ECC Buddy Project

We were fortunate enough to be asked by the Curious Monkeys in ECC1 to help them write poems about the photos that they have been taking.

We met with the Curious Monkeys with a list of questions that we had come up with to interview them about their picture. We will use their answers to help us craft a poem about their picture.

Below are pictures of us working with the Curious Monkeys:

Themes of Our Lives

We have started our memoir writing unit. To begin, we dove into multiple memoir mentor texts, trying to deepen our understanding of what a memoir really is. We started to realize that memoir and personal narratives are very similar, so we looked at more mentor texts to compare and contrast these text types. Below is a venn diagram we constructed together.

Next, we started to read more memoirs to pull out themes that we can apply to our own lives. From here, we have started brainstorming stories that go with these themes. We will continue to analyze more memoirs and their themes, before we start to draft our ideas.

Below are pictures of students working in groups to analyze text themes.

Meeting Our Reading Buddies

5A has started to meet with our reading buddies on every day 8. Reading buddies are a great way for us to help and learn with other members of the school, as well as remind us of the role that we play in school as the oldest members at Parkside.


Today, we were fortunate enough to meet with our buddies and celebrate their work on writing that they have been doing .Our buddies shared their published stories with us and we were able to give them compliments about what they did well.

Afterwards, we were able to read some books with them and talk with them about the reading.

Gallery Walk: Writing About our Reading

In reading, we have been working on a number of strategies and tools to deepen our understanding of our texts. The past week, we have been exploring how we can show evidence from our reading when we write. In order to help us continue to grow as readers, we did a gallery walk with our reading responses. Students put a reading response on their table, and had the opportunity to walk around reading others’ reading responses. This allowed us to not only see the different ways that we are all using evidence to support our ideas, but also to get compliments and feedback about how we can improve our ideas.


After the gallery walk, students had a chance to reflect about what they had read and the feedback they had received. They used this to set a goal for the next day about how to take their writing about reading to the next level.

Punctuation Police

Today, 5A turned into detectives, aimed at finding how commas are used in writing. Our goal was to find different ways that we can use commas in our writing, and to come up with rules that we can follow when using commas. Together, we explored what we noticed about the comma in the sentence below:

fullsizerender-20We noticed that it was separating two ideas. We realized that each idea could be a sentence, and that the ideas were connected by the word “and.” We wanted to find more examples of the pattern, so we went on a scavenger hunt to find more sentences where a comma connected two complete ideas. We ended up finding these examples:

img_1988img_1989img_1991From these examples, we realized we could also use “but” and “or” to separate the ideas.

Students then went off on their own to find patterns they noticed with commas. We will continue to put together our patterns, and create our rules we notice for using commas. These rules will help us as we deepen our understanding of how to make our ideas clear. Below are pictures of students looking for commas in different texts.


Visiting Author: David Schwartz

SIS is lucky enough to have David Schwartz visiting us for a couple of days to share his joy of reading and writing, mixed with math and science. Below are some pictures of his visit with 4th and 5th grade this morning. He shared with us a lot of the inspirations that he got for the stories he’s written. Such as the time when he was a kid watching frogs hop, and he started to wonder how far frogs can jump compared to the size of their body. After doing some hands on investigation, he found that frogs jump about 20 times longer than their body, and that if he could jump as far as a frog, he would jump 90 feet.

How do writers plan their ideas?

Today in writing, we explored different ways that we can plan our ideas for our writing. We looked at several examples of how writers use planning, and then used a strategy that worked for us to plan. Some students created outlines of their pieces, others made webs to help plan characters and settings.writinerideas