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Reading

Biography reading (in book clubs)
We have begun biography reading in book clubs. Book clubs are made up of 4 students who have mutually agreed upon their responsibilities as a member of that book club. They have all signed a book club contract agreeing to their responsibilities as a club member. Students formed a book club based on at least one famous person that they all are interested in reading about. Students are responsible for finding at least one book on their person, either from the class library, school library, or public library.

Character study
We are currently in the middle of a unit on character study. Students are learning ways to understand the characters in their books better, by gathering information about them, visualizing the character, and empathizing with the characters. Character development is very important in all fiction books, so I hope that this unit will help students become stronger fiction readers.
Students are still reading in partnerships and are expected to share ideas and notes about their book's characters with their partner.

Partnership reading
Our next unit will involve partnership reading. Students will be paired with another student at a similar reading level, and will be reading the same book as their partner. This allows students to read the same pages and have a discussion about what they have both read. We will discuss what makes a successful partnership and how students can benefit from having a constant reading partner. It is vital that students do their reading every night so that they are prepared to meet with their partner.

Non-fiction reading
Our focus is shifting to non-fiction reading. Students are learning to choose books that are just-right AND are on topics of interest to them. (It's so much more engaging to read books that you WANT to learn something from!). We will discuss strategies to comprehend the tough non-fiction texts. Students will also be jotting notes about their reading to help them remember content, as well as to share important and interesting facts with other readers. Many of these reading strategies are similar to reading fiction texts. As a reminder, all students have access to non-fiction reading on Newsela.

Reading for comprehension
Students have been learning how to read for comprehension (understanding a story and being able to retell or summarize it orally or in writing). Students shared strategies that they know to tackle challenging words (re-read, use context clues, write down the word and ask for help or look in a dictionary) and have been using these strategies while reading.

We discussed that good readers take notes about what they read, whether it's at the end of a chapter, when something important happens, or when you learn something new about a character. Good readers also have thoughts about their reading, such as they make predictions and they question what is going on. I have noticed that students have numerous post-its sticking out of their books, so it looks like they are starting to practice these strategies! I hope that students continue using their good reading habits throughout the school year and throughout their reading lives.

Reading for fluency
We will spend the next few weeks practicing how to read fluently. Students will learn how to read punctuation (go, stop, pause), vary their voice in an up/down pattern, chunk phrases, and follow text commands (i.e. whispered, shouted, etc). As part of the 4th grade standards, students are expected to be able to read a familiar text fluently. Students will practice reading out loud in class and should practice with family members at home.

Building our reading lives
We are working on building our reading lives as 4th grade readers. Students are finding their reading nook in school and out, learning how to pick just-right books, avoiding common distractions, and setting reading goals for themselves. We have been reading for 25 minutes in school, and students should be reading for at least 25 minutes at home EVERYDAY (including each day on the weekend). All students have access to a Raz-Kids account where they can read books at their level as well as a Newsela account to read news articles.