We’ve begun digging deeper into nonfiction texts this past week.  We read two articles: one fiction and the other nonfiction.  We practiced comparing and contrasting the two similar articles, and used text clues to support our answers to questions.

We also practiced reading with fluency and expression.  Many of the students in our class had the honor of demonstrating their reading and acting skills during the Vincent October Character Counts Assembly.  The skits that the students performed helped to teach the other students in our school how they can be respectful and responsible.  They did such an amazing job speaking clearly and working as a team.  Since we were the first class to present at a character assembly, the kids set the bar for what other classes will be expected to do—and they sure set it high!

On another note, most of the class has taken the Leveled Reading Assessment.  Parents can learn more about this assessment during Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 21st and 22nd, but ask your child if he/she has taken the assessment.  Everybody has been able to show growth since the end of 4th grade.  Fantastic work, readers!
We spent this past week learning how to conference effectively with peers, incorporate “show, not tell” into our own stories, and edit our work so that readers can better understand our ideas.  Most students had the opportunity to conference with an adult as well, and we began the process of revising and publishing our drafts.  Hopefully, all students will publish their first writer’s workshop story this week.

We’re starting an October-related writing project that will require the students to accomplish the following:

  • Write in 2nd person point of view
  • Work well with other authors
  • Write with varying mood and tone
  • Use show, not tell
  • Read and present with fluency and expression
In real life, we need to make inferences all the time.  For example, if we want to ask our parents if we can do something extra special, we know that we need to ask at a good time.  Our parents won’t greet us as we walk in the door by saying, “Hey, I’m in a really great mood.  Why don’t you ask me if you can something extra special?  If I was having a bad day, I might say no, but today I’m really happy.”

That would be crazy!  No, usually we need to infer how our parents, teacher, friends, and others are feeling.  We need to take the clues we see and use them to figure out what’s not being said.

We also need to use inference skills when reading.  The author won’t always tell us things; usually we need to infer.  So, in reader’s workshop we’ve been practicing our reading skills.  We take the clues from the book, add what we know about similar situations in real life, and finally make an inference.

We also practiced writing paragraphs that would force the reader to make an inference.  Can you infer what we described in these paragraphs published in our author’s corner?
Good authors carefully craft their stories so that the readers can picture the events in their heads—the author shows us, instead of telling us.  Since we know authors learn how to write by paying attention to what other authors do, we’ve been looking for great show, not tell examples in our independent reading books.  Check out this example that student TO found in his book:  “Baseballs were exploding into gloves with a wonderful popping noise, like firecrackers set off one after another.”  Can you picture that scene?

We decided to try our hand at “show, not tell.”  You can read and respond to our work in our author's corner.

We also learned to vary the beginning of our sentences.  In the beginning of 5th grade, we were started each sentence the same way (I like, I like, I like…).  Now, we know that starting sentences differently adds more spice to our pieces.  Again, you can read some of our work in the author's corner.


    October 2009
    September 2009



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