We're in the home stretch! Read on to see what each class is doing in reading enrichment!
3rd grade: These students are finishing up The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. Throughout the novel, students were tasked with giving each chapter a title as this book has none. This forces the students to think about either the main event in the chapter or the message of the chapter. The only rule was the chapter title could not contain a direct spoiler! Students also participated in discussions about history and the plight of Native Americans during colonial times.
4th grade: Students are reading Holes by Louis Sachar. We are tracking character change as well as keeping track of the three different story lines that make this a complex read. Students have to connect all three story lines (that all take place in different times) to see how past events affect future events.
5th grade: Students are reading Timothy of the Caye, a unique book that is both the prequel and the sequel to our previous novel. Like the 4th graders, students have to find connections between all three story lines (that all take place in different times) to see how past events affect future events.
6th grade: Students are reading the hefty novel, Watership Down, by Richard Adams. This is a higher level, epic novel with many main characters and a lot of action. While students are still in the exposition (beginning), keeping track of and learning about each of the many characters is our focus. Students will be reading parts of the novel at home as our goal is to finish this 475 page book by the end of the school year! We can do it!
7th grade: 7th graders are reading The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. As students are still in the exposition, they are focusing on learning about each of the characters and how they compliment one another. Before reading, the students participated in great discussions about cliques and social status, one of the major topics of the book!
8th grade: 8th graders are reading To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The students are being challenged by reading the author's complex sentences and are also learning about the south in the 1930s through the eyes of a child narrator, Scout. Students will be reading parts of the novel at home as our goal is to finish this book by the end of the school year! We'll definitely do it!
Third quarter is coming to an end! Here's what every class has been busy doing!
3rd grade: After finishing Poppy, we created a plot map to follow the important events in the story. We also learned about symbolism, cliffhangers, alliterations, similes, and a bunch of new vocabulary! We have now started reading The Sign of the Beaver, a historical fiction novel that takes place in the late 1700s in colonial America. The students are able to apply what they learned about Native Americans in social studies class while reading this novel.
4th grade: Throughout the last unit (poetry), students wrote original poems. I am compiling them into a book which will be sent home. (I'm still waiting on a few submissions). Then 4th graders did a mini-unit on informational articles and practiced answering multiple choice questions about the text as well as identifying the main idea and supporting details. Now students are reading Holes (which we just started yesterday).
5th grade: After finishing The Caye, students reflected on the main characters and practiced being critical readers by making judgments about the author's choices. We are now reading the "prequel/sequel" called Timothy of the Caye.
6th grade: After spending months preparing, the 6th graders really impressed everybody at their debate against East Prairie! We worked hard to create a 4-minute constructive, a 3-minute rebuttal, and a 1-minute 2nd rebuttal. The Culver 6th graders won the debate!
7th graders: After spending months preparing, the 7th graders took on East Prairie in a debate with their challenging topic, "Civil Disobedience is Morally Justified in a Democracy." While they didn't "win," the students learned a lot about reading articles to gather information and how to back up a claim using reliable evidence.
8th grade: After spending months preparing, the 8th graders debated against East Prairie about "Substantially Reducing Immigration Restrictions into the United States." While they prepared and argued extremely well, East Prairie got the win. The students learned a lot about how to read for information and to back up a claim using evidence. They also learned how to cut down a piece of writing to only include essential information.
Whoops, I don't know how December and January got by me, but they sure did! Every class is so busy doing their "thing," that I've hardly had a moment to update!
3rd grade: We are reading Poppy, the sequel to Ragweed. Through the book, we are learning about point of view, new vocabulary, context clues, and similes.
4th grade: Students are finishing Love That Dog, through which we are learning about poetry and elements of poetry, such as repetition, rhyme scheme, stanzas, alliterations, and more! Students have also been writing their own poems and will be creating a class poetry book!
5th grade: Students are reading The Caye, a historical fiction novel based in the Caribbean during WWII. Students are analyzing characters and tracking how the characters change and why.
6th grade: Students have begun preparing for a debate against East Prairie School. The 6th grade debate topic is "Plastic Bans Should Be Banned." We have spent the last week reading as many articles as possible about the topic and recording information on both sides of the issue. The debate will be held on Tuesday, March 12.
7th grade: Students have begun preparing for a debate against East Prairie School. The 7th grade debate topic is "Civil Disobedience is Morally Justified in a Democracy." We have spent a few days reading articles about the topic and are recording information on both sides of the issue. The debate will be held on Tuesday, March 12.
8th grade: Students have begun preparing for a debate against East Prairie School. The 8th grade debate topic is "The U.S. Government Should Substantially Reduce Its Restrictions on Legal Immigration in the U.S. We have spent the last week reading as many articles as possible about the topic and recording information on both sides of the issue. The debate will be held on Tuesday, March 12.
November's been full of so many great books, discussions, and activities!
Here's the class-by-class breakdown of what every grade has been up to:
3rd grade: We are reading Ragweed and climbing up the rising action hill and are soon to reach the climax of the book! The students have been understanding character change and learning new vocabulary.
4th grade: We are just about to finish The Bridge to Terabithia in which students have been tracking possible themes of the story as well as plot development.
5th grade: Fifth graders are in the middle of reading The View from Saturday and examining the development of characters and how words or actions affect plot development.
6th grade: Students have been reading Tuck Everlasting. They have been tracking symbolism and have been using guiding questions for each chapter to focus their reading and responses to reading.
7th grade: Seventh graders are reading The Giver and have been using guiding questions for some chapters to focus their reading, discussion, and responses to reading.
8th grade: Students have begun literature circles and are exploring the plight of refugees in the past (Vietnam and Cambodia) and present (Ivory Coast). Each group is reading a different novel and has designated reading and meeting dates for discussion.
