We are now in our last week of September and though it feels a lot like summer, we are busy cultivating cozy independent reading communities in our classrooms. So far, your children have been introduced to our school library and they are adjusting nicely to checking out books and returning them on time. This Friday and next Friday we are headed to Tompkins Library to get library cards and figure out how to navigate that space as another option when the East Side library isn't accessible or when East Side doesn't have the book a reader is seeking.
We have had our first read-aloud of the year, a short story titled "Mr. Entwhistle" by Jean Little. This is a story about a girl named Kate and the conflict that arises when a younger substitute teacher takes over the class for the period. Readers are focused on identifying the external and internal conflicts in their own independent reading book and starting to write long in their reading notebook about how conflicts affect characters. Today in class, students are taking their first reading assessment that will help us see where they're struggling with the idea of conflict.
We are still working on keeping an organized reading life by using the reading record in the orange homework folder. Students also each have a copy of the marking period 1 reading challenge taped into the front cover of their ELA notebook. They have until Friday, November 3 to complete 4 boxes of their choice. This will count toward their reading habits grade. In addition, this week we are introducing reading level assessments for the first time. Many of these first assessments are for us to get to know the students as readers and writers, so please do not be alarmed if you don't see grades being entered in PupilPath. ELA teachers are committed to writing a detailed narrative about each student's progress and goals at the end of the first marking period. Click on our "Rubrics" page to see the criteria for close reading responses.
Lots of parents continue to ask what they can do at home to support the skills work being done in class. Here are some suggestions:
- Ask questions after reading such as:
Remember that Literacy Night is coming up on October 18th. You will receive a report of your child’s reading level, have an information session with Mark and a Q&A with your child’s ELA teacher. Your presence is not only requested, it’s required.
As always, thank you for all the support you give students at home. Please feel free to email us whenever you have questions or concerns.
PJ, Sherry and Erica