Marie Rourke
       This week in Mrs. Rourke's class...
    This week we began our Fantasy unit.  Students are working in book clubs as well as independently reading a fantasy book of their choosing.  Many students already love reading fantasy due to the exciting plot lines and young heroes.  The main reason for our focus on this genre in fifth grade is because we are able to teach readers strategies to deal with text complexity.  Fantasy novels weave complexity through multi-faceted characters, multiple plotlines, shifting timelines, tricky narrative structures, and complicated symbolism.  By explicitly teaching reading strategies and tools to tackle more characters, tangled plot lines, nuanced settings, and the development of more than one theme, students will gain the sense of agency to embrace difficult texts independently now and in the future.  The book clubs are essential in nurturing literary conversations among readers, and to offer one another support while navigating their books.  The independent reading will allow students to apply the strategies at their own pace with literature that is of interest to them. Students should continue reading for 30 minutes each evening.  A portion of this reading should be from their fantasy book, but they are still welcome to read other genres as well.
    We will be using a TEAM Remind account for announcements and reminders.  Please text @rbjteam to the number 81010 to join the group.  This is our primary form of communication so it is very important that you take care of this as soon as you are able.
    For updates in the classroom, you can follow me on Twitter @zipfan.  To keep updated on East Woods happenings, please follow our school Twitter account @EastWoodsPride.
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