This week, 4th Grade began a new study of the Roald Dahl book, BFG. If you haven’t read this children’s literature gem, I highly recommend it! Through this novel, we have practiced using some tools of good readers. Some of the things we focused on this week were describing character’s feelings, SWBS (Somebody Wanted But So), distinguishing between events and details, and STP (Stop Think Paraphrase). These are skills that every good reader uses no matter what book they are reading! Ask your child what these new acronyms mean.
“Writers first live intensely and only then write about their experiences. In the same way, writers first read intensely and only then write about that experience.”
This was the quote from Lucy Calkins to kick off our Literary Essay writing unit. A literary essay tells about a theme, or big idea, in a book you have read. Before you can write a strong literary essay, you must first read deeply and intensely. In order to master this challenge the students spent a week practicing the art of analyzing key features in texts that they are very familiar with, such as “Eleven” by Susan Cisneros.
We had another great afternoon on the water practicing our sweep strokes and pivot turns! This time we even got to show off our coolest, silliest and craziest tricks on the paddleboards. Ask your child whose trick was their favorite! We had to end the trip a few minutes early due to thunder from incoming storms, but I think the whole class would agree that we had a blast and learned a lot. Next week we are on to kayaking!