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 …

The Shiloh Unit of Study

rsbsadmin 4.1 Shiloh, C.I.A. Approach, Ryan Painter Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 Leave a Comment

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 …

Castle in the Attic Project

rsbsadmin 4.2 The Castle in the Attic, Additional Activities, Janet Erickson Leave a Comment

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to have the student create their own coat of arms to use as a cover for the collection of work from Castle in the Attic.  Online I found a list of attributes often symbolized in coats of arms, as well as the colors, animals, and symbols that represented each one.  The …

Narrative Writing with Holes

rsbsadmin 5.2 Holes, Heidi Finley, Writing Leave a Comment

I am always looking for ways to use the CIA whole group books to reach other standards. In the weeks following Winter break and before I was ready to start the next small group book I had to find something to do with my students. In sheer desperation to find a way to work on narrative writing last year (which …

Building Background Knowledge for MLK

rsbsadmin 3.3 Martin Luther King Jr., Background Knowledge, Dawn Smith Leave a Comment

The Importance of Background Knowledge Over the winter break, I went to go see the movie The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. I really enjoyed the movie a lot! I’ve read the book, The Hobbit, saw the cartoon version as a kid, and watched the first installment of the series the night before. I’ve also read and then watched …


Student Engagement

rsbsadmin 5th Grade, C.I.A. Approach, Heidi Finley Leave a Comment

Well, I sit here trying to figure out what to write about engagement. I have never used a curriculum or program for literacy that has captivated every 5th grader the way the CIA approach does. Whenever you use any other curriculum or program you really skim the surface of text. You might focus on a particular skill for week or …

The CIA Approach in The War with Grandpa

rsbsadmin 3.2 The War with Grandpa, C.I.A. Approach, Hilary Cullen Leave a Comment

I cannot believe we are in the process of wrapping up the writing project that follows our read aloud The War With Grandpa. This unit just flew by. My students had such a fun time making connections with the struggle that comes with being in a disagreement with a family member. This was a great choice on Sarah’s part for …

Reader’s Notebooks in 3rd Grade

rsbsadmin 3rd Grade, Hilary Cullen, Reader's Notebooks Leave a Comment

Reader’s notebooks are so important to the development of reading skills. I am always reminding my class that we should read like and investigator and write like a reporter. The reader’s notebook helps us with both of these things. With CIA, students have the opportunity to practice many different note taking skills. The notebook is a tool they can use …

Writing at the End of The War with Grandpa

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

Synthesis Summary For our synthesis summary, we did the oral retell with our Turn and Talk partners. This really helped the students gather their ideas, think about the entire story, and prepare for the actual writing that was going to occur the next day. I had written the graphic organizer on the board, and also gave them the actual prewrite organizer …

conflict continuum

Using Charts to Help Comprehend Conflict

rsbsadmin 3.2 The War with Grandpa, Charts, Hilary Cullen Leave a Comment

Understanding Conflict Throughout Sarah’s units of study the discussion about conflict arises. I have realized the importance in the knowledge of what conflict is and different ways it can be solved. In my classroom mid-way through War with Grandpa, I will do an activity with my students using a word continuum for the word conflict. We will use register tape …

Castle in the Attic with Janet Erickson

rsbsadmin 4.2 The Castle in the Attic, C.I.A. Approach, Janet Erickson Leave a Comment

Castle in the Attic My students are really into Castle in the Attic!  We have almost reached the end of the second quadrant, so they have a good understanding of the characters and the problem that is developing.  Imagine a giant GASP! when I read: He could make her small and keep her.  Of course, he could.  With the token. …


Using Poppy to Grow as Readers and Writers

rsbsadmin 3.1 Poppy, Sarah Linington, Vocabulary Leave a Comment

The Dark Emperor Poppy allowed us to jump off into other aspects of the Reader’s Workshop: word choice, fluency, partner reading with purpose, and much more. In the time between finishing Poppy and winter break, we have been gleefully exploring the poetry collection Dark Emperor as our primary text (as suggested by Sarah Collinge at the last class I attended.) …

Fluency with Holes

rsbsadmin 5.2 Holes, Fluency, Heidi Finley Leave a Comment

Recently, I was in a meeting with teachers from different grade levels and the Executive Director of Assessment and Student Learning. We were looking at my school’s 5th grade level reading assessments both from the state and district. We are working on coming up with ways to look at data and find ways to make a goal, plan, and a …