Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Can’t I Skip My Twenty Minutes of Reading Tonight?

This was shared with us at the beginning of our faculty meeting tonight by Cathy Roth (Literacy SIS). I thought it was something to ponder!

Let’s figure it out—mathematically!
Student A reads 20 minutes five nights of every week;
Student B reads only 4 minutes a night…or not at all!

Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 20 minutes x 5 times a week = 100 minutes/week
Student B reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 minutes/week

Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
Student B reads 80 minutes a month.

Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months/school year.
Student A reads 3600 minutes in a school year.
Student B reads 720 minutes in a school year.

Student A practices reading, the equivalent of ten whole school days a year. Student B gets the equivalent of only two school days of reading practice. By the end of 5th grade, if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days. Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 school days. One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school performance. How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student?

Friday, September 11, 2009


According to the Wikipedia, wind is the flow of air or other gases that compose an atmosphere (including that of the planet Earth).

Today, we spent some time outside observing the wind. Using bubbles, the children were able to watch the wind change direction, become more forceful, and do nothing at all.

Internet Resources

This is a webiste that offers interactive books that are read out loud. It also has games, puzzles, quizes and and much more.
Click on Library Resources:
Select #7: Tumblebooks
Username: springbranch
Password: books

United Streaming
This is a website that offers movies / clips of movies streamed over the internet.
Click on Library Resources:
Select # 9 Discovery Education
Username: springbranch
Password: libraries

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Homework FAQ

1. What do the T and A mean on the reading log?
Title & Author

2. What do F and NF mean on the reading log?
Fiction / Non Fiction

3. Is anything he reads fine to log?

4. What are spelling cards?
We cut them out and use them sort in the student’s journal. Usually, I give the kids 2 copies on Monday. (One to manipulate first thing, and the other to take home and study.)

5. Since the math worksheet is two sided, does he turn it in on Wednesday, and then it comes back home for the Thursday homework?
One side is for Tuesday and the other side is for Thursday.

6. Can my child use a website to practice their math facts?
Yes – they can. Please share the website with us and I’ll put a link from my blog.

7. My child has mastered addition facts up to 18. In fact, he / she worked on multiplication over the summer. Can he / she do something else?
Sure! Have them move on (only if they are ready) to the multiplication and division.

Types of Non Fiction

Informational Text
Historical Facts: Things that happen in real life.
Memoirs: True stories taken from events in our life.

Biography: Story about a person’s life.
Autobiography: Story about the author’s life.

Types of Fiction

Realistic Fiction: Stories that could happen today.

Historical Fiction: Stories that use actual people and events.

Science Fiction: Stories that have supernatural events.

Fantasy: Stories that have unrealistic elements.

· Folktales: Stories that are usually passed down from parent to child.
· Fairy Tales: Stories that are usually passed down from parent to child but have a magical twist.

Myth & / or Legend


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why Readers Abandon Books

Today we discussed some ways in which readers abandon books. Here is the list that was generated with our class and Ms. Briggs' class:

Why We Abandon Books
Too hard Not interested in the book or genre
Too easy
Don’t like the characters
Don’t like the wording from the author
Disappointed in the sequel or series
Too scary
Too sad
Too confusing
Print is too hard to read
Not good for now – maybe later
STS (Setting the stage)
Plot confusing
Another book of interest
Reminds you of something bad in your life
Cannot make a connection to the text
Difficult vocabulary