Dear Families,

This past week, students successfully recorded their TedTalks using the educational program Flipgrid. Flipgrid is a program where a teacher asks his or her students a question, and students answer the question by filming a short recording. Tasked with giving their TedTalk on their nonfiction reading topic students researched, students presented their information in this engaging way. They were then able to view each others’ videos and comment via video. I’m new to using Flipgrid, but we’ll definitely be using it more throughout the year. I’m trying to figure out a way if I can share them with you. I will let you know how that works once I become more fluent in using this program.

With the end of one reading unit comes the start of another reading unit. Our new reading unit is titled Advocacy and Argument. It focuses on how as readers, we need to become accustomed to reading arguments and weighing the reasons and evidence provided. We started the unit by discussing the term argument. Many students shared how an argument is a fight or a conflict. Many referenced verbal fights that happened between them and their families. When I showed them the definition of the word “argument”, I noted how the first definition of the word is “a reason for or against something.” The second definition noted “an angry disagreement.” To learn why we are learning how to read arguments, we simply looked at pictures of cereal boxes. Each cereal box presented an argument and attempted to support that argument with reasons and evidence. We identified the reasons and discussed whether or not the evidence was worthy. Next up, students will work in research groups to read about a specific argument, like plastic bags, plastic bottles, zoos, and dodgeball, to name a few.

We are very close to finishing our read-aloud book, A Long Way from Chicago. If you’re a fan of quality literature, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s beautiful! It’s been an extremely enjoyable read. When I started reading this book, I told the students that Grandma Dowdel, the protagonist in the book, is one of my favorite book characters of all time. As I’ve read the book, the students have understood why through Grandma’s dialogue and action.

Please remember weekend expectations: read for 30 minutes every day, study spelling words, and make sure math homework is completed (varies depending on math class.)’

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and because I can’t deny my roots, Go Pats!

Mr. B

Vocab of the Week: blunder, shimmer, meaningfully, holler