Take a Peek into Room 404

Week of February 10, 2014

Reader's Workshop

We embark on historical fiction this week! This genre will probably be pretty unfamiliar to most students. it is difficult to have the capacity for the overall meaning in these stories because their foundation is based on true events in history. Although some fourth graders may know that Westward Expansion, the Holocaust, or the Revolutionary War existed, however it more difficult for students this age to identify with the feelings, emotions and problems associated with a character in any one of these settings.

We will start STRONG in our historical fiction unit, knowing that there is background in each story we will encounter. We have to access our knowledge of history and maybe even research a little about the time period in which our books take place. Doing this will prepare us for seeing how and why events or problems happen in the story.

To get your child engaged, ask them what their historical fiction book is about and maybe even have them research a little bit. This will prepare their minds for all the complex events and emotions their character may encounter.

Writer's Workshop

This week we will continue to focus on personal narrative writing to a prompt. The prompt we began last week was: "Write about a time when you discovered that you were good at something."

I was impressed at how much the students remembered from our personal narrative unit, which seems so long ago! They remembered our graphic organizer and how to use strong language when writing.

This week we will revise and edit drafts and publish our final piece. For the revise and edit process, we will use the ARMS and CUPS acronym for remembering what to look for. It is especially important that the kids find value in this process, even though it is not the most exciting part of writing. I gave the example of revising and editing e-mails as part of my job. We discussed how if I sent out e-mails to parents, other teachers or principals, that may send the message that I am careless or cause me to lose credibility as a teacher. They easily saw how this fit to their lives as writers.

I encourage you to talk with your child about how writing impacts your daily life or career. Show them that revising and editing are important to anything you write or do. I hope this extra example will show them the importance!

Here is an example of our ARMS and CUPS strategy (Graphic made by Chrissy Rissmiller):

Important Information

  • Chess and Scrabble
  • No choir practice after school


  • Picture Day! Dress in your best and send money if you want to order one!
  • Last call for book orders-please send money or order online with the online code H2GYH


  • Last day to send money for the Carnival Basketball Challenge! Help our class win by sending lose change or any amount!
  • Valentine's Party: Please send your child to school with a decorated bag or box to collect cards in. Also, if they would like to bring cards for the class, they may.
  • Party at 2:15 in classroom

Next Monday, February 17th is a student holiday.