October 23

Global Connections

Something special happens when you can connect with another classroom about the same book. As you know, we are reading Stella Diaz Has Something to Say, the Global Read Aloud selection this year.

We are enjoying our book and love to Skype with our friends in California! There is a 3 hour time difference  between us so when it’s 1pm for us, it’s 10am for them!

We love learning about their school, their weather, what life is like in California, and so on. We have so many questions for them such as how many recesses do you get? How many teachers do you have? Do you have a class pet?

We discuss our favourite parts of the book, making personal connections to parts of the book, sharing our understandings of the book, and more.

We can’t wait until next week when we connect with our friends again.

 

October 22

Books Are Delicious

Last Friday, our classroom was transformed into a sort of literary cafe as students were invited to their very first BOOK TASTING event of the school year. A book tasting gives students the opportunity to sample some juicy reads in a short period of time and come away with a wish list of titles. It’s a great way to let young readers sample different authors, genres, and series. After all, books are a lot like food—you won’t know if you like something until you try it!

Chef Sully made an appearance, flying in from France. Students noted she looked a lot like her sister, Mrs. Sullivan. They even shop at the same clothing stores!

We ‘sampled’ several different genres of books including:

  • Poetry
  • Picture Books
  • Books in a Series
  • Nonfiction

 

At each table sat a pile of 10-15 books of a particular genre.

After checking out the front and back covers and inside flaps, students spent a few minutes browsing through the book to develop their first impressions. When time (about 10 minutes) was up, students wrote down observations and made note of whether or not they want to add the book to their wish list.

They rated the book out of 10 and jotted some notes about various things including what they thought of the book, what did the author do to hook them, and so on. It’s a perfect way for kids to nibble on a book and decide if they want to devour the whole thing!

Students rotated through 4 different stations in total. Afterwards, we enjoyed some yummy refreshments!

It was so much fun and we all went away with perhaps a few books we would like to read, maybe even from a genre we have never explored before.

Our next Book Tasting will be sometime before Christmas.

October 15

Reading is Thinking

What does reading look like in our classroom? What should it look like?

Reading is a very special time in our day. Reading is thinking, afterall. We read to learn and we read for pleasure. We fall in love with our characters, we get to travel to distant lands, and it is fun!

In our class, we’ve talked about 3 types of reading: reading by ourselves, reading with a partner, and reading in groups. When by ourselves, we agree that we should read quietly, save talking for later, and stay in one spot. Many times, we get to pick a spot to read anywhere in the class. Other times, we read at our desk.

There are soooo many benefits to reading such as stress relief, it exercises our brain, increases vocabulary, improves our writing skills, and more! The list goes on and on.

Our first official Book Tasting event is this coming Friday and I get the sense they’re pretty excited. Stay tuned for pictures and a recap of the event.

By the way–parents, if you’re reading this, your child is never too old to have a book read to them. Reading together, no matter how old anyone gets, can be an amazing shared experience. Snuggle up with your child under the covers with a flashlight or on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Reading is a blast!

What is your favourite place to read if you could pick

anywhere you wanted?

September 30

Drum Roll Please…..

Today we officially began the Global Read Aloud for this year called Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez.

We are SO excited to be involved with this chapter book. We made plenty of predictions about what this book could be about with the following photos in our slideshow:

We brainstormed new words (some were Spanish!), characters, setting details, questions we have, and so on and jotted them in our Reader’s Notebook.

What’s so neat about Global Read Aloud is that we are reading the SAME book as so many other students around the world! We will be connecting with a class…somewhere in the world. The exact location will be revealed in the coming days! Geographical clues will be given in class and we’ll have to guess where our partner class is located. Stay tuned.

 

September 22

Shhhh! It’s a Whisper Phone

Independent Reading time is a critical part of our daily literacy learning at school. If you’ve ever been to our classroom, you may have noticed our whisper phones which have a special spot on our reading table.

A Whisper Phone is a tool that can be used to help hear your voice very clearly just by whispering into it. It amplifies your voice. You use it like a telephone. Whisper phones allow students to hear themselves while speaking quietly into their phones. This allows them to focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it.

Have you ever used a whisper phone before?

June 17

A Visit to Hogwarts

It was a special day for our students as they handed in their tickets and traveled to Hogwarts, passing through Platform 9 & 3/4 and into the wonderful world of Harry Potter.

Students embraced their characters, posed for photos, ate some delicious goodies, drank some Polyjuice Potion, and enjoyed the movie for the afternoon. We left with certificates in hand as graduates of Hogwarts and will go home to talk about our fun for days to come.

A celebration like this couldn’t have happened without the help and support of parents, so a BIG thank-you from all of us!

 

April 10

Book Tasting: Part Deux

Our last book tasting in November was a big hit, so it only made sense to do it again! Last week, our students came in hungry and left STUFFED with ideas for books to read.

What was on the menu this time around? Well, Chef Sully, who flew in all the way from Paris, complete with a fancy French accent, was serving up some delicious genres that included:

  • Books in a Series
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Fantasy
  • Picture Books

What’s on YOUR reading menu these days?

April 4

Let’s Make S’more Inferences

What better way to celebrate our learning about inferences than to EAT?! We’ve been exploring several short stories and have been using paper s’mores to break apart the pieces of an inference:

  • graham cracker = Background knowledge
  • graham cracker = Text clues
  • marshmallow = inference
  • chocolate = another inference

We remember that BK +TC =I and that we make inferences all the time and don’t even know we’re doing it. Way to go grade 3s!

Aren’t edible inferences delicious?

March 28

Mystery Reader…Revealed!

Today, our special guest was…Mrs. Cheeseman! She read to us a book called JoJo the Giant by Jane Barclay. It was the story of a boy who is eager to grow bigger. He wants some new running shoes after seeing them in a store window, but they are too expensive. He decides to enter a race to see if he can win the pair, but is racing against bigger boys, including a bully. In the end, JoJo learns about believing in himself and that we can grow in more ways than one!

 

A huge thank-you to Mrs. Cheeseman for reading with us today! We loved the story of JoJo the Giant and thought you were a great reader.