What Book Clubs Look Like

Before beginning our book clubs, we needed to see what a student led book club should look like.  As the students watched a video on a student led book club, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_2Rc5nCG5Q ,they filled out the shared Google doc :

Our book club book is , A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park, which shares themes with our instructional read aloud, Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate.

As Lucy Calkins states, ” by studying the skills and strategies of interpretation while reading, writing, and talking about literature, your readers will work together in their clubs to identify the themes that thread throughout their books.”  They will come to see their book clubs as mini debate clubs- they will try out ideas, be challenged, and engage in deep conversations that will hold them accountable for defending their ideas with reason and evidence.


Posted in Language Arts ספרות,לשון, Reading קריאה,הבנת הנקרא | Leave a comment


We had a fun time on VIP Day playing Pictionary and working a Thanksgiving word search.  Thank you for spending the morning with us!

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Why is rhyming important for reading?

Being able to break words into smaller parts and recognize smaller parts in words is an important skill that is crucial for reading and spelling. This awareness leads to better reading and writing success. … Rhyming also prepares children to make predictions while learning words and gives them crucial decoding skills.

In Jewish Studies class we are reading a 3 part poem called זה לא אני  (It’s not me) which was written by Israeli poet Leah Goldberg.  The poem is written in rhymes so we challenged ourself to think of rhymes in Hebrew.

Look how many we came up with:

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What is Plot?

plot is a literary term for the main events in a story. It’s also known as the storyline.The plot is created by the story’s author, who arranges actions in a meaningful way to shape the story.  Using an anchor chart, we discussed the 5 elements of a plot and how they relate to each other.  The students then applied their understanding of plot with the book, The Three Little Pigs.  In partner groups they mapped out the story and then transferred their mapping to a plot diagram.

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What are Mixtures?

In Science we learned that in a mixture, different materials are placed together but each material in the mixture keeps its own properties.   You can use the physical properties of a substance to separate it from a mixture.  We separated Chex mix using different physical properties: color, size, shape, and texture.



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Building a Reading Life

Building a reading life is a fundamental component of our reading curriculum.  Through independent reading time, the students are becoming life-long, confident readers.  Research supports the relationship between the amount of reading done and reading achievement.  Getting their “good fit” book, finding their special place to read, becoming invested in their book, watching the “movie in their mind” as they read- this is the most anticipated part of our day!

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Polishing the silver

Here we are polishing the Choshen (breast plate) and Rimonim (bells) which decorate the Torah scroll.  We were helping prepare the Torah scrolls for Rosh HaShana.  Rosh HaShana is the Jewish new year and it is similar to New Year’s Day except that instead of staying up until midnight, you celebrate in the synagogue and at home with family.
It was an honor to take part in polishing the silver like the honor of going on the Bimah.  The Torah scrolls will be adorned (dressed) in white fabric and will have the shiny Choshen and Rimonim when they are used during Rosh HaShana services.  We are looking to seeing the Torah scrolls with their beautiful crowns and breast plates.

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Hands On Science Lab

In Science, we have been learning about the properties of matter.  Mrs. Jaffa directed a lab where the students explored the physical and chemical properties of salt and sugar. They examined the color, texture, shape, and size of the salt and sugar and recorded their findings on a t chart.  Next, they crushed the salt and sugar and examined the changes under the microscope.  Then, they analyzed the solubility of each in cold and hot water.  This lab provided the students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of physical and chemical properties of matter.

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Growth Mindset: Index Card Towers

With growth mindset, students are praised on the process of learning- the effort they put in and the strategies they use.  A willingness to be challenged, fail, and keep trying until they succeed builds the understanding that they can learn anything!  In this activity, the students were challenged to build the tallest index card tower.  Morah Liat and I will be using growth mindset in our classes this year.  We will be discussing growth mindset at Open House.


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Fantastic Fifth Grade!

Morah Liat and I are excited for this school year.  Our learning adventure will begin on August 21st!

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