Reading Rocks

Reading Plus 2nd Six Weeks Newsletter

Classroom Happenings...

We completed our novel, Earthquake Terror, and I'm sure your child will share with you that they were engaged not only while we were reading, but during our discussions, too! We discovered many things through the main character, Jonathan, including how nature can be more powerful than man when considered as a character. We were also able to experience a parallel plot--many of us for the first time. It was interesting watching students make connections as we plotted out the parallel events on a timeline. One thing's for sure, we all enjoyed the novel and we can't wait to sink our teeth into another one.

Currently our focus is poetry. We've reviewed all of the elements of poetry and now it's time for us to begin taking our poems apart, piece by piece and analyzing them so that we understand what the author is trying to say. I feel certain that our kids will see at least one poem on the STAAR Reading test simply because there is at least one in every single State released test in grades 6-8 since 2013. That said, you can understand our need to hit these concepts hard.

Within this newsletter you will find strategies that we are currently working on in our classroom. Please talk with your child about these strategies. Research shows that if a child can explain/teach a concept to another person, then they REALLY know and understand the concept themselves.

Thank you for all that you do to support our classroom efforts. Should you ever need anything, I'm only an email or phone call away!

Did your child complete their Reading Plus online lessons this week? Are they "bored" at home? Here's one suggestion that might help out...

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TP-CASTT--A Strategy Used to Analyze Poetry

For each poem that students read in class and on the STAAR test, they will be asked to use the following acronym in an effort to analyze and understand the message of the poem. This week we are getting our feet wet using the strategy, but will be expected to use it exclusively in the very near future!

Title: Before you read, speculate on what you think the poem might be about based on its title. Jot your idea down.

Paraphrase: Line for line, tell what's literally happening in the poem in your own words.

Connotation: Look for any and all poetic devices such as figurative language, symbolism, point of view, sound devices...

Attitude: Notice the speaker's attitude and tone.

Shifts: Watch for shifts or changes from the writer/speaker in mood, tone, diction, or graphical elements

Title: Now look at the title again. What do you think now that you've analyzed the poem? You are now looking at it on an interpretive level.

Theme: What's the writer's message? In other words determine the subject of the poem and what you've learned about that subject.

Mrs. Brownlee

I am passionate about what I do therefore I expect the best from your child! I've always told my students that I'm their biggest cheerleader and I sincerely mean it.