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For all those students who complete 3 hours of reading and 3 hours of math in iReady, as well as, the solar system accordion book there will be an ice cream party!

Download the Holiday Packet here if you loose it :-)

In the gifted 5th grade class we will be using interchangeably the Junior Great Books (JGB) Foundation books (to find out more go to www.greatbooks.org) and novels at or above grade level. When we read JGB stories we will be using a higher critical thinking method called Shared Inquiry discussion that allows students to make connections and create their own open-ended questions. Please watch the video and read below to learn more.

What is Shared Inquiry Discussion and How is it Used in Classroom?

At the heart of all Great Books programs is Shared Inquiry, a distinctive method of learning in which participants search for answers to fundamental questions raised by a text. Shared Inquiry leaders do not impart information or present their own opinions, but guide participants in reaching their own interpretations. They do this by posing thought-provoking questions and by following up purposefully on what participants say.

In Shared Inquiry, participants learn to give full consideration to the ideas of others, to weigh the merits of opposing arguments, and to modify their initial opinions as the evidence demands. They gain experience in communicating complex ideas and in supporting, testing, and expanding their own thoughts. In this way, Shared Inquiry promotes thoughtful dialogue and open debate, preparing its participants to become able, responsible citizens, and enthusiastic, lifelong readers.

Shared Inquiry Guidelines
Read the selection carefully before participating in the discussion

Discuss only the selection everyone has read

Support your ideas with evidence from the selection

Listen to other participants and respond to them directly

Expect the leader to only ask questions



Complete this story map after every story we read

Essay Map, click here.Essay Graphic Organizer, click here.Persuasion Map, click here.Steps in writing a persuasive essay, click here.Compare and Contrast Essay Detective, click here.

Studying Different Genres

Reading Benchmarks Tested on the FCAT

Vocabulary - Using context clues to figure out words we don't know:
  • Synonyms/antonyms
  • Affixes or base/root words* -

  • Multiple meaning words (you must know which meaning of the word is being used)
  • Homographs
  • Homophones -
  • homophones handout #1

  • Homophones handout #2

Click here to watch a video on the different types of vocabulary words you'll find on the FCAT.

Main Idea (stated and implied), Relevant Supporting Details, Inference, Strongly Implied Message and Chronological Order - Finding the thesis in a sentence, statement, or paragraph that summarizes or presents the most valuable idea, moral or lesson of the text. You should be looking for clues the following clues:
  • Title of the story
  • First sentence of the text or paragraph
  • Last sentence of the text or paragraph
  • Relevant* supporting details
  • Stated/Implied message*
  • Chronological order of events
  • Conclusion and Inferences*
  • Chronological Order - refers to the time order and sequence of events in a text. Check out this Brain Pop Video about how to find the main idea to understand it better, click here.

Author's Purpose & Perspective - author's write for several reasons: to inform, to entertain/tell, to persuade, and to teach. In this benchmark you must identify the Author's Purpose in a text and how the Author's Perspective influences the text. Watch this video to review, click here.

Elements of Story Structure - You should be able to identify these elements in a story:
  • Plot development - main problem in the story, rising/falling action,
  • Setting/s - Where/When is the story happening
  • Character development - description of the character and how the character changes from the beginning of the story to the end
  • Character point of view - look at the character's actions and attitude to find his/her point of view
  • Problem/Resolution - what is/are the problem/s the main character/s face and how are these resolved in the story. Click here for a video that illustrates this benchmark.
    Elements of Fiction Presentation, Click Here

Theme/Topic - Identify themes or topics in a variety of texts fiction and non-fiction. This "sometimes" tied to the main idea of the passage. The theme or topic is usually an universal idea that present throughout the text.

Cause and Effect - Being able to recognize that in a text there are causes that create events/effects or that effects are the aftermath of causes. In all, you are looking at the overall relationship between cause and effect, is sometimes tied to the sequence of events. Click here for a video to see how a class learns this benchmark.

Compare and Contrast- This benchmark is looking for comparisons in:
  • Topics/themes
  • Settings
  • Characters
  • Events
  • Story Elements
  • Problems within and across the text.

Text Structures/Organizational Patterns Author Uses - Here you will identify and explain the structure the author uses and explain how it impacts meaning in the text. You will be looking for other benchmarks like compare/contrast, cause/effect, chronological order, and descriptions. Click here to see a video illustrating how to work with text structure.

Author's Style - an author also uses other literary tools to shape his/her style check it out...

Text Features (Literary Text) - Explain and identify the purpose of text features in a literary text:

  • Glossary
  • Headings
  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Diagrams
  • Illustrations
  • Captions
  • Maps
  • Titles
  • Subtitles
Descriptive, Idiomatic and Figurative Language - Identify and explain the use of descriptive, idiomatic, and figurative language to describe people, feelings and objects.
  • Descriptive language - here you will look at literary elements like mood and imagery. Click here for a video that illustrates descriptive language.
  • Idiomatic and Figurative language - Here you will be looking for things literary elements like similes, metaphors, idioms, hyperboles and personification. Click Here for a video that illustrates figurative language. This is another great video, Click here to see it.‍
  • Mysterious metaphors and strange similes handout
  • Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that cannot be taken literally. In other words, when used in everyday language, they have a meaning other than the basic one you would find in the dictionary. Every language has its own idioms. For example, “break a leg” is a common idiom.
    Literal meaning: I command you to break a bone in your leg and you should probably go to the doctor afterwards to get it fixed.
    Idiomatic meaning: What does it mean to say break a leg to an actor before they perform? Often, actors tell each other to “break a leg” before they go out on stage to perform. This is a type of idiom to means good luck. Click here to watch a video and learn more about idioms.
  • Symbolism the use of an object or idea to represent something other that itself. Check out the symbolism color chart below.

  • Foreshadow and Flashback powerpoint

Informational Text - Read and organize informational text and text features to perform a task. You will need to locate, interpret and organize information in the text by looking at:
  • Graphics
  • Legends
  • Illustrations
  • Diagrams
  • Charts
  • Keys

Types of Conjunctions to use in Compound Sententecs


Reading FCAT practice, Vocabulary, Test, Passages, etc... Click here.



"Gen" Root Words -
"Gen" Root Words Practice -


Class Book Club Letter -

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