Homework & Class Information for Sept. 30 – Oct. 4

Can you believe that it is about to be October? I can’t! I am amazed that it is already the 7th week of the school year.

The DES 5th grade Reading & Language Arts class has been working hard to connect with our reading in new and dynamic ways that align with our state’s new CCR Standards. Look for more about that in the posts to come.

There will be a test on Wednesday. Begin with the end in mind by studying your packet and journal notes to prepare for the test.

This week’s homework slip is below (click on the image to enlarge):



Getting Up Close and Personal with the Text

20130924_131922There are times when we need to get “up close and personal” with the text we are reading. To achieve this relationship with our text, we can do what is referred to as a “close read.”

A close read is a reading strategy used to help students gain a deeper understanding of the selected text. There are varied approaches to a close read. Most close reads include the following components:

*Number the paragraphsCCRS (College and Career Ready Standard’s) asks students to be able to cite and refer to the text (give evidence from the text). One simple way to do this is by numbering each paragraph or section in the margin. When students refer to the text, they are  required to state which paragraph they are referring to. This enables the rest of the class to quickly find what evidence their peer is referring to.


* Chunk the text:  

A full-page of text can become overwhelming for students. Breaking up the text into small sections (or chunks) makes the page easier to “swallow” for students. The class concentrates only on a small portion of the text at one time.
* Underline and circle with a purpose

Telling students to simply underline “the important stuff” is overwhelming and does not meet a meaningful purpose. Students need to be directed to underline and circle very specific things.  In my class, we use a specific set of Close Read Codes (see picture). I will add new codes as needed (as content becomes more complex).

* Dig deeper into the textIn the margins, I direct  students to complete a specific task for each chunk or passage of text. This may include:

  •     Represent the text with a picture. Have students illustrate what they were visualizing while reading.
  •     Ask questions. Have students write down what questions the text made them have. (This made me wonder. . . )
  •     Make connections. How does this text / passage relate to you? What do you have in common with this character?
Small Group Close Read Samples from DES 5th Grade

Mini-Autobiographies. . .It’s all about “I”

College and Career Ready Standards state that 5th graders should be able to explain the characteristics of various genres. The class studied an autobiography last week. An autobiography is a true story that the author writes about his or her own life. One pronoun clue used to help students identify this genre is the use of the pronoun “I” within the text. To help students remember the characteristics of an autobiography, we composed mini-autobiographies. Students surrounded their “I Project” with artwork that represented their own life. 

The 5th grade is working hard. Look for more information about class projects coming soon!



I am very proud of the writing this class is producing! Together we will get. . .

Smarter & Better!

Class Information Week of Sept. 16 – 20th



We will be doing something a little different in class this week. I am not going to give it away in this post. I want it to be a surprise!

I am going to post your homework assignments below and let you know that you will be having a grammar quiz on Thursday. The quiz will be on identifying the subjects and predicates of sentences. 

Want a little help with subjects and predicates? Watch this!


Your weekly homework update:



“Line Drive” / Lesson Two

ImageToday we started lesson two. The story is “Line Drive.” Students were given a lesson guide to glue into their journals. The guide lists vocabulary, spelling, and our grammar focus for this lesson.

I will be sending home graded work from the past three weeks on Monday. The work will have a form attached for parents to sign and be returned on Tuesday.

This is a copy of the lesson two study guide. Other study materials will go home next week. The test for lesson two is Thursday, September 12th.



What a character! / Homework List

ImageOne of our goals in fifth grade this year will be to analyze a character’s traits and compose text describing the character. To introduce this concept, the fifth grade classes at DES analyzed the traits of famous Disney characters from current hit shows. The students loved this activity. The group activity led the students into analyzing the main character from our lesson one story. Students will take their completed graphic organizers and compose a paragraph describing the character’s traits, motivations, and actions.

This week we have a lesson one test on Wednesday.

This week’s homework:

Monday – Happy Labor Day

Tuesday – Study for test and finish writing character description if student did not finish in class.

Wednesday – Begin reading the lesson two story, “Line Drive.”

Thursday – Read story and study the information on your lesson study guide.

Friday – Read story and study the information on your lesson study guide.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to me at:  mwilson@tallapoosak12.org