

In-Class
  • Students completed their Growth Quizzes for the grammar path they worked on the last two weeks on noredink.com. Based on their results, they may move on to a new path, or be assigned reinforcement activities on areas they still showed they needed work on.
  • Students continued to work on their Envisionment Activities. I passed out an assignment description sheet that outlines all of the requirements for both activities. Access it here. Both assignments are due Tuesday!

Thursday, October 12th

In-Class
  • Students were introduced to another comprehension strategy involving thinking about what happens between scenes in a book. It started with recognizing when an author ends a scene and jumps to a new one. We discussed how either the time or setting changes. We recognized ways that authors may warn us, such as new chapters or in the middle of a chapter with symbols like - - - .
  • Students were introduced to our next activity: "Envisioning Between the Scenes". They folded a piece of blank paper into thirds. On the left most section, they will draw what they envision when a scene leaves off and write a short summary of what is happening in that scene. On the right most section, they will draw what they envision when the author starts the next scene and write a short summary of what is happening in that scene. In the middle section, they will draw a picture of what they THINK happened in between the two scenes and write a short description of the scene.
  • Students continued to work on the "Envisioning a Scene" Activity, where they reread a scene in their text and sketched the scene according to the exact details in the text. They must QUOTE at least 3 pieces of text evidence that supports their sketch.
  • The "Envisioning a Scene" and "Envisioning Between the Scenes" activities are both due by next Tuesday.
  • "Identifying Parts of Speech" grammar paths are due TOMORROW!

Wednesday, October 11th

In-Class
  • Students continued to work on the Envisionment Activity, where they reread a scene in their text and sketched the scene according to the exact details in the text. They must QUOTE at least 3 pieces of text evidence that supports their sketch.
  • I am still meeting with students one-on-one to have them analyze their inferences and tell me where they think they fall along the continuum (with my guidance). Now they have a visual of what it will take to get them to the next/highest level. We will move on with other skill lessons, but students will be required to redo inferences (with continued guidance) until they master the skill at this grade level.
  • Some students STILL have not completed their inference sticky, so please do tonight for homework.

Tuesday, October 10th

In-Class
  • Students learned about using text evidence to ENVISION scenes in their text. We practiced with a scene from our mentor text, Crash, and they helped me brainstorm ideas for sketching my scene.
  • Students were introduced to the Envisionment Activity, where they will reread a scene in their text and sketch the scene according to the exact details in the text. They must QUOTE at least 3 pieces of text evidence that supports their sketch.
  • After reviewing inference results, many students still need guidance and practice with inference. I am meeting with students one-on-one to have them analyze their inferences and tell me where they think they fall along the continuum (with my guidance). Now they have a visual of what it will take to get them to the next/highest level. We will move on with other skill lessons, but students will be required to redo inferences (with continued guidance) until they master the skill at this grade level.
  • Some students STILL have not completed their inference sticky, so please do tonight for homework.

Monday, October 9th

In-Class
  • We discussed results of Inference Worksheet. (These grades are in PowerSchool)
  • Students connected inference skills to text vs subtext and implicit ideas. We examined real life examples and practiced reading between the lines to create subtext using our mentor text, Crash.
  • Students read and flagged pages in their independent books at points they stopped to read between the lines.
  • Students wrote a strong inference on a sticky note and turned in. The inference will be used as an assessment of inference skills.

Friday, October 6th

In-Class
  • Students learned about our word work for the year. We will be learning about Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) for the next few weeks. Once students have all the tools, strategies, and resources down for SWI, they will work the remainder of the year to analyze words that appear in their writing, reading, and out in the world.
  • The students learned the four questions that they would be asking this year as they study words: What does the word mean? How is the word built? What words relate to the base in this word? What are the sounds that matter?
  • Students learned about morphemes (the smallest piece a word can be broken into and still have meaning, like prefixes, suffixes, and base words).
  • Students learned how to read a morphological matrix that shows words within the same base word family.
  • Students learned how to create new words by using word sums.

Thursday, October 5th

In-Class
  • Students examined another student's reading log and used data to come up with inferences about that student as a reader. Students examined my example log and looked at what poor reading habits look like. Students examined their own logs to find areas they could improve on and turned them into actionable goal statements. (Examples: "My log shows I jump between books. I will stick with one book until I finish it." or "I notice I read a page a minute at school, but read slower than that at home. I will do my best to make sure I ignore distractions at home while I read and stay on a better pace.")
  • Students continued working on inference skills with four short stories while I pulled small strategy groups. I worked with groups to help them recognize where they are at with inference and left them with what they should do to get to the next level.
  • Students will monitor their own use of time on grammar and schedule their practice time based on personal schedules and meeting the deadline.