First Quarter Results Are In!
One of our first quarter goals was to increase our independent reading. See the incredible results:
Average number of pages read per students, per class:
3rd = 1,146 pages
4th = 1,926 pages...3rd place!
5th = 2, 379 pages...2nd place!
6th = 1,645 pages
7th = 1,711 pages
8th = 2,794 pages...1st place!!!
TOP 5 OVERALL READERS:
1. Magdalena Beczko (8th grade) = 9,399 pages
2. Natalia Gladysz (8th grade) = 6,508 pages
3. Zahra Nathani (8th grade) = 6,173 pages
4. Alexandra Schnirer (6th grade) = 5,104 pages
5. Neesa Joshi (5th grade) = 4,498 pages
TOP 3 READERS FROM EACH CLASS:
3rd: Leander DeVera (3,153), Katie Beczko (1,407), Veronica Martsyuk (1,162)
4th: Zainab Nathani (2,933), Gabriella Buholtz (2,793), David Chudoba (2,636)
5th: Neesa Joshi (4,498), Avinn Shrestha (3,654), Zach Ella (2,368)
6th: Alexandra Schnirer (5,104), Lena Schultz (4,185), Olivia Pukal (2,400)
7th: Rylie Gordon (3,424), Natalie Vintimilla (2,904), Emma Schieffer (2,264)
8th: Magdalena Beczko (9,399), Natalia Gladysz (6,508), Zahra Nathani (6,173)
We have almost a full quarter under our belts, and it's been busy, fun, and full of great books!
Here's a class-by-class breakdown of what every grade is up to in reading enrichment:
3rd graders finished Frindle and practiced acquiring and using new vocabulary, identifying cause/effect of events, identifying the correct sequence of events, and using textual evidence to back up claims. In addition, 3rd graders read some informational articles, practiced going back to the text to identify correct answers to questions, and learned how to write answers in complete sentences (a skill we will continue to work on!).
4th graders finished The Great Gilly Hopkins during which they tracked the development of Gilly's character through identifying cause and effect, considering Gilly's motivations throughout the book, and examining the author's word choices (especially similes and metaphors). In culmination, students watched the movie and compared it with the book. Students wrote about the important differences and considered the reasons the director would change the book. 4th graders then read some informational pieces and practiced going back to the text to answer questions with textual evidence. We also focused on writing complete answers by restating the question in the answer and using correct grammar.
5th graders finished reading Ungifted and practiced acquiring new vocabulary, tracked character development, and found recurring themes withing the book. These students particularly enjoyed making predictions using text-based evidence and discussing this wonderful, winning book!
6th graders finished the novel The Westing Game, during which they learned new vocabulary, tracked character development, dealt with confusing information (it's a murder mystery!), and making predictions based on textual-evidence. Students also learned Greek and Latin roots. Students are currently writing a letter to an influential author of their choice to enter into a "Letters About Literacy" contest.
7th graders finished the novel Animal Farm and are currently learning how it is an allegory for the Russian Revolution. Throughout reading the book, students focused on how the characters used propaganda to "brainwash" their citizens and how to interpret the author's words to understand what he was really saying. 7th graders also learned many new vocabulary words as well as Greek and Latin roots.
8th graders are finishing up their unit on short stories. Throughout the many short stories we've read, the students learned about the "craft moves" writers use in their stories. These include using figurative language, imagery, building suspense, using dialogue, etc. 8th graders also learned many vocabulary words and Greek and Latin roots.
Wow, suddenly classes are in full swing and everybody's busy reading! Here's a class-by-class breakdown of what every grade is up to in reading enrichment:
3rd graders were introduced to the wonders of the dictionary. Yes, actual paper dictionaries. We did a dictionary scavenger hunt so that they would understand what was happening in the novel they're reading, Frindle, by Andrew Clements. As one student put it, "Wow, I feel bad for people who lived before Google!" Ha! They don't know the half of it! Third graders are learning how to use Post-It Notes as a tool for marking their text to show various things: parts that are confusing, important, or that they want to talk about later for whatever reason. Sometimes I charge them with a specific task while reading, such as, "Tab evidence that shows how the main character is feeling during this chapter." These students are also learning new vocabulary words and will soon start using the Book Creator app to create their own vocabulary books.
4th graders are reading Katherine Patterson's award-winning book, The Great Gilly Hopkins. Gilly is a complex character who goes through changes throughout the novel. Students are learning to look for details in the text that hint at character development and to identify the causes of her behavior and her change.
5th graders are reading Ungifted, by Gordon Korman. This book has a different narrator for each chapter and requires the reader to follow the story line through multiple points of view. The book is funny and contemporary, and it challenges what we think we know about intelligence. Students are also learning new vocabulary words and using the app Book Creator to create vocabulary books.
6th graders are reading Ellen Raskin's Newbery Medal-winning book, The Westing Game. This murder mystery requires students to be careful readers and keep track of many characters, clues, and details. 6th graders are also learning new vocabulary on which they will be quizzed every 6 (or so) chapters.
7th graders are reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. Students are learning strategies for reading difficult text and will eventually compare the events in the novel to the events that led up to the Russian Revolution and Stalinist Russia. [FYI: Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels.] Students are also learning new vocabulary on which they will be quizzed every 6 (or so) chapters.
8th graders are reading a collection of short stories, beginning with "The Lottery," "Lamb to the Slaughter," and "The Gift of the Magi." 8th graders are also learning about symbolism, creating suspense, and determining the theme. Students are learning new vocabulary words on which they will be quizzed periodically.
Here we go! I'm looking forward to another rewarding year of reading and getting to know the students!
Supplies needed for reading enrichment:
- pencils (to leave in class)
- 3" x 3" Post Its (some to leave in class, some for home)