Reading, LA, SS Updates

September 26-30, 2016

5th Grade Reading

CCA #1
This final week of September brings our first Reading CCA. I'm looking forward to seeing how our students do on their first assessment using the Motivation Reading books. You may want to spend some time early this week using the approved lessons (the ones we won't be using for assessments) from Motivation Reading as a review in preparation for the CCA. Keep an eye out for an important email containing information regarding the CCA.

Reading Homeruns
How are you doing with our Reading Closely, Vocabulary Development, and Small Group "homerun balls" so far? Reflect on your progress in these areas using the questions and comments below.
  • Reading Closely: Have you taught the three Big Questions, Contrasts & Contradictions, and Extreme & Absolute Language lessons from Reading Nonfiction? These are the lessons that we should have exposed our students to by this point. There is no assigned lesson for this week. If you're a little behind, this would be a good time to get caught up. Remind students to use the reading and thinking skills they acquired during these lessons on their upcoming CCA.
  • Vocabulary Development: We all know that vocabulary development is critical for our students. Have you been intentional about planning for vocabulary instruction every day in every lesson? By this time in the year, students should have practice in using Greek and Latin roots and affixes, context clues, and dictionaries and thesauruses to help the determine meanings of unfamiliar words. There is no way to teach students all the potential words they will encounter while reading a text, but we can equip them with the tools needed to navigate their way through tough vocabulary.
  • Small Group: If you had to score yourself 1-5, with one meaning you have small group 1 time per week and five meaning you have small group 5 times per week, how would you score yourself? Is your score less than five? If so, why? It is the expectation that you are having meaningful small group instruction daily. Well-planned, small group instruction works! Your consistency with small group is how you'll see growth in your students.


Did you manage to get all of your students through the BOY IStation testing last week? If not, all students need to be tested by September 30th. You can rotate students through your classroom computers to get any testing finished this week. The recommendations from IStation are that students in Tier 3 use Istation 90 minutes per week, Tier 2 60 minutes per week, and Tier 1 30 minutes per week. The district has also provided us with this Istation/STAAR correlation chart. You can use this to predict student success on the 2017 Reading STAAR. This document is also on the YB 5th grade Reading/LA/SS Schoology page in the Resources section.


This week's PLC will focus on planning and using higher-level questioning during our lessons. You can preview a draft of the agenda here.

Riddle Me This #1

What travels all around the world while staying in the same place?

5th Grade Language Arts

How are things going with writing? Sure, I'm wondering about how writing is going in your classroom, but how is writing going for you? Do you consider yourself to be a writer? Do your students see you as a writer? Modeling for our students and showing them that we are writers is a great way to motivate students to take more risk when they write.

Check out the quotes below about writing and see if you can't find some inspiration to do a little writing for yourself.

5th Grade Social Studies

This week we'll be finishing Unit 1: Exploration & Colonization. You'll give the unit 1 test on Friday during your Social Studies time. Students will not be pulled to computer labs for oral administration of this test. If you have any students who can receive oral administration and request this during the test, you may read the questions and answer choices aloud to them. I'll place copies of the test in your box on Thursday afternoon.

The Social Studies lead teacher meeting was this past Saturday, and it was quite a productive day, which is always nice to be able to say after a full-day PD on a Saturday! We were able to produce some plans for upcoming units 2, 3, and 4. You will find pictures of these lessons on the 5th Grade Social Studies Schoology page under the Resources tab. If you have not already, please join this group using the code C6CXH-3XBDP. A special shout-out goes to Mrs. Skiles who presented during this planning session! We also learned about DBQs. You'll all learn more about this during Wednesday Planning for Social Studies on October 5th. To help me prepare for this planning session, please fill out the form below.


Please remember, all GT nominations are due Wednesday, September 28th! Nomination forms were emailed to you and are also available in the workroom.

Riddle Me This #2
This object can be driven, but has no wheels, and can also be sliced and remain whole. What is it?