This week students had a spelling quiz on Monday. They received back quiz results on Tuesday. Students receive a mark on the test itself and on the quality of the sentences they write using weekly spelling words. The test and sentences are graded on a 1 ~ 4 scale. In a previous blog post I uploaded a picture of the rubric I use for this. Most students have spelling edits which they do when they receive back their tests. They write in their student agenda that they had to re-write 2 out of 5 sentences or 4 out of 5 sentences; however many they needed to edit for capitalization, organization, punctuation, sentence structure, grammar or syntax errors. In some instances I stipulate that they must use curricular words to write their sentences, though typically they usually have a choice about the types of words they use from their weekly list. Over the course of the year we have been working together to write longer, more detailed and complex sentences. Many students have improved markedly in this ability since September 2017. Most students were able to write the 'ee' words from last week's list like 'keen' or 'seen' though the more challenging word 'guarantee' which follows both an 'ee' spelling pattern, but also contains the unusual 'ua' vowel combo was quite challenging to many students.
In their legendary stories, students have been working to improve the quality of their writing by trying out new ideas. They have been introduced to the idea of using 'red flag words' to indicate suspenseful elements in the story writing. This week we learned about using word referents. These ideas were introduced to me through the work of Barbara Mariconda:
In class, we talked about how using the same word over and over again can make for a dull story. Word referents are other words that mean the same thing as the main word you are using in a story. As an example, if the legendary story's main character was a tiger, a student could say, snarling beast to describe the tiger or feline predator rather than repeating the word 'tiger' over and over again. Students often do not realize that they can also use pronouns as well rather than repeating the same words over and over again. 4F were introduced to Iris:iris.cbe.ab.ca/Account/Login Most students in class were able to upload a picture of the main character in their legendary story along with a brief description of the character. Most of them wrote the title of their stories on Iris and shared their work with me (and in some instances with Ms. Ross or Ms Asis too). Students can log into IRIS with their CBE student number and password to see the work they've already contributed.
Please have a happy & safe 5-day break from school. I look forward to seeing all my wonderful grade 4 students back on Tuesday Feb. 20. Please read for 20 min. each night over the weekend.