Work on skills/fluency continues as needed, but increased emphasis is on comprehension and interpretation. We work on strategies used by good readers and on choosing "just right" books to read. Students have ample opportunity to select books of their own choice from our classroom library. There will also be times when the teacher selects the book the student will be reading. Students are taught about using evidence from their reading to explain (orally and in writing) their factual understanding, interpretations/inferences, and comparisons to other readings. Students learn to lead discussion and activity groups and to record and report on the work conducted.
Students are exposed to as many different literature forms as possible, including fiction, biography, other nonfiction and poetry. Some reading material is integrated with the science and social studies units and is research based (reading to find general or specific information.)
The teaching of writing focuses on the writing process in expository, persuasive, narrative and creative genres, with attention to different ways of adding description and improving the appearance of the piece. Spelling rules, grammar, parts of speech, shades of meaning, word families, and figurative language continue to be taught. The Six Traits model is used for assessing and strengthening writing skills and as a guide for developing rubrics for individual projects. Students learn to share their work in small groups and receive helpful critiquing from teachers and peers.
Study of North America:
Students use computers to do word-processing, skill reinforcement, and research. They learn to use PowerPoint and other programs as vehicles for demonstrating learning.
The arts are integrated with language arts and social studies via songs, plays, mixed media (e.g. watercolors, paint, pastels, cut paper) and Visual Arts projects.