Students were given the following letter today, explaining independent reading expectations as homework:
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
Our school values reading. Because we value reading, we require our students to read independently texts, both in school and at home. Independent Reading provides students with the chance to exercise some choice in what they read, as well as to apply skills they have learned in Language Arts to next texts. We monitor student reading progress, make recommendations about new things students might like to try, and give students an opportunity to interact and to develop reading skills through independent reading. We both support and hold students accountable for this reading, in order to:
• To engage and motivate students in learning things they care about
• To promote students’ love of reading
• To build students’ vocabulary: reading a lot exposes students to new words and ideas
• To build students’ knowledge about the world (through both fiction and informational text)
• To build students’ reading “stamina”: their ability to read harder texts for longer periods of time
For the beginning of the year, the Independent Reading novels students have selected are books that their some of their peers are also reading. They will be required to finish reading these books by the end of October, in order to participate in future class work. However, students who finish their books before this time will be able to select new books to read, of their choice.
INDEPENDENT READING IS HOMEWORK.
Students must have their independent texts in class daily. On Thursdays, students will participate in Readers’ Workshop where they will have the chance to confer with me and/or their classmates as well as read and respond to their text.
Each Thursday, students will receive a new Reading Log sheet. The completed Reading Log sheet will be due at the start of class the following Wednesday. The format of the Reading Log sheet will be changed periodically to match the genres students are reading, as well as the focus skills we are work on in class. Students must read for a minimum of 20 minutes a night, 4 nights a week. Entries for reading beyond that time period are encouraged, and can help students earn additional points. Students should be aware that additional homework will still be assigned Monday-Thursday, and as a result, may want to use the weekend to complete Independent Reading homework.
Since Independent Reading is so crucial to the success of our students, Independent Reading Homework packets are worth 100 points a week.
Please contact me with any questions,
CURRENT READING LOG:
Name, Date, Title, Pages Read
5 sentence Summary (Plot Tracker)
5-8 sentence Reaction/Response (Use the Questions under Review's Notes on worksheet)
Tonight's vocabulary words are:
As always students need to create flash cards that include: definition, synonyms, and an examples or create an image.
THERE WILL BE A VOCABULARY QUIZ ON MONDAY OCT. 5, ON THE FOLLOWING TERMS:
Students are continuing to build their personal vocabulary flashcards. In the past weeks students completed vocabulary cards for words they selected, as well as the words MEEK and ANXIOUS.
Tonight's words are:
Students were given index cards in class. The vocabulary term goes on the blank side. On the opposite side, students need to write the definition (they can use a dictionary, but should write the definition in their own words), 2-3 synonyms, and then provide an example (either a picture or a sentence).
This week, we have focused on characterization: How do we, as readers, learn about characters? How do authors create the personality and identity of character?
Part of this focus will be to expand our Character Trait vocabulary. For homework, students will select words from that list (words they rated a 1 or 2). They will create vocabulary flashcards for those words. I will let them know the number of words to select and provide them with index cards.
Each card should include the definition (students can use a dictionary, but should put the definition into their own words), synonyms, and an image or example to help them make a connection with the word and their background knowledge.