Hooked on CIA: Reflections on the Year

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Year End Review 0 Comments

My CIA experience this year was AMAZING!  My students are hooked on the CIA reading program!  Here are our teacher and student reflections on the year: Teacher Reflection One of the biggest things I have noticed from my students this year is their confidence in reading and writing.  They have all made huge strides in my classroom this year.  I …

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 …

Dawn’s Year End Review – Looking Forward

rsbsadmin 3rd Grade, Dawn Smith, Year End Review 0 Comments

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Vocab Handbooks

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Vocabulary 0 Comments

One part of the CIA program that I really enjoy is the vocabulary handbooks.  This is a great way to teach new vocab words to students.  By introducing them to a word before they hear/read it in the text it really helps students with their comprehension.  This allows them to identify these words and how they are used in context …

Castle in the Attic CIA

rsbsadmin 4.2 The Castle in the Attic, C.I.A. Approach, Ryan Painter 0 Comments

Beginning Castle in the Attic As a grade level we have to rotate CIA units so this year I started off with Castle in the Attic.  This is the first time I am teaching this unit and my class is super excited to read it!  The first couple weeks of the year I tried to mention CIA knowing that my …

Classroom Turn and Talk

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Turn and Talk 0 Comments

We just finished our first quadrant of Castles in the Attic and one of the most important parts in the first quadrant is setting up your routines for Turn and Talks.  You need to have this system set in place and agreed upon by your students.  As you know the beginning of the book has a lot of modeling and …

Building a Castle

rsbsadmin 4.2 The Castle in the Attic, Additional Activities, Ryan Painter 0 Comments

I had this great idea of having my students each build a castle of their own out of cardboard.  This first time idea of mine turned into a three week project that took up every extra inch of spare room in my class and I ran out of cardboard twice!  So it did take longer than I had planned, but …

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 …