Getting Organized: Google Classroom, Powerschool and Homework

This week on Thursday and Friday (days 1 and 2), we’ll review Google Classroom and Powerschool to see if there’s anything we are missing. Then we’ll set goals for the next week for things related to Homework Completion, study skills, etc. 

We’ll also get into the routine of doing our individual math warmups, and we’ll spend time reading–so bring your independent reading book please!

Math Conferences and Reading

This week on Tuesday and Wednesday (days 7 and 8) we’ll kick off our math conferences. Ms. Khanna and I have identified math skills and concepts for individual students to focus on the for the next month or so and we’ll explain how we’re going to practice that. In addition, we’ll follow up with our reading conferences and spend some time practicing reading. Please bring your independent reading book to class!


Determining Importance–in reading and math!

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, (days 3 and 4) we’ll do some math probes. These will not go on your report card, but will help us (you, me, Mr. Ho and Ms. Khanna) figure out what you’re good at in math, and where we might want to review. This will help us focus our energy more efficiently, because it will help us determine what is most important for you to work on. 

Determining Importance is a thinking strategy that is often talked about in Humanities. It helps us when we do research, and it helps us figure out the big ideas or themes in literature we read. However, it’s also useful when we are deciding what homework to do first and what subjects to study hardest on. Reflecting on our strengths and needs as learners will help us determine what we want to focus on!

Reading Strategy Review

Good readers think as we read; that’s why we say ‘Reading is Thinking.’ There are many ways to think about what we read, but most good readers use a mix of strategies. On days 1 and 2 this week, (Monday and Tuesday), we’ll review some of the ways good readers think about what we read. You’ve probably been hearing about this in Humanities, but a little review is always a good thing, since effective reading is one of the most important ‘study skills’ there is.

I’ll demonstrate these a quick read aloud from a book I like. Then when we meet individually on day 5 and 6 to talk about your reading goals,  I’ll check in with you about what strategies you are currently using the most.

Below are some strategies good readers use when reading.

Good readers:

Connect: Good readers use what they know to better understand what they read.

  • ‘This reminds me of something that happened to me.’Reading is thinking
  • ‘This reminds me of something I know from school.’
  • This reminds me of another book I read.

Question: Good readers ask questions as they read.

  • ‘I wonder….
  • ‘Who, what, where, when, why?’

Predict: Good readers use clues to think what might happen next.

  • ‘I predict ____ will happen…’
  • ‘I think this character will____ because….’

Infer: Good readers use clues and what they know to understand things that are not directly stated in a book.

  • ‘I think this means that…’
  • ‘This clue makes me think the character is nervous/sad/happy.’

Visualize and use sensory images: Good readers imagine what a story looks, smells, sounds like…

  • ‘In my mind I see…’
  • ‘In my mind, I hear…’

Determine what is important: Good readers use what is important in what I read so they can summarize it or find answers to what they want to know.

  • ‘This was mainly about….
  • ‘I found answers to what I wanted to know in chapter 5 of this book….’

Synthesize: Good readers pull together many ideas to find the big ideas or themes in what they read.

  • ‘The theme of this book is….’
  • ‘One big idea I see here is that…’

Use evidence: Good readers support my thinking about what they read with evidence or clues.

  • ‘I think this because it says…’
  • Because I know____, and it says ____, I think….’
  • ‘I can tell____, because it says_____’