Staying In-the-Know

1.5.15

DFES The Academy of Environmental Sciences, Title I

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Book Clubs

Our book clubs are in full swing!! Please have your child share with you the exciting conversations he or she has been having with their group. We are posing questions, making inferences, and drawing conclusions about the stories we are reading. Mr. Spires joined the Sounder book club that meets in the morning, and I am part of the Love, Aubrey book club in the afternoon. We continue to find quotes that speak to us, spark conversations, and capture important moments in our books. Also, we have been reviewing story elements throughout this process. Within the plot we've been discussing the exposition, rising actions, and climax. Next week, we will address falling actions and the resolution. In the midst of talk about and around our books, we've addressed and posed questions that we will answer over time. Some of the questions we have encountered are:

  • Are our books limited to one main character?
  • What should we look at to determine the genre of our book?
  • Can the antagonist develop throughout the book and turn into the protagonist or was the character the protagonist the entire time?
  • Is the setting always relevant to the story?
This has been such an exciting process and will continue into next week!

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Argumentative Writing

WOW is the only word I have for the work that has been completed this week. Yesterday, we wrote our argumentative writing flash drafts in only 25 minutes! (This is in your child's Writer's Notebook if you would like to take a peek) It was remarkable that every writer pushed through and wrote the entire time, most even completed their essays with an introduction, body with supporting reasons, and conclusion. From here, we will move to research to find explicit evidence that support our position about our topic. I am looking forward to the progress that your children will make as persuasive and argumentative writers over the next few weeks. We will continue to develop strategies. As of right now we have learned:


  • plan your claim and reason
  • collect evidence (pros/cons) that allows you to think through various sides of an argument

Literacy Pals

Morning Meeting w/Mr. Spires

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On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mr. Spires has established the ritual of Morning Meeting/Afternoon Meeting with our classes. He is using this time to reinforce and support concepts from our instruction, such as, active listening, speaking into the silence, and working together. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we continue to watch CNN Students news to be aware of current environmental, political, social, and economic events and issues of today. We are noticing patterns, making connections, and charting our findings for the TFK-ish article that we will publish at the end of the year.