Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Connections Game Word Study Practice Pages

Hello! Several people have asked how to find the word study practice pages. They are available through the "Conferences" link below. You can also find it from clicking this link: That is also where you can sign up to help on Wednesdays. We did remind the kids that they don't need to use those exact pages. They know how to do the activities and can use a white board or scrap paper. Whatever works best for your family is fine with us. Thanks for taking the time to help them practice. Thanks again to all the volunteers. We so appreciate your help!

We have been reading in our book clubs again this week. Judy Scanlon is a literacy coach for the district. We work closely with her on a variety of topics from writing to assessments to enhancing comprehension. She came in to model a great game on making connections in reading. The kids really enjoyed it! We promised them we would give you the link. We played the "connections" part of the game, but Judy said the games are all of high quality. Check it out as you have time!

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the warm-up! We know all the kids are anxious to get outside!!!!
As always, let us know how we can help! Thanks!

Amby and Lynnea
3rd Grade English Language Arts
Normandale French Immersion School
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Conferences and Word Study: <

Monday, January 14, 2008

Book Club Literature Circles

Dear Families,

This week we will start a literature circle style of a book club. We are reading books in the Humor genre as selected by the district language arts committee as an addition to our language arts curriculum. These books are books to be enjoyed in a social setting and add an authentic literature experience to the 3rd Grade language arts program. Each student will be reading different books based on the lexile level of the book and the students’ different English times.

Humor Genre Books
Giggler Treatment
The Kid in the Red Jacket
The Chocolate Touch

District level Criteria for genre selection:
Incorporate curriculum Focus On Genre whenever possible
Provide for good variety each year
Reduce repetition across three years (and into middle school)
Enough other appropriate titles at that level for students to continue reading on their own

District level Criteria for book selection:
Cited for excellence by an independent source
Developmentally appropriate content and themes
Written at an appropriate reading level
Not required or assigned to any other grade level
Appealing to both boys and girls
Available in paperback

You can help by asking questions about the book (read below). All information is stored in their reading folders at school. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Book Group Discussion Questions:

1. What did you enjoy about this book?

2. What have you read that is similar to this book?

3. What are some of the major themes of this book?

4. What do you think the author was trying to accomplish with this novel?

5. Who was your favorite character? What did you appreciate about him/her?

6. Consider the main character: What does he or she believe in? What is he or she willing to fight for?

7. At the end of the book, do you feel hope for the characters?

8. What is stronger in the book: plot or character development? Why? Do you think this was intentional on the part of the author?

9. Have you ever experienced anything similar to the action of this novel?

10. Did you find this book a quick read? Why or why not?

11. What are your concerns about this book?

12. How did you feel about the main character?

13. What are the most important relationships in the book?

14. What makes a minor character memorable?

15. What are the most revealing scenes?

16. Are any of the events in the book relevant to your own life?

17. What did you think of the style of the writer?

18. Was the story believable? The characters believable?

19. Did you find any flaws in the book?

20. Compare the hardcover and paperback covers. Which one do you like better? Why?

Thanks and Happy Reading!

Lynnea and Amby

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Word Study Packets of Lists

Happy New Year!

Instead of bringing home a single word study list today, your child is bringing a packet that contains his/her lists through the middle of March. Thank you for the many kind suggestions and offers of help as we continue to adapt and adjust the program. Each page is marked at the bottom with the date of the test. On Wednesdays, you can simply take the top copy and start the routine. We would like to phase out the work packet, in which they do the pictures and sentences, etc. Each child brought one home today to complete as homework, like we were doing in December. Next week, we would like to send just the “Cut, Sort, Write” page, completed in school, to help you follow the sorting rule. The pages are linked on the newsletter/website. You can print them to complete or simply do the work on scratch paper, white board, etc. Whatever works well for you family is great! As always, please let us know if you have questions. It is always a work in progress!

Next week we will start a novel study on humorous books. This was an absolute favorite last year! Kids will be working in book clubs as they read, meet and discuss their novels. The district adopted these studies last year as a way to really boost children’s love of reading.

We hope their love for reading can equal our love for teaching these precious students!

Amby and Lynnea