Mrs. Arce's Literacy Blog - Archive

Mrs. Arce's Lit, November 6th

posted Nov 6, 2017, 3:23 PM by   [ updated Nov 6, 2017, 3:23 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families,

I'm so sad this is my last week with the kids.  Telling them on Friday that I have to step down as their teacher was the HARDEST thing I have ever done and this has been the hardest decision I've ever had to make.  I told them today that we have to keep learning but we'll have fun and make memories along the way, most likely cry a little too.  Thank you to all the parents who have said kind and encouraging words to me about this terribly difficult decision I've had to make.  

We finished going through each tab in their reading response notebooks today.  They sure did great with them and I hope the new teacher will continue using them with the kids.  I want to take a published personal narrative with me to grade for their report cards, so we are buckling down and working diligently on editing, revising, and publishing a narrative using our rubric.  I will make sure the kids receive these back with a graded rubric sometime next week. 

To get things in a routine, I did send home a reading log this week for homework.  Continue reading and having them write about their books.  

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement this year.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to teach and love your child. 

Mrs. Arce's Lit, October 30th

posted Oct 30, 2017, 1:55 PM by   [ updated Oct 30, 2017, 1:55 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families,

Hope you had a great weekend and stayed warm today!  I wish the weather would make up it's mind once and for all!

We are finalizing our work in our reading response notebooks as a class before moving on to use them independently. We are working on setting, point of view, and theme this week.  We'll also read a fun Halloween story tomorrow to celebrate the day!

The kids will be planning and drafting up to three personal narratives this week using the rubric.  Next week they will chose one of those narratives to edit, revise, and publish.  So far they are looking good!

  • Only a reading log this week! 
Happy Halloween!  Have a great night tomorrow with your kiddos!  

Mrs. Arce's Lit, October 23rd

posted Oct 23, 2017, 1:20 PM by   [ updated Oct 23, 2017, 1:20 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families,

I decided I'm not a Broncos fan anymore after those two AWFUL games these past weeks.  Blah!!

The kids read independently today and met our stamina goal of 20 minutes!  Woohoo!  Now they can read from their book bags anywhere in the room.  They are really looking forward to this!  We have no class tomorrow due to field trips, so we'll continue reading work again on Thursday.  (Wednesday's class is VERY short!!)  On Thursday and Friday, we'll go over setting and theme in our reading response notebooks. 

We finally got to look at the rubric today but didn't finish!  We'll finish the rubric on Wednesday and then I'll encourage the kids to start writing multiple narratives on Thursday and Friday.  Yay!

  • Reading Log
  • Reading/Writing work packet 
  • All due Monday, October 30th 
Have a great week!

Mrs. Arce's Lit, October 17th

posted Oct 16, 2017, 8:02 PM by   [ updated Oct 16, 2017, 8:02 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families,

Hope you enjoyed the long break!  Wish I could say I got a break, too, but we didn't!  Oh well.  It was great meeting all of you at conferences last week!  Thanks for making the time to come chat with me. 

We're continuing work in our Reader's Response Journals so that the kids can use each of the comprehension strategies/tabs well independently.  We're going over visualizing, characters, and setting this week.  The kids are doing a great job with their notebooks!  They are also reading independently everyday while I confer with individual kids on their reading habits.  

We are in the midst of personal narratives.  I've taught most of the concepts they need in their writing and this week we'll wrap up with 'Ending with a Bang!', transition words, and writing in paragraphs.  I'll introduce the rubric this week too by allowing the kids to decide what's on it and how they are graded.  Fingers crossed the kids can finally start writing their narratives on Friday!  

  • No Reading Log this week
  • Packet will go home tomorrow and is due October 23rd 

Update on late work policy: 

  • Absentee make up:  Students are given two days per excused absence  to make up assignments. However, if the student was absent on a date when an assignment was due, it is expected that when the student returns to school, the assignment will be turned in the first day the student is back in class. It is the responsibility of the STUDENT to ask the teacher for the make-up work.

  • Late work policy:  Late work, up to four days late, will have points taken from the responsibility portion of the grade. 