Wednesday, October 4th

In-Class
  • Students worked on inference skills with four short stories while I pulled small strategy groups. I worked with groups to help them recognize where they are at with inference and left them with what they should do to get to the next level.
  • Students finished setting up their grammar pathway log/checklist and will need to master all lessons of the Identifying Parts of Speech Unit by Friday, October 13th. We will reflect on whether or not they need more time in the future during class that Friday.
  • Students will monitor their own use of time on grammar and schedule their practice time based on personal schedules and meeting the deadline.

Tuesday, October 3rd

In-Class
  • Students listened to book talks and watched book trailers with Mrs. Truesdell during media time to spark interest in possible next books.
  • Students explored personal grammar path on noredink.com. Their path is based on a Identifying Parts of Speech Unit Pretest they took last week.
  • Students began setting up a log/checklist for their grammar path in their reading notebook.
  • We discussed the benefits of using noredink.com this year vs. assigning grammar packets. Benefits included having a personalized path, having adaptive practice that modifies questions based on answers, having a lesson available, not to mention saving paper and not having anything to lug home.
  • They will finish setting up their log/checklist tomorrow and will need to master all lessons of the Identifying Parts of Speech Unit by Friday, October 13th. We will reflect on whether or not they need more time in the future during class that Friday.
  • Students will monitor their own use of time on grammar and schedule their practice time based on personal schedules and meeting the deadline.

Monday, October 2nd

In-Class
  • Some students turned in their sticky note inference on Friday, so it gave me a chance to see that we are still struggling with including ALL pieces of an inference.
  • We wrote down the success criteria that makes up a great inference in our reading notebooks. Students should use this as they complete inferences on their books.
  • Students had a chance to write a sticky note inference or revise their old inference based on our success criteria.
  • Please finish your inference if you didn't do so in class. I will use their inferences to make strategy groups so I can work with students on what they can improve on with inference.
  • See our class Seesaw for examples of what we did in class on inference.

Friday, September 29th

In-Class
  • We began reading our mentor text and practiced making inferences using literature.
  • Students took grammar pretest on noredink.com for our Parts of Speech Unit. This was the area of grammar that showed to be one of the weakest on the students' grammar diagnostic test.
  • Students read and made inferences in their books. They wrote their favorite inference on a sticky and turned it in. I will analyze and put them in strategy groups based on what they need to work on.
  • Read and log minutes/pages so we have lots of data to analyze next week!

Thursday, September 28th

In-Class
  • We continued our "What's in my wallet" activity, where students make inferences about me based on items in my wallet.
  • We will begin inferences with our books next week.

Wednesday, September 27th

In-Class
  • Students went to the media center to receive lesson on digital literacy from Mrs. Truesdell.
  • Students took notes on inference, including the meaning and components.
  • Inference (new idea) = what you see (evidence/text evidence) + what you already know (background knowledge)
  • We began "What's in my wallet" activity, where students make inferences about me based on items in my wallet.
  • We will begin inferences with our books next week.

Tuesday, September 26th

In-Class
  • Students talked about decisions they have made for themselves as readers that have made them the reader they currently are. They came up with new decisions they can make to become the most powerful reader they can be. Students began to formulate a plan to follow through on this decision. We practiced this work during silent reading. Students also wrote their decision and plan of action on a sticky note. I will combine their notes to make a class chart.

Monday, September 25th

In-Class
  • Students added a few more items to their reading notebooks: Genre Overview, Book Pass Log, Temporary Reading Log.
  • The genre overview sheet will help them remember what the different genres entail. The book pass log will allow the students to keep track of books they are interested in reading in the future. The temporary reading log is for students to keep track of their reading data for the next week or so. Students will fill in their logs once a day at school and once at home. We will use this data to examine ourselves as readers and set goals for the year.
  • Students were introduced to the first unit of study for reading this year: Reading with Power. We will go over areas we can improve in as readers, including habits and reading skills.
  • Students talked about decisions they have made for themselves as readers that have made them the reader they currently are. They came up with new decisions they can make to become the most powerful reader they can be. Students began to formulate a plan to follow through on this decision. We will continue this work tomorrow before getting into the reading skill of inference.

