Ms. Biller's Classroom News

May 10, 2019   05/09/2019
Students have worked hard during our historical fiction unit to sharpen their comprehension skills, and look for the historical facts embedded within fictional stories taking place in the past.  We've shifted a bit to also look for themes in the texts we read, and work on using text evidence to support those claims.  We'll wrap up the unit early this upcoming week with a summative Theme Paragraph.  We'll then begin work on a creative choice project, also summative, in which students will demonstrate the reading and writing skills gained and honed during the unit.  The following week will be devoted to our historical fiction book chat, with an added creative project to enhance the presentations.  I'm eager to see what students produce int eh coming weeks!
April 26, 2019   04/26/2019
Students are well into our historical fiction unit, blending historical fact with fictional elements.  Everyone has chosen an engaging IR book that is historical fiction, and so far, students have been enjoying being immersed in a completely different time in history, experiencing the time period vicariously through the characters of their books!  We're also reading some short pieces in class and analyzing how authors carefully create a setting that is historically accurate, and blending it with an engaging plot.  Next week, we will use these stories to develop a deeper understanding of theme, and engage in activities to help students identify, articulate, and write about the theme of the stories we are reading.  This means students will be doing some short writing pieces in addition to various other reading responses.  While more than ample class time has been scheduled for all of these activities, some students may need more time outside of school to finish and review their work - especially if class time is not being used wisely, or students are absent.  Please keep in mind that I am available every Monday after school and welcome any students who would like extra guidance, or just need a quiet place to work!
April 12, 2019   04/11/2019
Students have worked hard in wrapping up their Nobel Nominee research projects, due Monday morning of this week!  If you haven't seen your child's work, ask to see his/her I-Chart!  Since they have also been reading non-fiction for IR, students used class time this week to prepare for their second book chat of the year. Block 1 presented on Thursday, while Blocks 2-5 presented on Friday.  Students participating in GSA Day of Silence were given the option to pre-record their presentation on iMovie.

Next week, we will be shifting over to a new unit of study, centering on historical fiction.  Students will be reading historical fiction for IR, and we will be exploring this genre through texts related to social studies topics they have already had some introduction to.  Once again, we will be using a blend of short story narratives (both fictional and real), picture books and student IR books to help students gain a deeper grasp of this important genre. 

As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have!  Enjoy the upcoming spring season!
March 22, 2019   03/20/2019
As we roll into our third trimester, students are in the midst of their Nobel Nominee research projects.  They've been asked to choose someone they believe should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and conduct research to help support their nomination.  So far, students have chosen some incredible individuals!  Ask your child to show you his or her work so far!  When we return from break, we will be finishing the research process, including using EasyBib to create citations.  We're all looking forward to seeing just how much these nominees have done to make our world a better place!

We have also begun working on IR bookmarks again - this time, students are reading non-fiction books!  Students can choose to read about any topic that interests them, using books at or near their reading level.  Students who finish their book before break is over are encouraged to choose another non-ficiton book focusing on a different topic.  Ask your child about what (s)he is reading!

As always, thank you for all you do to help support our students from home.  Please reach out to me any time you may have questions.  Have a wonderful Spring Break!