The following late work policy will be used:

    • 1 day late = responsibility grade drops by 1 letter grade (A to B)
    • 2 days late = responsibility grade drops by 2 letter grades (A to C)
    • 3 days late = responsibility grade drops by 3 letter grades (A to D)
    • 4 + days late = responsibility grade will be a zero (0)

  • Assignments turned in later than 2 weeks:

    • Assignments will receive 50% credit in the standard and a zero in the responsibility

    • Copies will not be given after that time

Also, this has been stressed to the students multiple times: Any graded assignment without a name is displayed for the kids to see then docked two points from the final grade. Any homework turned in without a name is kept for one week then recycled. If a student thinks they turned it in, they can look through the no-name homeworks to see if it is there or the late work policy applies to any copies made and the late homework that is turned in. I will not display or go through missing homework with the kids; this is available on IC. I have so many things on my plate, I hope you understand the need for this policy.

Have a fabulous week! Let's hope the Broncos show up to play this week!

Mrs. Arce's Lit, October 2nd

posted Oct 1, 2017, 2:41 PM by   [ updated Oct 1, 2017, 2:41 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families,

Hope you've been doing great!  I've been SO BUSY I can hardly sleep at night, so I'm sorry for the lack of blogs lately.  As I said at curriculum night, I also am very fluid with my teaching so things I write in my blogs hardly ever 100% happen because I teach based on what happens each day.  Anywho, here's the flexible plan for this week:

We are going through our Reading Response notebooks tab by tab.  Last week we focused on connections, predictions, and questions.  For each, I read aloud a book and the kids stopped to reflect and response in writing at least two times.  It's been great so far!  This week we'll focus on inferences, summarizing, visualizing, and characters.  The kids will also work on reading independently to meet our goal of sustained reading for 20 minutes. 

Our writing unit is personal narratives and before we start writing them, I'm teaching each part that will be on our rubric.  We did writing hooks last week and this week the kids will learn about WOW words vs DEAD words (skipped or ran vs went), dialogue, showing not telling, and adjectives.  Last week on Wednesday we did homophones, specifically spelling the homophones of there, to, and your.  The kids did good but still need work on the three forms of there.  This week, I'll continue homophones, explaining all the other ones in our language and when to use each in our writing. For example, night vs knight, ate vs eight, our vs hour. 

Important Info:
  • Homework packets started last week and I am already missing quite a few.  Please make sure your students are doing their packets each week, reading for at least 20 minutes five nights a week, and turning them in the following Monday. 
    • This week's homework will focus on writing hooks, homophones, and the three responses we worked on last week in reading. 
  • Conferences are next week beginning Wednesday afternoon.  Please check your student's planner this week for dates and times.  Looking forward to seeing you!
  • Scholastic books are always available to order.  Use this link to do so;
    • All books ordered through Scholastic earn points for me to use to get more books for our classroom library!  They are great quality books and are offered at excellent prices!!  
Have a great week! 

Mrs. Arce's Lit, September 18th

posted Sep 17, 2017, 12:56 PM by   [ updated Sep 17, 2017, 9:21 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families!

I have found that Mondays are my BUSIEST day of the week so you'll either receive a blog early on Sunday or late on Tuesday!  So sorry for that!

It was nice to see some of you last week at curriculum night!  I wish we had time to meet in person, so please stop by and say hi whenever you have the chance!  

Last week the kids used the 5-finger rule to choose Just Right books for their independent reading book bags.  (Read a page or so, depending on length.  As you read, put up a finger for each word you can't read.  Between 3-4 fingers is a Just Right book!) This took FOREVER, but that's okay!  They really took their time choosing books.  While a few kids chose books, the other kids wrote stories that incorporated emojis!  They sure were fun!  The kids also earned an extra recess with their class points and practiced reading with stamina.  Our class goal is 20 minutes of uninterrupted independent reading.  During this time, I'll be working with small groups of readers.  They read 10 minutes with no problem on Friday and we celebrated with a dance party! =)

This week we'll continue reading with stamina and then chat about how to change books in their book bags.  We'll also assemble our reading response notebooks which I am very excited about!  Thank you for purchasing a composition notebook for your child!!  Once those are done, we'll start reading a variety of fiction books to practice multiple comprehension strategies then write responses in our new notebooks.  I hope they like the books I chose! 

