The beginning of the school year focuses on the “readerly life.” During this time, we establish our expectations for Reading Workshop. The children are learning about the habits and routines of the reading workshop time. I am getting to know the children as readers through both formal and informal assessments. This time is incredibly helpful for planning differentiated instruction moving forward.
In reading workshop, we continue to choose "good fit" books to read independently, to practice all the skills and strategies from class. We continue to carefully look at mentor texts to support both our ideas about reading and writing. The children are working on using all the text features to help them make predictions, as well as support them with explaining their thoughts. They are also working on strategies to figure out unfamiliar words, such as using context clues and looking at the word length. Vocabulary instruction is under way, and extremely important to enhance comprehension of text. Visualizing the text and creating pictures in our minds to help with comprehension is another strategy we have been practicing.
We are embarking on a character study, where students will learn to analyze characters based on what they say, do, and think. They will develop theories about characters and support these theories with text evidence.
The children continue to grow as readers. We are focusing on a variety of comprehension skills and strategies to help the children better develop their understanding around texts. We continue to focus on the importance of reading with expression and fluency while paying attention to punctuation.
As the third graders grow as readers, a lot of reading development is based around the comprehension of fiction and nonfiction texts. The students are taught to stop and think about the text in front of them.
There are certain questions they ask themselves to help get better prepared as a reader. Some questions include:
- What type of genre is this text?
- What do I know about that genre?
- How can this help me better think about and understand the text in front of me?
As readers, the children are practicing the importance of looking for the text evidence to support their thinking. When monitoring for meaning and discussing texts they are asked to identify the specific text evidence, or details, that support their thinking. Many times the children are encouraged to use the phrase, “I know this because…” to help better represent their thinking.
We have recently completed our author study on Patricia Polacco! Be sure to ask your child what he/she has noticed about what Patricia Polacco does as a writer!
Remember the best way to grow as a reader is to READ! Please continue to encourage your children to read a variety of texts, and have discussions with your children based around these texts.
The children are learning about the expectations for Writing Workshop. Writers all have stories to tell. We are sharing stories together. Everyone enjoyed reviewing the special writing notebooks decorated by the children. Each notebook was unique and told many different stories. The children are excited to begin adding entries to their notebooks.
This is also the year the children will learn to read and write cursive through the Handwriting Without Tears program.
Students continue to work on writing their personal narratives. They are learning how to hook the reader with an interesting beginning, and how to bring closure to their stories with a satisfying ending. Other craft lessons include stretching out the most important moment and writing an engaging title. Students are excited as they head toward publishing!
At this point in the school year, it is a grade level expectation that the children begin sentences/questions/exclamations with a capital letter and end with a period/question mark/exclamation point. When reviewing your child’s writing at home, please review to ensure that the correct punctuation is in place (., ?, or !).
The children are also learning about paragraphs through our respond unit. They are learning how to organize their writing using a claim, supporting details, and a concluding statement. This will be ongoing writing work throughout the remainder of the school year. In addition, the children reflect about their reading by answering a variety of questions. The children are learning how to write more thoughtful reading responses that include a part of the question in their written responses.