Charts with Children of the Gold Rush

rsbsadmin 4.4 Children of the Gold Rush, Charts, Janet Erickson 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 …

MLK and Writing

rsbsadmin 3.3 Martin Luther King Jr., Sarah Linington, Writing 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 0 Comments

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 …

The Shiloh Unit of Study

rsbsadmin 4.1 Shiloh, C.I.A. Approach, Ryan Painter 0 Comments

Beginning the Shiloh Unit We just finished the first quadrant of Shiloh!  My students are falling in love with this book and they are instantly getting strong feelings of dislike towards Judd.  This was a great time to make a connection between Castle in the Attic and Shiloh.  We already read Castles and have learned the evil ways of Alastor.  …

background knowledge janet

Background Knowledge in Streams

rsbsadmin 4.3 Streams to the River, River to the sea, Background Knowledge, Janet Erickson 0 Comments

One reason I love the third CIA unit for 4th grade, Streams to the River, River to the Sea, is the opportunity to integrate Social Studies content and skills throughout the book.  Students use skills like reading maps, making and using timelines, and of course learning about the explorers and Native Americans of the Northwest.  They will start using these …

background mlk

Building Background for Martin Luther King

rsbsadmin 3.3 Martin Luther King Jr., Background Knowledge, Sarah Linington 0 Comments

The third graders and I have been waiting excitedly to jump into our next CIA unit… Frustratingly, my actual start date of the Martin Luther King, Jr. biography unit kept getting pushed back, first as I gathered and prepared my materials, then as I fit it into our district unit of study in nonfiction, and finally as I stayed home …

Using Outside Text for Background Knowledge

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Background Knowledge, Ryan Painter 0 Comments

As we are starting our second unit this year (Shiloh) I try to pull in as many different resources that I can to help build the background knowledge for the students.  This helps everyone get a better understanding of the setting (time or place) of the story and help create any visuals needed to increase comprehension.  You can continue to …

Building Background Knowledge

rsbsadmin 5th Grade, Background Knowledge, Lynn Boze 0 Comments

Building background knowledge depends on what my students already know and can do. At the beginning of the year, I give them a couple of surveys so I can get to know something about them fast. I also try to do an individual reading survey with them to get an idea of what they are currently reading and their likes …