Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ecosystems Unit — Vocabulary, Biomes, & More!

Throughout the past few weeks, our fifth graders tackled various topics concerning ecosystems. They first created a foldable defining ecosystem vocabulary. Then they researched and created foldables on the six different biomes. Most recently, the students worked in small groups and completed a Jigsaw Activity, as a means to learn about the various water ecosystems.

Below you will find pictures of students working with their Jigsaw Groups. Within each group, students researched the water ecosystems and taught each other what they learned.

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Literature Circles – Pocket Chart

Before Christmas break, our “readers” were introduced to the Literature Circle Bulletin Board, which includes model role sheets and a procedural pocket chart. Throughout the six weeks of Literature Circles, our readers will be expected to utilize this board, in order to navigate through their mystery novel groups.

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After being introduced to the bulletin board, our readers met with their Literature Circle groups to begin their first reading and writing assignment. Check out some of the first meetings below!

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“Lewis & Clark” — Summarizing & Paraphrasing

This past week, our readers delved into the non-fiction story titled, “Lewis and Clark.”

As a way to prepare for our upcoming Research Writing Unit, our readers were introduced to the skills of summarizing and paraphrasing. With the use of the “Lewis and Clark” text, our readers were able to practice these skills!

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Below you will find pictures of your students engaged in an online assessment that allowed them to further practice the skills of summarizing and paraphrasing.

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Literature Circles – MYSTERY GENRE

Last week, our readers were introduced to the mystery genre. As a way to get the students thinking about mysteries, each student brainstormed elements of a mystery and shared out their thoughts with the class.

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Once students understood the components of the mystery genre, they were introduced to five mystery novels. After listening to a brief book talk on each novel, students ranked the novels based on choice. Using the rankings, students were placed in Literature Circle groups.

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Stay tuned as the fifth grade begins their six week journey through the mystery genre!

Personal Narrative Writing!!

To kick off a series of mini-lessons on personal narratives, the students listened to the picture book, Shortcuts, by Donald Crews, read aloud. After the read aloud, the students worked as a class to develop a detailed definition of a personal narrative. Once students had a deep understanding as to what a personal narrative was, our writers began a two day journey through the pre-writing stage of the writing process.

 

The first day involved reading a personal narrative with a partner and recording information regarding the experience described in the book. All the students then came together as a class and created a list of personal experiences based on the books they read.

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The second day allowed the students to hone in on one personal experience they encountered, and begin to think about how they could stretch that memory into a personal narrative. To help students understand how an author takes one moment and stretches it into a book, I read aloud the picture book, Roller Coaster, by Marla Frazee. This read aloud showed students that through the use of figurative language, the five senses, character’s actions, and descriptive detail, one single moment can be stretched into a well-written story.

Check in with your child this week as they begin to draft their personal narratives!