We will read a variety of genres and styles of literature this year, with an emphasis on improving reading comprehension and expanding vocabulary. We will read memoirs, novels, historical fiction and fantasy. In addition, we will teach specific strategies for comprehending informational texts. Students will most often be reading in small groups based on reading level, interest and personal choice. We will try to engage students in book club style discussions to improve higher level comprehension and critical thinking. Students often read individual books of their own choice.
We will also work directly on comprehension strategies and vocabulary development as we read non-fiction work in history, math and science. In both fiction and informational reading we use an “active” reading approach where students are taught to utilize prior knowledge, to make connections to the text, and to ask critical questions as they are reading. Students are taught to monitor their own comprehension as they read, and are asked to write thoughtful reflections about the texts that reflect their developing critical thinking skills.
We also have a “read aloud” time each day in which students will be able to focus on improving oral language comprehension and auditory processing and memory. This is an opportunity to practice and model comprehension strategies such as making connections, making inferences, predicting outcomes and recognizing literary devices. We have found that students love this time of day, which they tend to think of as a “rest.”
The Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley enVision math program is used and supplemented with a variety of teacher-selected materials to reinforce skills. All materials have been updated and aligned with the Common Core Standards. Topics studied include:
Motion and Design:
Investigate Simple Machines:
In addition there are mini-units that we review: Electricity/Magnetism, Rocks and Minerals, Light and Sound; a variety of previously covered material to prepare for the Science MCAS
American History Part I:
Students use books, primary sources, periodicals, and the Internet to conduct research, and to develop skills of note taking, report writing, and oral, written and visual presentation.