Remember to read for pleasure every day, and to practice your spelling and vocabulary words (if necessary) for the weekly tests!
4/28 - Our final read-aloud features Cades Cove and the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1930's. "Autumn Winifred Oliver does things different" tells the story from the perspective of a 12-year old girl fighting to preserve the beauty of the mountains without losing the only home she has ever known. The story connects with our science and social studies curriculum, and the plot invites readers to think about morals, ethics, diversity, environmental preservation, points of view, and tough choices.
3/7 - I began reading aloud "The Twenty One Balloons" by William Pene du Bois. This Newbery book has it all: adventure, thrills, suspense, balloons, volcanoes, sharks, and diamonds. Best of all, (from my perspective), it blends a great "edge-of-your-seat" story with plenty of science, math, geography, history, culture, and vocabulary!
2/26 - In this Writing Workshop unit, students will take a small moment from their writings about the recent snow days and develop it into a truly legendary tale, in the style of Jerry Spinelli.
2/19 - Today we started reading "Maniac Magee" by Jerry Spinelli. We will concentrate on the first few chapters and focus on Spinelli's descriptive and captivating language as he develops characters, setting and plot and "hooks" us with his ability to turn ordinary actions into legendary events.
1/28 - The start of a Language Conventions & Grammar unit.
1/6 - A new year, and a new topic - Poetry! While the students hone their literature skills at home on their Newbery Book Report Projects, in class we will be investigating, constructing and deconstructing various styles of poetry using student work, familiar verse, classic poems, and popular song lyrics.
11/18 - We started Andrew Clements' "The Landry News" today - it's good to be back reading literature! With our Newbery Book Report project looming on the horizon, we will continue to analyze stories we read using a "story elements map" detailing Character, Setting, Plot, Conflict/Resolution and Theme. This gives the students a familiar framework for their independent book report project.
8/24 - We've started reading "Poppy" by Avi this week and cataloging the various story elements as we encounter them: Characters, Setting, Plot, Conflict and Theme. We're also acquiring new vocabulary words as we go - our ever-growing list is available for study on SpellingCity.com. The YouTube link below is a catchy rap that helps the students understand and remember the different story elements.
8/19 - To kick off the year, I am reading aloud "History's a Mystery" by Dell Brand. The book welcomes students to Mr. Mac's class. No, not Mr. McIlquham's 4th grade class in Johnson City, TN - this story is all about Mr. McIlquham's 5th grade class in Australia! The story feature's a cool (but old!) teacher, interesting classroom interactive activities and projects, and a magical time travel portal that appears and disappears in the classroom. In all but the last detail it resembles my classroom!