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September 9, 2013 Dear Fourth Grade ELP Families, This week we are beginning a special language arts unit

called Patterns of Change. It is organized around the concept of change and was specifically designed by the College of William and Mary Center for Gifted Education to meet the needs of high-ability students. This unit should last for at least the next two months, and may go longer depending on student interest and outcomes. The goals of the unit are as follows: To To To To To develop analytical and interpretive skills in literature. develop persuasive writing skills. develop listening and speaking oral communication skills. develop reasoning skills in the language arts. understand the concept of cyclical change in the language arts.

In class we will read and discuss two novels. For the first novel, we will all read The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo. For the second novel, students will choose from the following four: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine LEngle; Bridge to Terabithi by Katherine Paterson; A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck; or Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. The third novel, which all students will read, is The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. We will also read high-quality poems, short stories, and essays. The students will keep response journals to clarify their thinking and record their ideas about the works we have read. As we read the literature, we will respond to it and think critically about it, by analyzing ideas, vocabulary, and structure. Specifically, we will look for similarities and differences among the works and their portrayals of cyclic patterns. Students will also conduct research and present their findings to the class. We will work as a class, in small groups, and individually on activities in this unit. This unit includes several activities that will require some work outside of class: Independent reading, including at least three novels Written homework assignments, including reading response activities and more extended writing assignments Individual and small group investigation on selected issues, with preparation for written and oral presentation of findings

As we follow the Patterns of Change curriculum, we will incorporate the scope and sequence of the Common Core aligned 4 th Grade Journeys program, deepening and extending our work across both programs. You can expect that your child will be working in their Journeys book in class about once each week. However, strategies that we learn in Journeys such as summarizing, questioning, inferring, predicting, and monitoring for understanding will extend across both programs. In addition to our work in class, students will continue reading at least 20 minutes each night, and writing weekly responses. Responses should be about three paragraphs. The first paragraph responds to our weekly question(s). The second paragraph summarizes your childs reading for the week. The third paragraph responds to 1-2 journal prompts from the list in their Reading Journal. Journal responses will be graded using the following rubric: 1 Paragraph Did I answer Ms. Paquin Morels questions _____/10 with detail? 2nd Paragraph Did I summarize my independent reading _____/10 book in 5 sentences AND include the title and author? 3rd Paragraph Did I choose 1-2 journal prompts and answer _____/10 them using detail and evidence from the text? Total _____/30
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Finally, students will be filling in their Reading Log. The first Reading Log, which most students are currently filling in, should document ANY time that they read. Your child will hand this Reading Log in when it is complete, so that I can discern patterns and habits for each child and for the whole class. After handing in the first Reading Log, your child can decide whether they would like to continue tracking all of their daily reading, or only when they complete a text. Thank you in advance for your interest in your childs education. I welcome comments and feedback from families on how the unit is progressing. Please do not hesitate to contact me with comments, questions, or concerns as the unit progresses. Sincerely,

Ms. Diana Paquin Morel dpaquinmorel@sd735.org (847) 676-8049