This week in Reading students will begin to learn the difference between retelling a story and giving a summary. Retelling includes information from earlier in the book, where a summary is more general. Students will also continue their strategy of creating a mental movie in their minds while reading. Being able to keep track of a story while keeping a visual interpretation as they are reading helps to strengthen their reading comprehension and the connections they make to the characters and other story elements.
In addition, students are learning how to stop and jot on sticky notes when there are moments within their text that are important, create a pattern, or make them wonder about the event. Furthermore, they are being challenged to dive deeper into their thinking by selecting a sticky note and expanding their thinking about their "stop and jot". Be on the lookout for a classwork assignment to be coming home about this.
Finally, students should recording any reading they are doing on their reading logs. They have learned how to assess whether a book they are reading is too hard, too easy, or just right. Any finished reading logs are to be stored in their binders behind the "Reading Logs" tab. It has been very impressive to watch the growth of these students in such a short time of having them. They are taking their reading time very seriously and we hope it continues all year!
This week in Writing students will be continuing the work of developing their characters in their chosen seed moment. Often times when we chose a story idea to develop, we jump to developing the 'plot' and events of our story, but we are learning that skilled fiction writers must first get to know their characters. We have talked with the students about how they should know their characters so well, "they know how much change they carry in their pockets." To develop 'believable' characters, students have been analyzing internal and external traits (as well as making sure these traits cohere). Students are also learning to think about the attitude their character has about him/herself, and the attitudes others have towards their characters. Lastly, we are trying to make sure our characters are complex, and not too 'perfect'.
Towards the end of the week, students will be giving their characters struggles and motivations to continue their development. Within this work, students are identifying motivations and obstacles their characters will overcome in their stories, which indirectly helps them develop their plot, or how their story will go.
The students have been producing some truly awesome work already, so we cannot wait to see how these stories unfold!