Category Archives: Daily Five

Wordy Nerdery – Morphology & Etymology

I borrowed the titles of this post from a blog of the same title about word study using inquiry.

We are in the beginning stages of our inquiry, looking at prefixes, suffixes and base words.  I assign some words and the students try to figure out the base word and then find its etymology (history – which language it originates from).  The groups then find other words that share the same base and create a word matrix which clearly demarcates the different parts of the work.  My hope it to get to the level of word knowledge that we can do inquiry like the Wordy Nerdys do!


Here is some of our work so far.

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Another way to increase our vocabulary is to read daily.


and here we are reading!

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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Read to Self, Reading, Word Work


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More Place Value

In math today we talked about place value.  We came up with two defininitions:














The students did some practice with place value – those who did not finish have homework for this evening – due on Monday as we will not have math tomorrow (Fall Fair).

In English the students did independent reading and wrote their reading log letters which are due weekly.  First I modeled what a letter would look like using a book I had read to the class.  Here is the example:  Carpet Boys Gift Response

While students were working independently I started the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) which is our diagnostic reading test.  I will use the results to plan for guided reading groups.


Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Math, Read to Self


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Strategies and Review

Today we talked about two reading strategies, Making Connections and Tuning into New Words.  They are both up on our Literacy Cafe Board now.


Making connections is when we can connect something we already know with the text we are reading.  For example, today Ms. Little read the book The Carpet Boy’s Gift.  It is about a young boy named Nadeemwho is sold to a carpet factory.  In the story Iqbal Masih is a character.  Iqbal was a real boy in Pakistan who fought for the rights of children and help to change the law to make it illagal for children to be sold and work to pay off the debt.  The carpet factory owners had him assassinated!  Ms. Little remembers when that happened and connected the book to Craig & Marc Kielbrger, two Canadian boys who read the story of Iqbal and were inspired to help change the world.  We will learn more about them later.  Ms. Little made text-to-world connections.  Our class will be talking about human and children’s rights more in the near future.

Tuning into new words is just that, paying attention to them, maybe writing them down and figuring out what they mean from the context of the sentence or by looking them up.  We started to keep track of new words today.  Our goal is to collect 8-10 new words per week.  Watch our vocabularies grow!


In math we reviewed place value and rounding as an estimating strategy.  We will continue to work on these concepts for the next few days – watch for photos of our work!


Ms. Little will be meeting with everyone over the next few weeks to set reading, writing and math goals that are based on the diagnostic assessments we have been doing in class.



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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Comprehension Strategies, Daily Five, Math


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Beginning our Routines

Today we started to learn our Math and Language Arts (English) routines.

In math I use a three-part lesson. The first part is a “minds on” activity that warms up our brains for the main course. Then we have the lesson which can be in the form of a problem to solve, a game, practice, review, etc. Finally, there is the consolidation where we discuss and write about what we have learned that day (or for the past few days if the lesson takes longer). The lessons will be differentiated by grade and by readiness level of the students. Today we played a game called “Get to 1000”. This game reinforces multiplying and adding skills, problem solving and strategizing.

Get to 1000

Materials Needed:

One die for each pair.

Directions for playing:

1. Player, in pairs, take turns rolling a die. On each roll, each player decides separately whether he or she wants to multiply the number on the die by 1, 10, or 100.

2. Each player records the rsulting product on a piece of paper.

3. Players continue to roll, multiply, and record their products until they each have ten products on their paper. (5 times each)

4. Each player finds the sum of their products. The one whose final score is closer to 1000 wins.

In English we learned about meta-cognition, thinking about our thinking while we read. Good readers use many strategies to help them understand the text. We will be learning about and using many strategies this year.

We also started our Daily Five routines which are outlined here:

We have just begun our Daily 5 and CAFÉ adventure! This is the reading and writing program implemented in my classroom.

Daily 5 is the structure we will use to plan our morning. Children will be busy completing meaningful literacy tasks. The choices will be:

Read to self
Work on writing
Word Work
Listen to reading
Read to Someone

Right now, we are focusing on increasing our stamina to work independently during Read to Self and Read to Someone. Within the next few months, the other choices will be introduced. While the students are completing their literacy tasks, I will be meeting with small groups and conferencing with individual students.

Daily 5 is how we schedule our language block. CAFÉ is what we study during this time. CAFÉ is an acronym for the four major components of reading. They are:

C for Comprehension
A for Accuracy
F for Fluency
E for Expanding Vocabulary

The children will learn reading strategies within each category. These strategies will become tools for the children to use to help themselves become better readers and writers. I will keep you informed when new strategies are introduced. Then, when you read with your child at home, you will be able to reinforce these concepts.

It is going to be exciting to watch your child’s reading and writing skills blossom throughout the year. If you have any questions regarding this program, please ask. I am always enthusiastic to share what I know about Daily 5 and CAFÉ!

We had a good day!


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