Room 107 News March 25


We have started studying and writing literary non-fiction last week. Mrs. Tammy Westrick, ISB literacy expert and coach, has been co-teaching with Mr. Hagen. Literary non-fiction engages students in higher level thinking by challenging them to combine techniques and skills from fiction and nonfiction into narrative pieces that entertain as well as teach readers. Although there are many different structures within the umbrella of literary nonfiction, we will be learning about and practicing these four types:
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We have been working on recording our background knowledge, questions, new learning, and misconception with our partners and then discussing these things. The class has been working hard and has done an outstanding job on this.

Our next unit of study in reading is Shared and Performance Reading. This unit is aimed at building oral fluency. Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, at an appropriate and with expression reflective of the meaning. Fluency is directly related to comprehension. . . Performance reading (shared reading, choral reading, readers’ theater) provides readers with an engaging reason for repeated readings as they develop “expression, voice, and characterization.” Key fluency skills are intonation, pacing, and phrasing.

Students will be bringing home a larger variety of books home now. They will choose books without level indicators as well as an old favorite each week in addition to levelled texts.

Some reading groups are starting literature circles. Students have a "job" each day that they do after reading a book or chapter in a book. They come prepared to share their thinking and ideas with their group. This has been challenging work.

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Science and Math

In science, our class has continued our study of insects. Last week, our class received some wax worms. Students have been observing the larva and many have already made cocoons for their pupa stage. Our class is working on using science vocabulary and being observant scientists.

In math, we have started a unit of study on patterns. Our class will continue our study of numeracy and problem solving skills. If skip counting was a challenge at your conference, please practice this skill at home.

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Reading at Home

Many of you asked me about what home reading should like for a first grader. Here are some tips and suggestions.

- Home reading should happen at least 4-6 nights per week. Remember this is the only homework in first grade

- Your child should bring home 3 book each night from school and should read these books for 10-20 minutes. A large portion of this reading should be done orally. It's OK for your child to read other books. The majority of the books in your child's book bag will be at their independent level, which means they can read the text with out any struggles and should be able to retell and discuss the text with ease.

- You can partner read with your child in one of the following ways:

echo read

take turns

finish the last word

reader's theatre (they know it as read like a pro)

- Discussion about what's been read during this time is essential. Comprehending is more importuning that simply decoding the text!

- Here are some examples of generic questions you can ask your child:

Only pick a few that apply to the specific text they've read.

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