Literature Circles/Book Club:
Imagine cozy corners of students talking about books. They’re asking questions about characters and ideas. They’re wondering what others are feeling. Without thinking much about it, they’re practicing what strong readers do–questioning as they read and connecting to the text.
We started the year with several versions of books about Louis Braille. Chosen so that all students can access the content, they are a good foray into our book club.
We will meet every Wednesday and Friday about the books. This year, these book discussions will drive our reading program. In past years, students have loved talking about books, doing projects together and are energized and passionate readers by the end of the year, if not already.
Depending on reading proficiency, students may read themselves or read with a parent or friend. Throughout the year, they’ll build up their fluency.
And now for some great sites about reading, writing and more. All of these are listed in the tab marked “Literacy Resources at the top of this blog.”
Writing Links & Activities
Throughout the year we will be learning and applying a variety of spelling strategies to help us become confident spellers. If you are looking for some fun ways to practice spelling, please try the following links. You may use any words from your word bank or try some form this list of frequently misspelled words.
Kids Spell – On this site you can choose a ready-made list of words or create your own list using your word bank. You may also then choose the type of game you wish to play. There are 3 levels of games and the hardest level is hard!
BBC’s Spellits – This site has 3 different challenges and all review different spelling strategies.
Spelling City – On the home page of this site you can type in the words you would like to practice and then choose which games or quizzes you would like to try and it will use your words. Hang Mouse and Word Unscramble are favourites!
English Spelling Games – There are a variety of online spelling and word games here, including Whomp and Spelling Ship.
DJ Cow’s Spelling Patterns – This game allows you to choose a spelling pattern and then will generate a word search puzzle for you to solve.
Mr Reynold’s Grade 4 Website – This page includes a long list of fun activities to help you practice your spelling skills.
Vocabulary Games – This site has a variety of games for you to choose from.
Prefix Millionaire – Learn about the meanings of common prefixes.
Homographs – Play alone or with a partner to learn more about homographs, words that have the same spelling, but different definitions.
Looking for an app to build your vocabulary? Try SuperKids 4th – 6th Grade Vocabulary.
Skillswise Words – This site from the BBC offers information on how to create compound sentences, complex sentences and words to join ideas together.
Sentence Games – This is another site from the BBC that has games to help you practice identifying, making and punctuating sentences.
How to write a paragraph – This link will take you to the site that has the PowerPoint presentation we viewed today in class to discuss and explore how to build an effective paragraph. It is from the Guide to Grammar and Writing, produced by the Capital Community College Foundation. Go to the button called “Paragraph Basic Structure”.
Graphic Organizers (Planning your writing)
Essay map – an interactive tool will assist you to create an outline for an essay (or report).
The Write Site has a selection of graphic organizers specifically to assist with writing.
Education Place has a multitude of organizers to choose from to help you organize your ideas.
Interactive Poetry Tools
Magnetic Poetry Kit – play online and then share your poem with friends through email.
Story Starters from Scholastic is a fun way to generate ideas for writing and then provides choices for how you would like to publish.
Write me a Story – This site from KidsCom allows you to write and post your story online to be read by others. They have challenges that you can take and you can vote for which stories should be published.
Want to write and publish a story or poem? Go to Storybird for art inspired collaborative writing.
Reading Links & Activities
Books to Read
The International Children’s Digital Library has numerous online books to read from countries all over the world. If you are looking for a book in a different language, this is a great place to start!
YIS has access to the TumbleBook Library. there are a variety of stories to choose from, but you must use the username and password provided. Please contact us for details.
Reading List for all grades.This link targets 5th grade.
Seattle, Washington, US public library site. Lots of good books and tips for parents.
The following thinking strategies are used by proficient readers when they read (click on each one to learn more about the strategy):
- Prior knowledge
- Making Connections
Into the Book has interactive games to practice each strategy. Click here to log in. The first time you visit the site you will need to ‘get a key’. Be sure to write this key number down in your homework diary so that you may use it the next time you go back to the site. This will allow you to save your scores and return to games that you may not have finished.
The Kids Lab from Samoset Elementary has good interactives to practice reading comprehension strategies.
Test your reading comprehension on Ms Nussbaum’s website. Select a passage and then answer the questions online.