Sarah’s Year End Review

rsbsadmin 3rd Grade, Sarah Linington, Year End Review Leave a Comment

The students and I know our classroom would have been a very different place without CIA this year. I know: CIA determined our reading block structures (we missed it when we had breaks between). CIA set a social studies theme that helped us with our actual social studies big ideas. CIA helped me facilitate student independent work habits in a …

writing letters to augusta scattergood

Writing for Glory Be

rsbsadmin 3.4 Glory Be, Dawn Smith, Writing Leave a Comment

My class has just finished reading our final CIA book of the year, Glory Be. As always, it is always bittersweet when we finish a book, but even more so with this book as it is the last time I was going to listen to the great discussions and ideas that my students have about a wonderful book. Spring seems …

Dawn’s Year End Review – Looking Forward

rsbsadmin 3rd Grade, Dawn Smith, Year End Review Leave a Comment

It is hard to believe that another school year is going to be over in just a few days! It seems like it was just yesterday that started. With all the craziness that come with closing up a classroom for the year, and the fun activities that are scheduled, I find myself reflecting and thinking about what I plan to …

book clubs 3rd grade

Book Clubs in 3rd Grade

rsbsadmin 3.2 The War with Grandpa, Book Clubs, Dawn Smith Leave a Comment

Forming the Groups When I heard that there were going to be book clubs that partnered up with the CIA books, I was more than excited to have my students to have a similar experience with book clubs that I’ve had. I decided to begin the book clubs the second week after Spring Break.  This gave me plenty of time to …

charts glory be

Glory Be: Charts and Vocabulary

rsbsadmin 3.4 Glory Be, Charts, Sarah Linington Leave a Comment

“But it was so much fun!” This was in response (from my most busy girl) to a very long catch-up reading session, after which I drooped and said, “Thank you for sticking with it today. That was a lot of work!” When she said that, I perked back up. She was right—it was fun! We co-created charts (we’re old hands …

City of Ember Writing

rsbsadmin 5.5 The City of Ember, Lynn Boze, Writing Leave a Comment

The last 5th grade CIA unit is the City of Ember written by Jeanne DuPrau.  It is about a futuristic society that was built underground to save the human race from extinction. The people who live in Ember do not know any of this.  All they know is that everything in their environment relies on electricity.  But, the generator that …

Charts with Children of the Gold Rush

rsbsadmin 4.4 Children of the Gold Rush, Charts, Janet Erickson Leave a Comment

This is my first time teaching 4.4, Children of the Gold Rush, and I’m really enjoying it! My students love the topic so far, and all the background knowledge-building has led to great questions about the time period, people, and geography of the Klondike/Alaskan gold rush. Prior to starting the unit, I made arrangements for a field trip to the …

Teaching Genre with Glory Be

rsbsadmin 3.4 Glory Be, C.I.A. Approach, Dawn Smith Leave a Comment

Glory Be Has Begun! After we came back from Spring Break, we started our final CIA unit of the school year, Glory Be. I was afraid that my students would have forgotten some of the important ideas that we had learned about segregation and the Civil Rights movement from our Martin Luther King Jr CIA unit. My class proved me …

Background Knowledge for Streams to the River

rsbsadmin 4.3 Streams to the River, River to the sea, Background Knowledge, Ryan Painter Leave a Comment

We are starting Streams to the River this month just as we are finishing our Native American unit in Social Studies.  This year we studied the Pacific Coastal People in a Story Path.  This curriculum leads the students through an interactive story about the Native Americans in our region of Washington.  At the beginning of the unit the classroom creates …

4th Grade Writers

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Writing Leave a Comment

Writing is a big part of the CIA program as it gives students a chance to think deeper about a text.  I love how the quadrants all end in a writing assignment.  After reading multiple units students know what to expect when they reach the end of a quadrant.  This year I will complete three units whole class with one …

CIA and the Common Core State Standards

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, C.I.A. Approach, Janet Erickson Leave a Comment

Recently I’ve had several opportunities for professional development on the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. What I kept realizing, over and over, is that I am teaching to these learning targets everyday as I use the C.I.A. Approach. I kept thinking, “Oh, I do that with my students… Hey, my kids do that… That’s part of our …

Science Connections with Chains

rsbsadmin 5.3 Chains, Additional Activities, Heidi Finley Leave a Comment

I am often looking for ways to help my students understand the time period of the Revolutionary War. Many years ago I stumbled upon a cartoon called Liberty’s Kids. This is a show that was created by PBS (Find it here on Amazon) . There are 60 episodes that tell the tale of this time period. There are two teenagers …

Smarter Balanced Testing in 4th Grade

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Testing Leave a Comment

This year my school is piloting the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and we will not be taking the MSP.  The SBAC has writing and reading comprehension combined in a new English Language Arts exam.  After reviewing this test I realized that it provides several opportunities to use CIA strategies!  Both of these tests, MSP and SBAC, are challenging …

Kids at Work

rsbsadmin 5.4 Kids at Work, Lynn Boze, Writing 1 Comment

My students are reading the fourth unit of study, Kids at Work by Russell Freedman.  Like the other Units of Study Sarah Collinge has written, Sarah has chosen a book that speaks to kids and gives them important issues to think and talk about.  Many of my students said they knew nothing about child labor and are glad they know …

Historical Fiction – Chains

rsbsadmin 5.3 Chains, C.I.A. Approach, Lynn Boze Leave a Comment

My class will begin reading Chains in January. There are a couple of things I think about, one the genre is Historical Fiction and two, it will be the longest book students have read so far during the school year.  I know from past experience that the length of the book will, at first, intimidate them.  In order to help …

MLK and Writing

rsbsadmin 3.3 Martin Luther King Jr., Sarah Linington, Writing Leave a Comment

Making Connections Well, we are finally halfway through Martin Luther King Jr.’s biography! It feels like we’ve been reading this short book forever…and yet the students are not bored or in need of extra entertainment to stay engaged. They have taken the big ideas and the details to heart, searching each week in library for connecting texts and noticing protests …

author's craft

Author’s Craft, Background, and Vocabulary

rsbsadmin 4.3 Streams to the River, River to the sea, Janet Erickson Leave a Comment

Things are happening in Room 211!  I’m excited to share a few recent experiences with you – and they all have to do with THINKING, which is my very favorite thing to see my students doing! Streams to the River, River to the Sea has offered great experiences in close reading and deep thinking.  Here are a few highlights: Author’s …

independent reading

Independent Reading and Free Reading

rsbsadmin 3rd Grade, Dawn Smith, Independent Reading Leave a Comment

When I’m meeting with small groups, my students are get this….. READING!!!! It is so great! All my students are reading books of their choice at their level. Some of my students are reading books such as Biscuit all the way to one of the books from the Goosebumps series. Making this happen in my classroom has been a long …