*WELCOME MESSAGE: Welcome to 5th Grade ELA! I would like for you to know how excited I am to have every 5th grader this year in my class! It will be an exhilarating year of Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop and TouchPebbles. Although fifth grade is a thrilling year, it will also be challenging as our students are getting acquainted with following their individualized schedules and changing rooms! In an effort to encourage the academic and social development of our students, the theme of this year will be CHARACTER & COMMUNITY BUILDING!
*PARENT(S)/GUARDIAN(S): I will do my very best to keep you informed of your child's progress, as I feel that close communication between home and school is of the utmost importance in education today. With your help, we can be partners in your child's education! You will start to notice this year that our 5th graders will be exerting a more prominent sense of independence from you, as their parent(s)/guardian(s), and me, as their ELA teacher, but the most important thing we can do is support and guide them. Please stay updated by checking Google Classrooms and/or this class webpage!
*PARENTS' COVE: If you look over towards the tabs on the left, the "Parents' Cove" is where you want to fly frequently! Each week I will update it with an article suited to best support parents/guardians. The topics vary from education to mental health to family support. You name it, there will be an article posted about i! Check it out!
*CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL/SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS: Expectations are double-sided: what others expect from us and what we expect from ourselves. The way in which we encourage our students to manage those expectations is critical in assisting them in not only reaching, but superseding their goals. Below is a list of the 7 core classroom expectations of 5th grade ELA, accompanied by a small explanation:
1. BE RESPECTFUL (to oneself, to classroom community, to school community at large)
2. 100% PARTICIPATION (whether you know the answer or not because advocacy of self is always an option)
3. EYES & BODIES ON POINT (constant engagement with peers/teacher who are speaking)
4. REMAIN SEATED (to enforce safety for all)
5. USAGE OF HAND SIGNALS (allows for maximum instructional time by disallowing interruptions)
6. ADDRESS GUESTS POLITELY (manners matter)
7. ALWAYS GIVE IT YOUR ALL
(you can take yourself as far as you want to go)
*GOAL: Improvement in reading fluency, comprehension of literature and develop a personal enjoyment of reading
This 90 minute block of reading provides the students with an opportunity to participate in reading as "real, authentic readers" do. It also allows me the opportunity to tailor instruction to ensure an individuation and differentiation of content for all students. A balanced reading program with quality instruction involves many elements. In Reader's Workshop, students have an opportunity to:
-Listen to and respond to good literature across various genres and cultures
-Participate in individual and small group reading instruction and read individually and/or with their peers
-Personally select books at the appropriate level
-Participate in lessons on word identification strategies and higher level vocabulary
-Participate in lessons on utilizing comprehension strategies: Schema, Connections, Inferring, Questioning, Predicting, Synthesizing, etc.)
-Integrate reading and writing activities through an active reader's response journal
-Engage in a variety of reading genres with a focus on Common Core Initiative Standards
*Goal: Give students more control over their own writing and learning, master the writing process and develop a true sense of enthusiasm for writing
This block of writing allows our students to be "authentic writers", which is the name we have adopted as a part of our daily writing instruction. These lessons are primarily taken from the Write Steps Writing program. Our writer's workshop will focus on a variety of genres, some of which are personal narratives, realistic fiction, expository essays, persuasive essays, informational articles, feature articles and personal journaling. A big component of our Writer's Workshop is student choice, which is a part that will remain consistent throughout the year as a purposeful way to create the most authentic writers possible.
TYPICAL LESSON FORMAT:
1. Mini-Lesson (Direct Instruction), 2. Examination of mentor writing, 3. Guided Instruction, 4. Independent Writing Time, 5. Whole Writing Community Share Time, *6. Personal Journaling (extension)
-TouchPebbles Discussions Class:
*Goal: Promote critical thinking and orient students toward taking an active part in their education.
Touchstones Discussions are intended to engage students through the regular practice of discussion seminars. These discussion groups are composed of students who will soon view themselves and one another as dynamic and diverse individuals with a significant amount of ideas to share on varying topics and text. Touchstones texts seek to build skills, rather than deliver content. Through the communication of ideas, cooperative analysis of difficult text and topics, formation of theories, critical reading, articulation of self-expression and creative problem solving, our students will grow tremendously throughout their 5th grade year!