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English Updates

January 14, 2017
Welcome to the new year! As usual, we have hit the ground running. In reading this semester, we will work on different reading strategies to push our comprehension and enjoy reading more. In writing, we will be digging into opinion writing and try our hand at writing a review. 

Here you will find the assessment plan for this semester. Thanks for your flexibility as we continue to make improvements and updates. 

December 5, 2016
We have been learning a lot in English. We continue to work on fluency and practice reading poems in class. We also continue with our daily read aloud and responses to the book we are reading in class. We have been working very hard on our feature articles which are due on Wednesday, December 14. Feature articles have interesting features that are very different from our quarter one narrative writing. This mode of writing is called expository. Writers are expected to write information using different sources, synthesize the information and paraphrase the text into an informative and entertaining piece. It is complex work for grade 5. 

November 2016
We have begun immersing ourselves in Feature Articles and writing down our observations of this genre.  Each student has their own stack of mentor text which they can easily reference.  Once our research is complete in social studies class the students will write their own Feature Article on an ancient society of their choice.  Ask your child the difference between a feature article and a narrative text.       

October 20, 2016 
Students are expected to read and write over the break. They should be bringing home books to read and their writing journal. We hope you have a great break and we will see you back at school on November 2. 

Homework: Students are expected to read 20-30 minutes every day at home. Even if they have read at school they should still read at home. By Grade 5 students should be reading an hour a day. 

October 14, 2015
Your students have been working hard on finishing up their narrative writing papers. We would like to have them done before we leave for October break. They have learned many strategies and skills related to narrative writing. 

Grade 5 teachers read aloud to their students almost daily. There are many benefits according to this article. 

September 23, 2016
What is fluency and why is it important? Fluency is the ability to read words automatically with prosody (expression). "Fluency is the bridge between phonics and comprehension." Timothy Rasinski
There is a direct correlation between fluency and comprehension. Many older students don't practice oral reading much but this is an important skill. Here are some ideas to practice fluency at home:
1. Read to your kids so they can hear a fluent reading model.
2. Give students lots of time to practice (read). 
3. Rereading is great for both fluency and comprehension. Have students read short pieces of text or poems repeatedly. 
4. Have students practice reading with expression.
5. Try audio books. The child should be following along with a copy of the book. 

September 21, 2016

Students will be graded on a writing assessment in a few weeks. This is a piece of writing that students have been working on for several weeks and is not something that they can study for. The way to get better at writing is to write and read more. Students are welcome to take home their writing journals over the weekend and add to them. They can collect ideas and memories, try ideas out with short entries or write longer stories. 

We have discussed plot lines (story structure) and how they can make or break our stories.  Here is an example of a typical story structure. Ask your child what conflict and resolution is in their story. 

September 16, 2016

It has been one month of school and we have hit the ground running! Here are some of the happenings in various classrooms: 
  • students have been working on narrative pieces and learning different strategies to support them in their writing
  • responding to reading "All reading experiences are more productive when students are given opportunities to respond in some way to the text. Because the text is shared, read aloud helps students build comprehension in two ways: (1) by responding to the text on a personal level, and (2) by exchanging responses with others. Students discover the fluency dimension of reading--that meaning is shared not only by words that are read, but also by the way in which those words are expressed. This is the essence of fluency." Timothy Rasinski-The Fluent Reader
  • practicing fluency in various ways
  • strategies to strengthen students' independent reading behaviors
M.A.P. testing is coming up! This stands for Measuring Academic Progress. Students will be tested in math, reading, and language from September 26 to October 14. You can help by making sure your child goes to bed early and has a healthy breakfast. 


posted Sep 21, 2016, 6:16 AM by Holly Elwell   [ updated Sep 22, 2016, 4:14 AM ]

August 15, 2016

posted Aug 15, 2016, 12:33 AM by Holly Elwell   [ updated Aug 15, 2016, 12:38 AM ]

We are off to a great start! It has been great getting to know your children. We have been learning classroom routines and procedures. 

In Grade Five we use the workshop model. We believe children should have ample time to interact with the text, whether it be through reading, writing, listening, or discussing. The next few weeks will be spent getting to know individual student's strengths and needs through various surveys, samples, and assessments. 

We look forward to learning together with your children through inquiry-based units of study. 

Here is more about Reading/Writing Workshop.

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