Students will be working on the Reading and Writing Write Score assessment on Monday and Tuesday. This assessment is a practice diagnostic that is similar to the GA Milestones. Results will help the teachers have a better understanding of where their students fall in certain areas of the curriculum and can use these results to better plan instruction.
Later this week, students will continue their work of learning strategies for reading nonfiction texts. The area of focus this week will be on "Main Idea and Details," also known as "Boxes and Bullets". Students are becoming aware that the approach to nonfiction is different from the approach to fiction. The purpose of reading nonfiction text is to be able to teach it someone else, therefore they need to be able to stop and think about what they have just read and put it into their own words (a.k.a. paraphrasing). Students have also been introduced to the text features (i.e. headings, captions, photographs, charts, diagrams, etc.) that authors use to give more detail to the text, or to guide a reader towards a particular topic.
Later this week in writing, students will continue learning about the structure and strategies used for writing opinion essays. On Friday, students went through an 'Essay Structure Boot amp' to the learn the 'recipe' for an opinion essay. As a class, we flash-drafted a whole opinion essay on the thesis statement 'I love ice cream'. We discussed as a class that if we want to learn how to dive, we typically watch someone do it before we attempt it on our own, and that was the purpose of this activity. Now that students see how an opinion essay is structured (similar to a skeleton), this will help them when they begin to write their own essays. Later this week students will learn strategies to begin collecting ideas as essayists, as well as participating in a free-writing inquiry (this is a strategy students will use early on in the process).
The students are excited to dive into this new genre of writing!