Week 19 Fourth Grade
Scared of the Dark (Fiction, Level 13, Stage 3) by Marie Gibson
Chocolate (Non-fiction, Level 13, Stage 3) by Wendy Blaxland
The books chosen for this week were perfect for my fourth grader, as usual. Scared of the Dark is a story about a 10 year old girl who was so afraid of the dark that no matter how hard she tried to overcome the fear she just couldn’t shake it, until she was forced into an act of bravery at night to save her brother. Elijah loved reading this book aloud, and his little brother really enjoyed listening to it as well. They were completely wrapped up in the threatening problem in the story, and they were so happy when everything turned out okay. Chocolate is a non-fiction book about candymakers and the valuable work they do in different communities, which is certainly a subject easy for any 9 year old boy to get into!
The activity I want to highlight this week is the Crossword Challenge in the Independent Assessment Booklet. Many books in the 4th grade kits come with an IAB, and each one builds various skills. The Crossword Challenge uses 23 definitions and words to build vocabulary skills. This is particularly valuable since the words are featured in the book just read, and also because many are words that we wouldn’t normally encounter in another spelling and vocabulary book, This week the IAB for Chocolate featured new words like tempering, xocoatl, conched, and enrobing, as well as old words like goblet, toffees, paste, and refined. Vocabulary is something that, while it comes naturally for Elijah due to his love for reading, he is not particularly fond of; so I depend on the Crossword Challenge portion of the IAB every few weeks to give me some insight on his skill level. Sometimes I find that he is struggling a bit, as I did with this one that had so many new words, but most of the time it’s a breeze. Either way I know he is learning and growing, and the IAB gives me the proof.
As usual, we learned way more than reading and comprehension from the resources for this week; from social skills to science and critical thinking to spelling and vocabulary, we hit the jackpot with this week’s books! For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.