Grade 5 Literacy"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase
students reading pic.jpg
This year literacy will be taught using the Reader's Workshop Balanced Literacy model. This is a time when students experiment with various reading strategies and deepen thinking skills in response to a variety of genres. In the beginning of the workshop students will be guided by a mini lesson. Once released to "workshop" students are self directed.

Students are practicing skills/strategies from the mini lesson, working independently, working in small peer led groups, having a reading conference with the teacher, working on independent reading goals, reading to someone, working with words, meeting in reading groups led by the teacher, or any other activity!

During this time the teacher is often with students in book clubs, observing and collecting data, or conducting individual reading conferences. Students are encouraged to try new genres or read about unknown topics. Student reading goals are set based on MAP data and reevaluated after our next MAP session.

Making Thinking Visible
Fostering thinking requires making thinking visible. Thinking happens mostly in our heads, invisible to others and even to ourselves. Effective thinkers make their thinking visible, meaning they externalize their thoughts through speaking, writing, drawing, or some other method. Students can then direct and improve those thoughts. Visible thinking also emphasizes documenting thinking for later reflection. Parents will see evidence of this practice in weekly contracts. (source:

Build a Deeper Understanding of ... by making thinking visible in a journal
  • making your inner "thinking" voice visible before, during and after reading. Focus on...
      • Themes
      • Conflict
      • Inferences based on action and dialogue (evidence)
      • Inferring character motives, emotions and traits
      • Generalizations
      • Author's Point of View
      • Connections
      • Non Fiction Text Structures and how the structures enhances your comprehension

Build Deeper Connections by Comparing and Contrasting
  • themes
  • firsthand and secondhand accounts
  • author's craft
  • author's choice in structures within a text:
      • nonfiction text structures
      • author's treatment of a theme
      • infer using your symbolism awareness and critical object justifications skills
      • traditional literature (types of conflicts ----->( weak v. strong, good v. evil, rich v. poor)
      • traditional literature (infer the meaning of the moral in a fable)
      • traditional literature (analyze the theme and conflict within myths)