This Week in Literacy

Week of February 26, 2013

To Reflect Upon:

"I realized that every lesson, conference, response, and assignment I taught must lead students away from me and towards their autonomy as literate people."

~The Book Whisper

by: Donalyn Miller

Reader's Workshop

Last week, we spent more time working within the genre of Historical Fiction. We discussed how fact and fiction work together by using components of authentic historical figures to inspire the creation of fictional characters. We looked at how the time period affects characters and what happens to them. We talked about the theme of books in this genre and how these themes permeate across multiple books.

This week, we are reading plays (also called Reader's Theater). The students are broken into three groups to practice reading their parts multiple times each day. Our focus is on a few of the various components of being a fluent reader: smooth reading, expressive reading, following punctuation, appropriate phrasing.

Writer's Workshop

Last week, we worked in our Writer's Notebooks. We talked about how certain words can create a mood in a story. We "lifted lines" from other authors in order to start a writing piece of our own.

This week, we are giving the students a lot of time for "Free Writing". We want them to apply the strategies that we have been working on in class on their own. We are including a sharing time at the end of each Writer's Workshop. There are many students who love to share their writing with their classmates!

Word Study

Last week, we investigated words that are easily confused with other words: angel & angle, through & thorough, quite & quit & quiet, pitcher & picture, loose & lose, etc. We ended the week by creating original sentences that gave enough context clues for someone else to fill in the blank with one of the easily confused words.

This week, we are studying a poem by Roald Dahl, the author of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, and many more. We are looking at what he did as a poet to make this poem interesting. We are looking at the words that he choose to use in him poem and which of our senses that each appeals to. We will be taking this poem and turning it into a Reader's Theater that they will create themselves!

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