French Reading – Online

The students have access to Info-Jeunes. I used some of the money we received from the Federal Government to cover the cost of this subscription.

I think Info-Jeunes is an amazing resource. It follows current events and for those who have more difficulty in French, there is also a recording of the article that the students can play while reading. I just tested it on my iPad and it works on it as well.

As I’m aware that not all students have the same rules around computer usage at home, I haven’t asked anyone to do it as homework.

If you would like to have access to your child’s account, please add a comment to this blog post to let me know. I will give you your child’s log in information.

Thank you!


Book Club – Final Assignment

The students will be exploring stop animation during the next few weeks. They will use the Stop Motion app to present a scene from the book they read during Book Club.

Stop Motion is a free app so if you have an iPad at home I encourage your child to download it. I also have access to Stop Motion Studio Pro but I much prefer to use the free version at the beginning as it has less features and has everything we will need to create the projects.

Here’s a project I worked on with a small group of teachers many years ago, when iPads weren’t available. You should hear my voice at around the 0:49 mark. Your child should be able to recognize me. 🙂

Text Features – Continued

Our work with text features continues. We are digging a lot deeper than what I’ve done in the past and so far, it has been a rich experience for all of us. The skills that the students are learning during these sessions are important to have, especially when doing independent research projects.

On Monday, while working with Ms. Hong in the library, all students were able to start typing up the information gathered while reading a nonfiction book of their choice. They used the Book Creator app to do this.

Here is an overview of the steps we followed to get us to this point:

Step 1: We discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books. (see  this blog post for more info)

Step 2: The students did a scavenger hunt, using the school library books. The pictures they took can be viewed on Showbie, in the “Text Features – Scavenger Hunt” folder.

Step 3: The students selected a nonfiction book from the library. Many students found the selection process difficult. Their greatest challenge was to ensure that most text features appear in the book they chose.

Step 4: Each student created a “Wonder Web”, using the following graphic organizer. They were not allowed to read their book prior to doing this.


Step 5: To find the answer to their questions, they read the table of contents and the index.  This is what they used to do this. I’ve modified the document as I felt it was not clear enough and a bit confusing.

Step 6: I asked the students to only read the sections that were pertinent to their questions. When we research information, we rarely read an entire book and I wanted the students to get better at this. It seems pretty obvious to us but you would be surprised to see how many students don’t know how to do this. Many also found this part challenging as they were not always looking in the right section. In the end, most students were able to find the answers to their questions.

We also had a great discussion around book selection and what makes a book great as opposed to just okay. Here are the books that turned out to be great:

Step 7: To practice reading headings and subheadings, we also asked everyone to come up with new questions connected to these text features. Although it wasn’t mentioned, I noticed that many used the pictures found on the page to help them write questions. This is what good readers do. We may not necessarily be aware of it but it happens all the time.

Here is the document they used for this step. I apologize for the blurry picture. I took it with my phone and the lighting wasn’t great.



What next?

During the next month, the students will be writing a short nonfiction book using their findings. This will also give them the opportunity to include and create many of the text features they have been learning about during this personal research.

As you can see, learning takes time and for complete mastery of a skill, it is important to dig deep and to revisit what is being taught over a longer period of time. If you would like to support your child at home with this, don’t hesitate to discuss text features with him/her. Here are some keywords for you:

  • Table of Contents
  • Heading
  • Subheading
  • Text Box
  • Caption
  • Label
  • Graph
  • Pictures, Illustrations, Images
  • Maps
  • Glossary
  • Bold, italics
  • Index

Have a great day,


Reading Aloud

We started reading the sequel to Fatty Legs yesterday. As I had difficulty focusing on the words in front of me and could feel a bad headache coming (my contact prescription recently changed and I’m having a hard time adjusting), I had to announce to the class that we would need to wait until Monday to continue our reading.

Thankfully, Ella saved the day by offering to take over and read for me. (Thanks again, Ella!)

Here’s a picture I took of this special moment. In case you are wondering, everyone was weaving while listening to Ella read.

I am very lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of students. They are so generous, kind and respectful of each other. Moments like this make me appreciate my job even more.

Have a great weekend!