What’s Going on in Our World?

Let’s get back into studying current events! Choose an article below, from my favorite website Newsela.com, and use your nonfiction reading skills to attack the text! Are you hunting for facts? Are you thinking about time and place? Are you thinking about how this might change the world?

What if you couldn’t go to school?

On my favorite nonfiction reading for kids website, Newsela.com, there is an interesting article on children in Afghanistan who can’t afford to go to school. Read the article and let me know what you think. Can you imagine not being able to go to school? How would that change your life?

Shukriya, 8, sells toilet paper in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan. Although child labor is illegal in the country, it is still around today, due to a lack of enforcement and the need of many families to have as many members earning income as possible.

iPads & Literacy


Today, we focused on our improving our literacy skills by reading a fabulous article on The Original Rosie the Riveter on our iPads! This article, on Newsela.com, had some complicated vocabulary. Good readers understand that they don’t have to know every word in a story or article to understand the big picture, or main idea. When you don’t know all of the words, use the clues around the word to help you!

For example, here is an excerpt from the article: “She was trying to escape being poor. Monroe was determined to find work at the Willow Run airplane plant in Ypsilanti, Mich. She wanted to fly a plane. But with two children, she wasn’t allowed.”

I have never heard of the words “Ypsilanti, Mich” before, but using the clues around the word I can see that it is where the airplane plant was located. So, using these clues I bet that Ypsilanti, Mich is a place (ok, ok, since I’m an adult reader I can tell you that Ypsilanti, Mich is a city in Michigan, but I wanted to model how to use clues!)

Keep reading and hunting for clues to unknown words!

Rosie the Riveter Returns!

I noticed something interesting on my favorite nonfiction reading site for kids. Newsela.com is a great website that contains many current news articles written for students. When you click on the left of the site you can change the Lexile level of the article. A lower Lexile level will be easier to read and a higher level will be more difficult, probably on a middle school level. On Newsela I found this great article, The Original Rosie the Riveter had the Right Name for the Job! The article discusses the same Rosie we learned about in Andrea Beaty’s book, Rosie Revere Engineer! Take a few minutes to read and enjoy this article. Adjust the Lexile level on the left if the text seems too difficult or simple!

Here’s one of our favorite pages from Rosie Revere Engineer! (If you want to learn about powerful, smart women then check out this book!)

Getting Ready for a Trip!

Hello friends! How is your spring break going? I had a hard time packing for my trip, can you help me out? Here’s my problem:

Pablo eats two cups of food each day. We will be in Florida for 8 days. He will eat one of the cups of food before we leave. How many cups of food do I need to pack for Pablo?


Remember over spring break to cuddle up with a great chapter book. I’m reading an adult book called Beautiful Ruins by, Jess Walter. I can’t put this book down because of its great story! Walter has included many similes and metaphors in his book. He said that the, “…clothes on the bedroom room floor were a pile of autumn leaves.” I know he is comparing the clothes to autumn leaves because the clothes are in a pile that is bright, colorful, and on the ground! Isn’t figurative language the best?!

So what are you doing on your break? What friends have you visited? What math games have you played? What books have you cuddled up with? Have you made any art or written any stories or reports? Leave us a comment so we can hear about your adventures!

Idioms all Around Us!

On our walk today, Pablo reminded me of another idiom!

After a long cold winter, we should take time to remember the good and beautiful things in life. That’s why Pablo always remembers to stop and smell the roses. Can you determine what, “Stop and smell the roses means?”


(Ok, yes these are tulips… but I don’t know any idioms about tulips!)

What to read next?

Today, we finished our amazing read aloud The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane! We loved it! We were so happy with the ending! Thank you Kate DiCamillo for sharing your wonderful writing with us.

We decided we’d like to read some more of Ms. DiCamillo’s work. We are going to vote between The Tiger Rising and The Tale of Despereaux. Check out these fantastic, student made book trailers and then cast your votes soon!

The Tiger Rising

The Tale of Despereaux

Back to Fiction!

We have enjoyed some amazing nonfiction books this school year (hey, there’s one of our prefixes, “non” means not!) We read The Interactive Biography of Martin Luther King Jr., Different Like Coco, and TheĀ Tree Lady. We’ve also read a plethora of books on all sorts of nonfiction topics, from porcupines to escape artists!

On Monday, we began our new read aloud book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo. This is one of my favorite books and it holds a special place in my heart. Every time I read this book to my students, they point out something new and interesting about the characters. You all did a marvelous job of quickly realizing that Edward is a selfish rabbit. We said he has a big ego!

Here is a sneak peek into our new read aloud. What predictions can you make based on the movie? Leave your predictions in a comment!


Think about the Genre!

When you’re trying to figure out the author’s purpose for writing, stop and think about the genre of the text. Thinking about the genre will also help you determine why the author included certain text features, like photographs, charts, graphs, and maps. Here are some genres to consider:

Nonfiction articles
“How-tos” or procedurals
Persuasive Essay or editorials

Check out the articles below. Why did the author write them? Why did the author include those text features?

Easy Origami Heart
Roll A Burrito
Mountains of the World