The Kersey Chronicles

Rockstars Choosing to Matter in Room 25

Whole Class Novel Studies

I wanted to share and celebrate with you the beginning of our first class novel study, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. This Newberry Medal winner is a rich text, providing students with opportunities to analyze the main character, Karana within our character development unit. Additionally, our whole class novel study gives students opportunities to collaborate and communicate (in both speaking and writing) about their reading, which are essential to lifting the level of thinking about our text. Finally, students will explore new vocabulary words, word study and elements of literature as they work through their reading packets. I always strive to give students voice and choice in their reading, but feel that it should be balanced with shared texts that help students build their understanding of the enduring understandings of our literacy units. I highly recommend checking out this opinion on the importance of a balanced literacy instruction. Our first novel study will last approximately three weeks and focuses on analyzing characters. I am excited to hear what students have to say about this first class work!

This Week's Set List (Sept. 19-23)

Week at a Glance/Skills for the Week:


LITERACY – We will continue our character interpretation unit by analyzing actions, dialogues, thoughts, and feelings. We are reading Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell as a mentor text to continue investigating complex characters. This novel also ties into our Social Studies unit as we explore how people adapt to their environment.


WRITING – We continue our fictional narrative writing unit called The Arc of a Story where we learn to develop characters who change, grow, and learn lessons as they follow the plot line of a story. This unit pairs very well with our reading unit, so students will see many comparisons and connections.


MATH – We continue Unit 3 on Monday. This is our first geometry unit and we will focus on data analysis, geometric properties, angles, and figures as well as side and angle relationships in tessellations. The test will take place the week before Fall Break. It is tentatively planned for Thursday, September 29th.


SPELLING – We will have the week 6 test this week on Thursday. Students have their spelling lists in their take home folders.


SCIENCE – No science this week.


SOCIAL STUDIES – We are studying Indiana's Early People and discussing how groups of people adapt or handle conflict with other groups of people. Students will create an informational brochure about a Native American tribe from Indiana. We are also reading Island of the Blue Dolphins which provides a relevant text to examine these themes as well.


TIPS - This week in TIPS, we will begin preparing our data binders for conferences. Students will practice presentations and reflect on their learning so far this year!

Upcoming Events

September 19th-23rd: College Go Week

September 22nd and 27th: Student-Led Conferences

September 23rd: Homecoming, Early Release Day

October 8th-23rd: Fall Break