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  • Most lessons start with a read-aloud.
  •  Books are selected based on how well they demonstrate the learning objective we are focusing on . I model and do think-alouds for the students, focusing on the skill of the day.
  • After the read aloud, we may continue with a short mini-lesson to reinforce the day's objective. Often the mini-lesson is built into the read-aloud. We create or add to anchor charts or other graphic organizers which note what the student and teacher do during each type of activity or strategies we use while reading. As a class, we keep a “Word Collector” chart to keep track of new and interesting words we encounter while learning.
  • We will keep track of the reading strategies we have learned on our bulletin board and in our reading folders. Students will put their name in the category they are focusing on at any given time.
  • Students will participate in self-selected independent reading. Each student has a book bin, with several books at their reading level. Students work towards individual goals while reading.
  • While the students are reading, the teacher is conferring with individual students about what they are reading or working with groups of students in small groups.
  • After reading, students may complete a closure, response to reading activity. This may include responding in their reading notebooks or talking with a partner or whole group. Students will keep a reading notebook to keep track of their “jots” during reading. Jots are specific assignments linked to the objectives. They then might expand on their “jots” in a short write or long write. “Long writes” writing expands on one of jots.
  • Students will keep a reading log with the date, pages, title, time, and level of books they are reading.
  • Students will be regularly assessed during individual conferences. Additionally, we will do regular test preparation with short reading passages and multiple choice questions.




  • Each day begins with a mini-lesson read aloud reference.  These books are often read previously just for enjoyment.  As we are reading, I stop and think aloud, sometimes marking my thinking on a chart (often prepared before the lesson). Students often turn and talk to an elbow partner about what we are learning.
  • The teacher will regularly write in front of the class to model the process.
  • During a month, we might focus on a specific author or genre and learn about how they come up with their ideas and approach the writing process. Students learn that the writing process is multi-faceted and cyclical.
  • Each student has a writing notebook and a writing folder. In their notebook students keep a “Ideas Page” towards the back of their notebook to write ideas for writing topics. We also have a class basket with mentor texts for students to reference.
  • As the students are writing, the teacher meets and confers with individual students or meets and works with small groups.


Grammar and Mechanics and Word Study

  • Grammar and mechanics will be taught in mini-lessons during writing workshop. Short mentor texts are used to teach grammar and mechanics, focusing in one skill at a time.
  • We create a grammar and mechanics reference chart as a class.
  • The teacher observes student writing and teaches based on student needs.
  • Students will have direct instruction in word study focusing on vocabulary, spelling, and penmanship atleast once a week. Additionally, students will practice these skills as needed in small group instruction in writing.




  • Each day the students will do a 5 minute fact fluency activity to develop automaticity in multiplication/division facts.
  • Students will have access to an interactive word wall with relevant math vocabulary.
  • Each lesson consists of an introductory mini-lesson, a practice activity, a quick check assessment, and a differentiated center activity.
  • During independent work time students will work on the center activities, the daily common core review, do math with a partner or teacher, or work with technology.




  • Each unit and lesson begins with Essential Questions. Students record the questions and write their responses to the questions. As we investigate in these units, students will adjust their answers based on their findings.
  • In each unit students participate in several inquiry activities to introduce concepts.
  • Students read short articles and lessons to explain concepts.
  • Students regularly complete investigations and experiments which include recording data, applying new knowledge, and making connections.
  • Students record their learning, observations, and data in their science inquiry notebooks.
  • Topics this year include: Energy, Waves and Information Transfer, Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Earth's Place in the Universe, Earth's Systems, Earth and Human Activity, Engineering Design


Social Studies

  • Topics this year include: Citizenship and US Government, Geography and Environment of New Jersey, Economics Over Time, History and Culture of New Jersey, Active Citizenship in the 21st Century