Take a Peek into Room 404

Week of November 4, 2013

Thank you for all parents who helped us have a great Halloween Party last week! Look at the blog for pictures!

Reader's Workshop

I am noticing that your children love to read! They love to have silent reading time and most of them read for much longer than 10 minutes per night as required by the reading menu homework... a teacher's dream!

I would like to spend some time this week addressing your child's experience in reading. What I mean is this-I want your child to know what it is like to experience a book, instead of just reading to get through it. In writing, we always talk about how the writer has to make the story come alive by doing things like choosing strong words, using sensory detail and writing for a purpose. Well, when we read, the story needs to come alive for us as well! We should be so "taken away" and deep into a book, that it almost feels like real life! I will admit that as a child, I did not take the time to experience books like this and I feel like I never became a passionate reader until I started teaching kids reading. I don't want your child to miss out on the opportunity to become a passionate lifelong reader!

This week we will start a new unit on digging deeper into characters in our fiction stories. I am excited for this week because we will be learning how to make a discussion with peers in order to learn more about our characters. We will be meeting in reading circles. These are small groups (2-3 students on similar reading levels) reading the same chapter book or novel. We will read independently, then meet in our reading circle in order to discuss how we experienced our characters each day.

We can discuss our characters at surface level (what they look like, how they act or how they feel). But this unit will have students examine their characters more deeply. We can do this through discussions and through the use of good comprehension strategies. We will start with mental images, or visualizing. Good readers visualize what is happening in the story in order to have a better experience. "Making a movie in your head" is a great way to think about this strategy.

Writer's Workshop

It's celebration week! We will start out this week learning about the differences and similarities between revising and editing. The students will be able to revise and edit on their own, through conferring with the teacher or with each other as peers. Then they can begin to publish another personal narrative seed story. The students will use the "Meaningful Seed Story" rubric introduced last week to get their writing on track. We will share with the class and even compliment each other in writing.

Important Information


  • Chess and Scrabble at 2:30


  • If you are trying out for Number Sense in UIL-tryouts at recess time


  • PTO meeting at 12:00 in the PC Library


  • Wear stars for spirit stick day!
  • If you would like to try out for student council-please have your permission form turned in and be ready to meet with Mrs. Roraback today to discuss how to campaign.

Next week look for Early Release at 12:45 on Wednesday and Awards Assembly on Friday at 2:30.