In writing, we'll start personal narratives by looking at various examples to see how a great narrative should be written.  We'll also brainstorm ideas for personal narratives with, SURPRISE!, emojis!  I'll teach our first spelling/grammar lesson on Wednesday and continue personal narratives with going in-depth with the essential elements of a narrative.  I'll be gone on Friday, so I'll leave some fun activities for the kids to do with the sub.  

A homework packet will go home with your child tomorrow.  Please let me know if you have questions or don't understand something.  Also, for those of you who missed curriculum night, I posted a link to the Prezi I showed at the bottom of this blog.  Hope you had a great weekend and are stoked the Broncos won today!!  Have a great week!

Mrs. Arce's Lit, September 5th

posted Sep 4, 2017, 8:06 PM by   [ updated Sep 4, 2017, 8:06 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families!

I am so excited to meet my LIt class tomorrow!  Yay!  This week will be community building, routines, and fun!  Hope it's great for your child!  

I look forward to meeting many of you at curriculum night on September 14th, however, please stop by and say hi during dismissal!  Have a fabulous week!  

Mrs. Arce's last post of 2017

posted May 23, 2017, 7:38 PM by   [ updated May 23, 2017, 7:38 PM by Laura Karstens ]

So sorry for the late blog post, families!  My grading pile is sky high and never ending!?  

This week has been pretty low key and fun.  The kids learned about the Princess and the Pea by reading three different versions of the story.  They also wrote their own Princess and the Pea madlib style!  Ha.  Today we wrapped up the year and I sent home all the things in our classroom that belonged to your child.  I got their content reports graded as well and WOW, they are awesome!  The kids saw their grade today and were so happy and proud!  Be looking for them in their portfolios tomorrow.  Speaking of portfolios, I wasn't on top of that this year (my secret passion project was surviving my first year at Stargate) so I sent home almost everything the kids did in Monday folders, so you won't see much tomorrow.  However, please, please, please be looking for their content report.  You really need to read them and see their hard work!

Tomorrow is sadly our last day. =( I bought popsicles for the kids and we'll play games and just enjoy our last day together.  Thank you for a fabulous year and have a great summer!!

Mrs. Arce's Lit, May 15

posted May 15, 2017, 1:53 PM by   [ updated May 15, 2017, 1:53 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families!

Only nine days of school left!  What?!  Wow!  This year has flown by.  I'm sure dreading saying goodbye to the kids next week. =/ 

Almost all of the kids finished their content reports today!  Woohoo!!  They also worked on lifecycle diagrams and created a 'torn-paper' animal.  They are awesome!  I'll get those graded and in IC by the end of the year.  I can't wait for you to see them.  They worked so hard!  

Tomorrow any kids who need to finish will do so while everyone else does some fun spelling, writing, and reading activities.  Starting Thursday and through the end of the year, I'll teach fairy tales.  I LOVE this unit!  We'll read and study the original version of a fairy tale then read "fractured" versions of the original.  Think Goldilocks and the Three Bears then Rubia and the Three Osos or Goldie Duck and the Three Beavers.  It's so fun and hopefully engaging for the last few days of school.  

No more homework this year!  Woohoo!  Reading logs were due today and at least a dozen kids did not turn them in; please check their planners for a missing homework stamp. 

Hope to see some of you on field day!  Thanks for a great year!

Mrs. Arce's Lit, May 8th

posted May 7, 2017, 2:38 PM by   [ updated May 7, 2017, 2:38 PM by Laura Karstens ]

Hi families!

Hope you enjoyed the gorgeous weather this weekend!  Makes me ready for summer!

We FINALLY have four full days of regular class!  Yay!  This week is all about editing, revising, and publishing the animal content reports.  Last week we looked more closely at the lifecycle of animals.  Haha.  You should have seem some of their faces.  Haha!  They'll use what they learned last week to revise their lifecycle paragraph then we'll partner edit for changes.  I'm hoping the kids can have their finished reports by Thursday!  Fingers crossed.  If they finish early, I'll allow them to create some artistic element for their animal.  

No class on Friday because of the Colorado Extravaganza Day!  Homework this week is a reading log; it will go home tomorrow and is due next Monday.  Please encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes and write at least three sentences about what they read.  They are familiar with summaries now, so that would be a good thing to suggest.  

Have a fabulous week!

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