May 13

Grade 5 Book Club!

Last week, each student had a look at various book choices in class, and wrote down three options of books they wanted to read. Today they found out which book they will be reading over the next 4 weeks.

In addition to reading, each student will also have a “job” that will rotate each week:

  • Discussion Director: write down 4 open-ended questions about that week’s reading to discuss with your group
  • Passage Finder: Write down 2 interesting/funny/important passages that you’d like to share with your group
  • Word Wizard: Write down 6 new vocabulary words, their definition, part of speech, and use in a sentence.

All this information is explained in more detail in the package the students received today. They have decided how much needs to be read each week, and they have decided which job they will be responsible for each week. It is important that each student stay on top of their reading and job, as the rest of their group is relying on them! We will be meeting with our groups EVERY MONDAY. So by next week, students will need to have finished their first week of reading and complete their job for the week so they are ready for their group discussion Monday afternoon.

We are in the process of locating audiobooks for all the novels, to help make the reading easier. However, in the meantime, here are some links to YouTube. Although they are not the best, they are better than nothing 🙂


Bridge to Terabithia


Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (starts about 1 minute in)

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

I Am David


Please let me know if you have any questions!

May 6

Blogging Bingo!


Here is our newest Blogging Challenge. Students will add to their personal blogs, and are challenged to complete as many of these challenges as they can! We will also continue adding work based on other activities we are doing in class. Students are always allowed, and encouraged, to post about things they are doing in school, in all subjects.

It is my hope that we will have a mini student led conference, where you will come into school and your child will walk you through their blog, including all the artifacts of their learning. More information on this to come.

Please continue to check your child’s blogfolio and comment! Remember to leave your last name off when commenting to help keep the privacy of your child. Asking questions, adding information, and offering suggestions are all great things to include in your comment.

And as always, if you have any questions or comments for me, please leave them below 🙂

April 29

The Student Blogs Have Arrived!

geralt / Pixabay

In case you haven’t noticed the links on the side of our class blog (look on the right hand side, below the yellow Pages “post-it”) all the students’ blogs are linked. They aren’t fully set up, customized, and inhabited just yet, but they will be added to very soon!

As this is new for the teachers as well, we’re working out all the kinks, but I can’t wait for you to see all the incredible work your children will be doing.

I will be posting more updates throughout the week, including a Blogging Bingo Challenge, quality blog writing tips, and suggestions for writing quality comments. The more you read and comment, the more authentic their work will feel! Hopefully you will share the links with family and friends as well.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

April 12

Parents: All Aboard!

(Originally posted on my professional blog. Copied here to share the excitement. If you haven’t already signed the permission form, please do so!)

At this point, I’ve dipped my toes in the documenting waters with my students. I’m ready to jump in and launch individual blogfolios. I have to decide:

  • What will the URLs be?
  • What permissions, if any, do I need to get from parents?
  • How will I manage posts and comments?

I spoke with my Head of School to get the school’s perspective. I then spoke with the documenting guru, Silvia Tolisano. She shared her views, which helped guide me towards other educators’ thoughts and experiences.

Combining all this information together, along with my own opinions and knowledge of our parent body, I have written the parent letter below. I wanted to include information about what a blogfolio is, why documenting learning is important, and offer options that fit our school’s needs and meet the parents where they currently are. The hope is that most families will opt to allow their child to have a completely public blog. If parents opt for one of the other options, the hope is that they will eventually change their privacy settings once they, and their child, see the added value of a public-facing blog.