Buddy Reading

Every Wednesday morning the K/1/2/3s buddy read with the students in the grade 4/5/6/7 class.  The students look forward to sharing their books with their big buddies!

Word Work

Another part of Daily 5 is Word Work.  During Word Work the students work on letters, sounds, spelling patterns, and high-frequency words.  By playing with letters, words, word patterns, word families, and so on, students increase their word knowledge and their speaking and writing skills. This week the students got an opportunity to try out some of the new Word Work stations. Learning sure is fun!


We’re Building Our Reading Stamina

The K/1/2/3s have been working very hard this week to build their reading stamina.  They  shopped for new “Good Fit” books today and practiced Read to Self (one part of the Daily 5 Routine we use for language arts).  The students are either reading the pictures, retelling a familiar story, or are reading the words in their books.  We started with one minute of stamina on Monday and built up to 8 minutes today.  Way to go K/1/2/3s!  Take a look at us in the “Reading Zone”.

Home Reading Part 2

This morning four more students had a chance to tell us about the books they are reading at home. We have been talking a lot about making sure we are reading “Good Fit” books. Good Fit books are books that aren’t too hard or too easy. A book that is too easy won’t give them the chance to practice using reading strategies and a book that is too hard can be frustrating. There should only be one or two tricky words on a page in a shorter book and no more than five on a page in a chapter book. Students can also access their RAZ-Kids accounts from home if they would rather read a digital book (parents, let me know if you need the log-in information).

Sierra-I read Rescue Princesses and I am at the part where Prince Samuel was trying to dig up turtle eggs. The princesses tried to stop him. They have magic rings so they can talk to each other.

Rhys-I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. My favourite part is when he is in the chamber and he has to speak snake to get in to where Riddle is in the chamber with the glowing eyes snake thing.

Cherish- The book I read is called Dogs and it’s about what dogs can do to help.

Eli-I read the Gruffalo. I read in my room and my mom helped me.

A New Year!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back students and families and those who are new to our school as well.

The first two weeks have been very busy in our classroom! We have been working on building our reading and writing stamina back up. Students in grades 2/3/4 have already reached 12 minutes of Read to Self stamina. They are able to find a good spot, get started reading right away, get into the “zone”, use their reading strategies and pick “good fit” books. The K/1/2/3s have also been enjoying Read to Someone. Here are a few pictures of our fantastic readers in action!

Families, you can support our learning at home by reading “good fit” books with your child every day. 15 to 20 minutes a night goes a long way in building strong and confident readers. Be sure to ask your child to share the reading strategies we have focussed on so far with you (Check for Understanding, Back-up and Re-read, Cross Checking, and Tune into Interesting Words).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 3.22.12 PMToday we finished our first chapter book read aloud. The students all enjoyed listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the afternoons. We loved making mind pictures to go along with the story. Roald Dahl certainly has a wonderful imagination!

Here are some of our thoughts:

Owen-Lucky Charlie, that he got a golden ticket. That chocolate would taste yummy!

Mya-I wish I could be Charlie so that I could eat all that chocolate and try the sweet grass every day! I would like to drink out of the hot river and have a giant mug with my breakfast of the hot chocolate river.

Melliah-I wish I could eat some chocolate one by one each day and play with the Oompa-Loompas and drink some of the chocolate river.

Sierra-I wish I was Charlie because I would get the whole chocolate factory. I wish I could eat chocolate every day with Oompa-Loompas and eat junk food every day because Charlie gets a whole supply of candy.

Kaydan-If I was in the glass elevator, I’d pick the same button as Charlie. I liked Mr. Wonka said, “Pink fuzzy lemonade and exploding candies.”

Cherish-I wish I was Charlie because then I could eat lots of chocolate and I like the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Alexandra-I want candy and I would like to have breakfast with Charlie at the chocolate factory.

Zinnia-If I was Charlie and I got the whole factory then every day I would have 3 cups of the chocolate water and fill up on the grass and chocolate.

I wonder what book we will read next!

What is Daily Five ?

In our classroom we use Daily 5 for our Literacy time. The Daily 5 is a framework which provides large chunks of focused time for reading, writing, and word study; increased student independence and responsibility; student choice; and goal setting.

Each day students select from five choices while working towards their personalized reading and writing goals. Individual student needs are met through whole-group and small-group focus lessons, as well as one-on-one conferring sessions.

The choices are introduced one at a time, and as the students’ stamina and independence increase, additional choices are added. The five choices are:

Read to Self,
Work on Writing,
Read to Someone,
Listen to Reading, and
Word Work.

This week we launched Read to Self and after only two days of practice we have already built almost 8 minutes of stamina. We learned that there are different ways to read a book (read the pictures, read the words, or retell a familiar story) and we also met our first Reading Buddy, Eagle Eye.

Here’s a look at Read to Self in our classroom:

You’re in the Picture

Recently, the grade 2/3/4s have been working on their descriptive writing. This focus lesson was all about using elaboration to make their writing more interesting.

The students practised using their senses to describe various objects, events, and experiences. We used the book, All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan as our anchor text. If you aren’t familiar with this book you really should look for it in your library. The illustrations are beautiful and the text is very powerful. The students were asked to imagine that they were in one of the pictures and then had to use their senses to record what they saw, felt, heard, tasted, and felt.
All the Places
After practicing this as a class, each student chose an illustration from a favourite book. The students once again imagined that they were in the illustration. I think the results are quite magical! The students took their writing and illustrations and made this VoiceThread to share with you.

You can leave us comments on our writing by clicking on “comment” on the VoiceThread. We hope you enjoy our writing!

Our Class Storybirds

The K/1/2/3s worked very hard on their digital stories. They all had amazing ideas and the older students helped with the typing. We hope you enjoy them!

The Lost Mermaid by Bronwen, Mya, and Isaac

Garbage Monster by Brooklynn, Owen, and Kaydan

Fun Animals by Jorja, Cherish, and Hilary

The Best Friends by Linden, Randi, and Sierra

The Elephant by Koa and Ava