Book Club for Kids

Last Friday, three fifth graders participated in a taping for the podcast Book Club for Kids. Kitty Felde visited our school and spoke with Aidan, Matthew, and Desirae about the book, A Long Walk to Water, written by Linda Sue Park. They did a fabulous job chatting about the book. This edition of the podcast will be released this summer. Please consider subscribing to this podcast as it is a good one!



In addition to a podcast, Book Club for Kids also has a terrific blog. Here’s the link to this week’s blog post: Tip #56

Figurative Language Pop Stars, Moving On Up, and the Stresses of a Reading Test

This nine weeks has been flying by and fifth graders have been as busy as bees.  Did you catch that figurative language?  Check out this video that Mrs. Adams (formally known as Ms. Holzbach) put together with our fifth graders: Figurative Language Video

And check out our latest movers on the Super Improver Wall:

Lastly, as you know, many fifth graders didn’t feel too good about their grade on the first reading test of the year. I have a couple of feelings about this, but I’ll try to keep it brief. First, a reading test does not always define a reader. You can be an amazing reader and stink at taking a test. Secondly, it was the first big reading test of the school year. It takes practice at getting better with test taking. Lastly, it was a very difficult test. I took it myself and missed a question. As long as our children are reading every night, students will see improvements. We’ll practice some strategies in class to help your child feel successful and we’ll continue making goals.

Reading Right Now and More Phenoms

Fifth graders will take their first reading test this Thursday.  This test will cover main idea, summarizing, and some other strategies and skills we’ve been working with.  While there really is no way to study for a reading assessment, there are a few things students can do to help prepare.  1) Reading every night is so essential to the growth of a reader.  Students should be selecting their own reading so that they can better find what interests them.  Magazines and online articles count as reading!  2) Practice sites: Comprehension PracticeSummarizing LessonSummarizing Rags to RichesMain Idea Practice, and last, but not least Mrs. Johns’ Portaportal.

Here are the latest Phenoms of F-30!






Even the teachers are striving to be Super Improvers!

Our First Phenom in F-30

Congrats to Iain on making it to Phenom status on the Super-Improver Wall!

Family Survey 2017-18

Mrs. Johns’ End of the Year Survey

Blind Date with a Book

HCPSTV came to visit our class last Friday. They taped a special book checkout called Blind Date with a Book. The idea came from Chop Suey Books, a local bookstore. Five students were randomly selected from each class to choose books that were wrapped up. The books, there were 15 in all, had tags with short summaries and hints as to what type of book it was. Books that often get overlooked or books of less popular genres were selected. Students had an entire week to peruse the books. Students were begging me to do this again, so this may be a regular thing in our classroom!

Blind Date with a Book Video

Cause and Effect

Identifying cause and effect can be tricky for readers, especially with higher level passages or articles. Fifth graders learned two important strategies with finding the cause and effect this week. Strategy #1: Ask two questions. What happened as an end result? That will be the effect. Why did that happen? That will give you the cause. Strategy #2: Look for cause and effect signal words such as because, as a result, as a result of, since, and much more.

Students will be taking their reading test on cause and effect, along with cumulative reading skills, next Wednesday and Thursday. For practice, ask your child to identify cause and effect situations or state a scenario for your child and ask him/her to identify which is the cause and which is the effect. Students should be reading for at least 20 minutes each night. Have your child stop and jot causes and effects in his/her reading.

Here are some additional online activities that may be of help:

http://www.roomrecess.com/pages/CauseEffect.html
http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/fwalters/cause.html
http://mrsdell.org/causeandeffect/
http://www.softschools.com/quizzes/language_arts/sequencing/quiz1341.html

Mannequin Challenge

During our winter activity with our Book Buddies, Ms. Smith’s second-grade class, we took our turn at the Mannequin Challenge!

Moving into Fiction: Novel Study and More!

Fifth graders have had their fill of nonfiction!  For now, at least…  While we begin our unit into looking further into Narrative Text Structure, students will be working on identifying character traits, describing the development of plot,  explain the resolution of conflicts, and identify and ask questions that clarify various points of view.  Whew, that was a mouthful!  In essence, students will be digging deeper into characters and plot.

There are a number of online activities to help with this on my portaportal https://guest.portaportal.com/dwjohns, however, the most valuable practice is asking questions after reading. At this age, students do need some guidance with this. In class we have been working on using sticky notes to Stop and Jot. Give your child something to look for and have him/her stop and jot on a sticky note! For example, in reading groups, students are given a sticky note and instructed to look for clues to character traits.

Speaking of reading groups, we have begun our first novel study. This is especially exciting for students as they have chosen which books they are reading. We’ll be using all of the skills and strategies we learn in class to dive a bit deeper into some great literature. Books will stay at school, as I only have about 10 of each title. Ask your child about what he/she is reading. Book talks at home are a wonderful way to help instill the love of reading.

Reading 3