August 8, 2013 Miss Hoffman’s language arts class

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August 8, 2013


What’s happening in language arts this year?

Your child participates in 120 minutes of literacy instruction each day. This time is split between a variety of activities…

  • Guided reading will be taught from the Wonders (Mcgraw Hill) reading series, improving your child’s reading CRAFT (comprehension, response to text, accuracy, fluency and terms and vocabulary). Our class will read together, and many times break into smaller groups (reading from different leveled texts).

  • Writing is taught through Writer’s Workshop. We will work on our writers’ VOICES (voice, organization, ideas, conventions, excellent word choice and sentence fluency.) This is a time that puts students in control of what they write. A short lesson or skill will be taught, and then students will be asked to write what they would like in order to practice that skill. We will work through the writing process using the Write Source textbook. Students will produce a narrative, persuasive, expository, descriptive, and research paper this year!

  • Grammar skills will be practiced throughout the year. Students will work on transferring what they learn during class lessons into their writing. We will also practice grammar daily using DOL (daily oral language) and Use it Don’t Lose it.

  • Station work will occur weekly in language arts class. Students will be divided into groups and will work at their own level to complete station activities. These may include leveled reading practice, vocabulary development; work with spelling patterns, silent reading, or reading with a partner. There will be other games and activities to reinforce or enrich skill development for the week.

  • Student Resource Time or SRT is an extra 30 minutes that is built into our language arts block. Students will be broken into smaller groups based on areas of need and will be remediated or enriched accordingly. Activities may include working with a small group, developing strategies to decode words and text, working on the computers, practicing fluency and comprehension skills or any other activities to strengthen and deepen understanding.


DOL (Daily Oral Language) paper:

Each morning during homeroom time your child will work on correcting two sentences for grammatical mistakes. We will go over these corrections at the beginning of each language arts class and discuss the reasons why the changes need to be made. Your child should correct anything he/she did not catch at this time. These will be collected weekly and checked for completion. There will be a DOL assessment every four weeks over the skills we have practiced. Be sure to save DOL papers from the weekly packets to prepare for assessments.


This is a resource that is used along with DOL for morning work each day to review grammar skills that are taught throughout the year. It is composed of 5 questions that contain a spiral review and become more difficult as the year progresses. Students become exposed to new vocabulary and grammar terms.


You will see fluency charts go home throughout the year. This is a way for your child to practice oral reading fluency. I time the class for a minute as they read to a partner. On Friday, your child will be answering the comprehension questions. After reading with their partner, the students will work together to discuss their reading. The idea is that over time, fluency (and as a result, comprehension) will improve. This is not graded, but simply a way for students to track their progress.


Your child will decorate a composition notebook that they will keep with them throughout the year. This is their Brain Book. Your child’s Brain Book will be used for reading and writing instruction. This will be an interactive notebook that we will use to store important information and reference sheets, store our own personal spelling dictionary, reflect about our reading, and come up with writing ideas and drafts. This is a great place to look for more information about what your child is learning in Language Arts.


Your child is expected to bring a choice book to language arts (and their other classes). I expect this book to be at their independent reading level. We will work on reading a variety of genres throughout the year and finding one or several that interests him/her. We will be working with the librarians to help find books, and we will also use my classroom library. Becoming a better reader comes with practice and I hope to establish the love of authentic reading.


(This is a very rough outline and may change as the year progresses, but it is a guide for what to expect)

  • Every day as intro work, we will correct two DOL sentences and complete our spiral review with Use it, Don’t Lose It. In addition, we will develop fluency daily.


  • Introduce weekly reading series theme

  • Introduce 8 new vocabulary words. Record these words, a meaningful definition, and a “quick pic” in a VOCABULARY circle map. Students should study these each night! This sheet should be kept in the homework folder.

  • Introduce a reading comprehension skill, vocabulary skill, and practice these by reading a short story from the Wonders series.

  • 2-sided vocabulary/genre skill homework paper assigned- due Friday

  • Vocabulary circle maps- due Wednesday


  • Mini lesson on a weekly skill

  • 2 LEVELED/DIFFERENTIATED center rotations (students will rotate through a guided reading station and two of the following stations: Spelling, vocabulary, comprehension skill, vocabulary skill, grammar, or writing).


  • Mini lesson on a weekly skill

  • 2 LEVELED/DIFFERENTIATED center rotations (students will rotate through a guided reading station and two of the following stations: Spelling, vocabulary, comprehension skill, vocabulary skill, grammar, or writing).

  • Collect vocabulary circle map homework.


  • Mini lesson on a weekly skill

  • 2 LEVELED/DIFFERENTIATED center rotations (students will rotate through a guided reading station and two of the following stations: Spelling, vocabulary, comprehension skill, vocabulary skill, grammar, or writing).


  • Collect all work from the week:

    • DOL/ Use It, Don’t Lose It paper

    • Fluency chart

    • Station work (one of these station papers will be graded for accuracy and the remaining will be checked for completion)

    • 2-sided vocabulary/genre skill homework paper

  • Vocabulary/reading skills review

  • Take weekly reading skills assessment

  • Every four weeks, take DOL assessment

** I would suggest checking your child’s classwork at home after stations to make sure it is their best work these are taken for an accuracy grade and I often see silly mistakes **


The breakdown for grades in reading will be as follows

20% homework,

40% in-class work (station work) and projects

40% tests and quizzes

Our Language grades will be broken down as follows:

20% of the in-class work will be DOL and Use It Don’t Lose It!

30% will be delegated to in-class activities.

40% for test/quizzes and papers.

10% homework

Any homework not completed fully on the day it is due will receive a percentage grade based on the amount that is done. Students whose homework is not 100% complete will be assigned to stay in for study hall to work on it. All students receiving anything less than an 80% on homework will have the option to redo/complete it and hand it into the late homework tray to receive a maximum of an 80% on the assignment. An “R” will be marked on a paper to indicate it was a redo. No extra copies will be made (unless a student is absent, of course! ) Extra copies can be found in the “extra folder” until they run out.

Please check my website frequently to stay updated on happenings in my class. I will post test reminders, ongoing projects, and important forms. Nightly homework will be posted although your child is to be responsible for copying the assignments in his or her agenda.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have!

I am here to work together with you to make this a successful year for your child!

~Mrs. Pearcy 

317-544-5800 ext. 5858

I’m looking forward to a GREAT year!

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