Some of the novels we may explore in and out of the classroom are:
Our school has adopted the Units of Study by Lucy Calkins to teach writing to our students. "The foundation of the Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing series lies in the understanding that writing is a lifelong process during which we continually lift the level of our writing skills and outgrow ourselves as writers. Students learn that all writing has essential traits to which they must attend when developing a piece. Writers learn various ways to find topics they wish to write about. They learn to make purposeful decisions about the structure and organization of a piece. They learn a repertoire of methods for elaborating. They learn to craft their pieces using literary language and devices and to employ the conventions of written language (Anderson 2005; Calkins 1994; Elbow 1989; Graves 1994; Wood Ray 1999)."
In order to further improve their writing skills, students are encouraged to write often. One of the ways they can engage in additional writing activities is by writing in their own personal journals.
We will be implementing the Words Their Way program to deepen student understanding of words. Words Their Way is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program. It is a part of a balanced literacy plan that includes fluency, comprehension and writing. An assessment is given to determine where to begin instruction. Based on assessment results students are given words to study in order to discover the common attributes. In this manner students are actively constructing their own knowledge of spelling patterns. Students learn features by completing activities such as word sorting, word hunts, games and drawing and labeling. Students work individually, with partners, and in small groups to encourage cooperative learning and individual responsibility.