FYI, next Wednesday, Sept. 20 is a 1/2 day for teacher professional development. There will be After-Care.
• we continue to dive into Kokopelli’s Flute. We have discussed characterization, cause and effect, and setting. We will be learning about theme and how to write a summary.
• We continue to write a personal narrative. Students are revising and editing. This piece will be graded. However, they are novice writers and aren’t there ‘yet’. Developing writing skills and strategies takes a lot of time and practice. For most students, it is there first foray into writing a focused paragraph with a lead sentence, details, and closing sentence. We are also learning to incorporate internal thinking and feelings – both of which project voice within the piece.
• Students complete a grammar warm-up every day focusing on sentence structure, reading comprehension, thinking skills, such as analogies, and spelling.
• Currently, we are learning how to write good, solid sentences that are more complex.
• We have learned about pronouns and continue to discuss nouns, verbs, and conventions every day.
Just a quick note about spelling. The way I see spelling is to teach students the spelling rules so they can attempt to spell unfamiliar words. We are also focusing on phonics. Some students continue to struggle to identify a long v.s. short vowel. Students need to see patterns in spelling and understand that it is visual. Spelling is not just memorizing a test for Friday. Our words may seem simple, but they serve a greater purpose in learning how the English language is structured.
If you look at your child’s spelling tests, I give the words and then I dictate sentences incorporating the spelling words. This allows me to see if students can spell the lesson words in context: the fundamental goal of spelling.
• We continue to discuss the Southwest. Students will be working on their ‘interactive’ notebooks’ starting next week. This book allows students to independently research facts about the Southwest making the learning more meaningful and relevant. I grade this work.
• There will be a Southwest test on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Students will be given a study guide to assist them. They should study a little every day and not cram the night before. I also encourage the use of index cards or even a small whiteboard so they can jot down facts, etc. and put ideas/facts/details/concepts to memory.
• On Thursdays students attend Mass. A collection is taken for various charities throughout the year. Currently, we are collecting for a sister school in Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey. Students are encouraged to bring in $1 or $2 on Thursdays to support our philanthropic efforts.