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).

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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.

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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.

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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

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! We had a wonderful first day back full of learning.

The students did a fantastic job during Daily 5 today and the grade 2/3s have all picked new goals to start the new year. Parents, please talk to your child about their reading goals and remember that all students should be reading at least 20-30 minutes each day at home. The younger students should be picture reading and reading books with you. The older, more confident readers, may enjoy reading to themselves, but will also benefit greatly from regular time reading aloud to you or their siblings.

This afternoon, the students buddied up and wrote Storybirds together. Storybird is a great digital story writing web 2.0 tool that allows students to create stories that can be embedded on their blogs once they are finished. The students have 1000s of pieces of original art to choose from for their illustrations and then write their masterpieces! The students will be continuing work on their books later this week.

Here’s a sneak peek at our stories:

Buddy Reading in K/1/2/3

We have come to the end of our second week together.  The Kindergartens have done marvellously with their first week of full days.  The students are all excited about reading and sharing their favourite books with each other.  Here’s a peek at buddy reading this afternoon:

What’s your favourite book?

Listen to Reading

Today we launched Listen to Reading. Listen to Reading is important because we can hear fluent and expressive reading, and learn and understand new words and stories.  Listening to stories also happens to be a lot of fun!

Before we practiced Listen to reading we made an I Chart just like we did for Read to Self and Work on Writing. When we are listening we will:

  • Listen to the whole story
  • Listen to another story if you have time
  • Follow along with picture and/or words
  • Stay in one spot
  • Listen quietly
  • Get started quickly

During Listen to Reading we can listen to stories on the computer or on the iPods and iPads.  There are so many great stories to choose from that it is hard to pick.

We noticed that building stamina during Listen to Reading is pretty easy.