Week 22 Fourth Grade
Some People Have Strange Jobs (Non-Fiction, Level 13, Stage 3) by David Corke
Scribbles (Fiction, Level 13, Stage 3) by Richard Gunther
This week we were delighted to open our AlphaSkills kit and find two fun books – both with an IAB (Independent Assessment Booklet), which is something we wouldn’t have been so delighted about just a few months ago. Why? Because after a few years of IAB anxiety from my oldest son who doesn’t love to pick up his pencil for anything other than drawing, this week was the first one that didn’t find us in stress about these little orange booklets. The click we had been waiting for was finally here! I knew it would come – the folks at AlphaSkills assured me it would. And finally, it came! All of a sudden we not only don’t mind IAB’s – we actually enjoy them because they take us deeper into the content of the book!
The activity I want to highlight this week is the list of questions on pages 2-5 of the IAB. On these pages you will find 26 questions that either ask the student to draw from their reading of the book or to look up a sentence for context clues. These questions vary in form and in type, but what I really love about them is that each one has a little clue in the left margin that tells me (the parent) what the question is meant to teach. This week the list is as follows for Some People Have Strange Jobs (duplicates omitted): relationships, verb, noun, adjective, adverb, analogy, context clues, multiple meanings, inference, specific detail, sequence of events, figurative language, cause and effect, main idea, drawing conclusions, fact and opinion, genre, reading information: calendars, social studies: culture, science: life science, math: problem solving, study skills: reference materials. As you can see, there are a host of areas covered in those 26 little questions, and honestly I can’t remember a time that this section took more than just a few minutes, even during our IAB struggle days, which tells me they are completely appropriate for this age group. Something else I really love about these questions is that they stretch Elijah’s mind and help him think about the material in new ways, which is really an accomplishment for any student who loves to read the way my little guy does.
What a victory we had this week! I just love it when that happens, and it seems like the AlphaSkills format really lends itself to those moments for us. For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.