looking back

Janet’s Year End Review – Looking Back

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Janet Erickson, Year End Review 0 Comments

Looking Back It’s hard to believe another school year is complete.  This year will be one that I always remember with fondness; the students in my class were exceptionally kind, eager to learn, and attentive.  Pretty much a dream class… So I’ve been thinking back about the things that really stood out this year.  I started Shiloh, the first CIA …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Castle in the Attic Project

rsbsadmin 4.2 The Castle in the Attic, Additional Activities, Janet Erickson 0 Comments

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 …

Castle in the Attic with Janet Erickson

rsbsadmin 4.2 The Castle in the Attic, C.I.A. Approach, Janet Erickson 0 Comments

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. …

Book Club with Janet Erickson

rsbsadmin 4.1 Shiloh, Book Clubs, Janet Erickson 0 Comments

Starting the Book Clubs The Book Clubs are so much fun.  Every student is reading, talking about their book, or writing about it for the entire Book Club time.  It’s such a great use of reading time – no one is waiting!  I have three groups.  In the below-grade-level group there are six kids reading Shoeshine Girl, and in the …

Student Writing and Projects with Shiloh

rsbsadmin 4.1 Shiloh, Janet Erickson, Writing 0 Comments

Shiloh Writing Two very exciting things have happened recently in our reading of Shiloh.  First, we reached the end of the first quadrant, so the students had their first opportunity to respond in writing individually, using the writing frame.  To make this a little more accessible to my students, who have very little prior experience with this type of writing, I …

Classroom Setup – Janet Erickson

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Classroom Setup & Routines, Janet Erickson 0 Comments

My CIA Classroom The first full week of school is over, and the kids are already so excited about reading Shiloh!  It’s surprising how quickly students learn the routines of Read Aloud the ‘CIA way.’  Last weekend I made a list of reading partners, and introduced the “red and “blue” partner roles on Monday.  (Disclaimer – our school colors are …