This Week in Literacy

Week of February 4, 2013

Mid-Year Check-in

Our classroom is in need of a few supplies: Clorox wipes and Kleenex. If you are able, could you please send one or both? Thanks in advance!


Also, could you please check-in with your child to see how his/her supplies are holding up? Many students are running out of dry erase markers and/or pencils. Thanks!

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Reader's Workshop

We will be continuing our work with historical fiction. We will spend the beginning of the week building on our understanding from last week about the authenticity of the events, characters, and settings in historical fiction. We will learn how to verify the information in historical fiction to ensure that it is historically accurate. We will spend the end of the week looking at how authors in historical fiction and other genres use symbolism to communicate a deeper meaning. We will look at symbolism in objects, events, and characters. Helping students recognize when an author has a deeper meaning is essential in their comprehension of complex texts.

Writer's Workshop

This week we will continue writing PERSUASIVE ESSAYS. We will be doing research to look for evidence to backup our opinions. We will be writing strong conclusions that will ask the reader to complete an action, to change his/her thinking, or to simply consider other options. We will then spend a few days typing up our essays. We will revise focusing on word choice, especially using active verbs and strong adjectives and adverbs. We should finish up these essays by the end of this week or the beginning of next week. The students are finding some really passionate ideas to write about! We can't wait to read the completed essays!

Word Study

One of our Word Study groups will be focusing on the ou vowel combination this week. We will discover that this combination makes several vowel sounds, depending on the word in which it is used. We will be looking for patterns in these words to discover when the vowel combination makes each sound. Some of the words students will explore this week: miscellaneous, outlast, mountainous.


The second Word Study group will be studying words that come from the French language and are regularly used in our English language. Understanding the patterns of these words will help us in reading and writing. Many of these words end with oir and que. Some of the words the students will explore this week: reservoir, grotesque, critique.


On Wednesday night, students will be bringing home a Making Connections worksheet to complete. The goal is for the students to think about their words and find ways that will help them remember the spelling patterns/rules that we are working on. We have been working on this in class all year and are transitioning into having the students work on this independently. We will discuss what they have discovered during class on Thursday.


On Thursday night, students will be bringing home an analogy worksheet. We will review how analogies work in class: for example, cat is to kitten as dog is to puppy. The goal is to find the relationships between the words in order to find the missing word. Analogies are a great way to challenge your brain! If you would like a more thorough description of what analogies are, please click here.

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