Friday, September 22nd

In-Class
  • Students joined our online grammar classroom, noredink.com. They inputted their interests (sports figures, pop stars, influential people, TV shows, books, etc.) which will generate interesting content to make their grammar exercises a little more relevant.
  • Students took a basic grammar diagnostic, which will allow me to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in grammar. I will use this data to design differentiated instruction during grammar lessons on Fridays.
  • The diagnostic also generates a personalized path for each student. I will sometimes require students to work on their path throughout the week, but feel free to have your child complete lessons at your discretion.

Thursday, September 21st

In-Class
  • Students had the district-allotted time of 45 minutes to plan, draft, revise, and edit their personal narrative writing prompts.
  • We discussed "Word Work Fridays". Students will alternate study of word work (spelling and vocabulary) and grammar each week. Word Work will consist of SWI (Structured Word Inquiry) where students work on morphology, or breaking words up into their smallest pieces that have meaning. The focus is on the meaning of the morphemes, not the graphemes (spelling/letters). With the focus on meaning, students will know when to use certain spellings based on the meaning they are trying to convey, not based on patterns/rules that, most of the time, don't hold true anyway. Grammar will consist of a minilesson, shared practice, independent practice, and then online practice to reinforce the lesson throughout the week. All of this word work and grammar study will be connected and applied to their writing during writing workshop.

Wednesday, September 20th

In-Class
  • Students had media today. Mrs. Trusdell held a "book pass" where students pass around books of high interest. They wrote down the book's information, read the first few pages, and then wrote down whether or not they were interested in the book. This helped students generate a list of books they would be interested in reading. They will keep this in their reading notebook to help them make book decisions.
  • Students continued their NWEA Reading test. This is a required test and I need to give it before reading instruction occurs in order to get baseline data.
  • Students began their district writing prompt. This is a required test and I need to give it before writing instruction occurs in order to get baseline data.

Monday, September 18th

In-Class
  • Discussed Flipgrid assignment in terms of it being due TODAY and the areas most students were marked down on...breaking eye contact, not supporting words with gestures, not preparing enough evidence or explaining reasoning to support claim.
  • "PVLEGS Using Book Genres" assignment is graded and available in PowerSchool immediately. Written feedback is also available. Students who did not finish should finish tonight for credit and to allow me to assess skills. Rubrics will come home tomorrow.
  • Showed students how to access Google Sheet located in our LA Google Classroom that contains all of the books students read and completed a Google Form for over the summer. Showed students how to sort the last name column alphabetically so it groups all of the books they read together. They can use this to fill in their 40 Book Challenge Tally Sheet in their reading notebooks. They must get a parent's initial for each book read over summer in the "teacher sign off" column in order for the book to count.
  • Students began their NWEA Reading test and will finish tomorrow. This is a required test and I need to give it before reading instruction occurs in order to get baseline data.

Friday, September 15th

In-Class
  • Went over Final Assessment/Assignment of PVLEGS skills and ability to pick a genre and support with evidence/reasoning. Here is the assignment sheet and rubric.
  • Students were given a very specific example of what the claim, evidence, and reasoning might sound like in their video using an example book.
  • Students were given several attempts to write down their genre (claim), evidence to support their claim, and reasoning to connect their evidence to their claim. Many students received several hints from me about following the assignment sheet and rubric, but still rushed into recording their Flipgrid response. Their grades may reflect their unwillingness to prepare and double check their work.
  • Students had entire class period to collect notes, practice, and record a Flipgrid response, but final response is due Monday morning, if not finished in class.

Thursday, September 14th

In-Class
  • Reviewed video responses from students using Flipgrid, looking for examples of PVL
  • Described and took notes on last three areas of PVLEGS (Eye Contact, Gestures, and Speed) and looked for examples in video clips of speakers. Here is the presentation.
  • Went over Final Assessment/Assignment of PVLEGS skills and ability to pick a genre and support with evidence/reasoning. Here is the assignment sheet and rubric.
  • Students will have all class period tomorrow (9/15) to practice and record response, but final response is due Monday if not finished in class.

Tuesday, September 12th

In-Class
  • Finished our Reading scavenger hunt to understand how to pick books within a certain genre (will help with following 40 Book Challenge genre requirements)
  • Collected scavenger hunt for a grade (please finish with books from home if you didn't finish in class)
  • Described and took notes on strong speaking/presenting skills using the acronym: PVLEGS (Poise, Volume, Life, Eye Contact, Gestures, Speed)
  • Focused on first three areas (poise, volume, life) and looked for examples in video clips of speakers
  • Will introduce speaking skill activity tomorrow using Flipgrid, having students record a 1:30 minute video response to the prompt: What do you like about reading?

Monday, September 11th

In-Class