Loving Literacy – Resource

A big thank you to Kristen Blum for passing on this wonderful resource to us. The original source comes from Jennifer Fenton’s blog at: http://sites.cdnis.edu.hk/teachers/jenniferfenton/loving-literacy/

You will also find this information in our Resources page under ‘language resources’ in the top toolbar of our blog

Loving Literacy

The need to communicate is instinctive. The development of language is fundamental to that need to communicate; it supports and enhances our thinking and understanding. Language permeates the world in which we live; it is socially constructed and dependent on the number and nature of our social interactions and relationships.”

IB PYP Language Scope and Sequence,  2009 (p. 1)

Writing Links & Activities


Throughout the year we will be learning and applying a variety of spelling strategies to help us become confident spellers. If you are looking for some fun ways to practice spelling, please try the following links. You may use any words from your word bank or try some form this list of frequently misspelled words.

Kids Spell – On this site you can choose a ready-made list of words or create your own list using your word bank. You may also then choose the type of game you wish to play. There are 3 levels of games and the hardest level is hard!

BBC’s Spellits – This site has 3 different challenges and all review different spelling strategies.

Spelling City – On the home page of this site you can type in the words you would like to practice and then choose which games or quizzes you would like to try and it will use your words. Hang Mouse and Word Unscramble are favourites!

English Spelling Games – There are a variety of online spelling and word games here, including Whomp and Spelling Ship.

DJ Cow’s Spelling Patterns – This game allows you to choose a spelling pattern and then will generate a word search puzzle for you to solve.

Mr Reynold’s Grade 4 Website – This page includes a long list of fun activities to help you practice your spelling skills.


Vocabulary Games – This site has a variety of games for you to choose from.

Prefix Millionaire – Learn about the meanings of common prefixes.

Homographs – Play alone or with a partner to learn more about homographs, words that have the same spelling, but different definitions.

Looking for an app to build your vocabulary? Try SuperKids 4th – 6th Grade Vocabulary.


Skillswise Words – This site from the BBC offers information on how to create compound sentences, complex sentences and words to join ideas together.

Sentence Games – This is another site from the BBC that has games to help you practice identifying, making and punctuating sentences.

How to write a paragraph – This link will take you to the site that has the PowerPoint presentation we viewed today in class to discuss and explore how to build an effective paragraph. It is from the Guide to Grammar and Writing, produced by the Capital Community College Foundation. Go to the button called “Paragraph Basic Structure”.

Write a friendly letter with help from  English Plus. Or visit the Read.Write.Think.  ‘letter generator‘ where you can review the features of different types of letters.

Graphic Organizers (Planning your writing)

Essay map – an interactive tool will assist you to create an outline for an essay (or report).

The Write Site has a selection of graphic organizers specifically to assist with writing.

Education Place has a multitude of organizers to choose from to help you organize your ideas.

Interactive Poetry Tools

Poetry – a collection of poetry related sites from Reading is Fun.

From Read.Write.Think – Diamante PoemsAcrostic PoemsShape Poems,

From ETTC – Instant Poetry Forms

Magnetic Poetry Kit – play online and then share your poem with friends through email.

Writing Opportunities

Story Starters from Scholastic is a fun way to generate ideas for writing and then provides choices for how you would like to publish.

Write me a Story – This site from KidsCom allows you to write and post your story online to be read by others. They have challenges that you can take and you can vote for which stories should be published.

Want to write and publish a story or poem? Go to Storybird for art inspired collaborative writing.

Reading Links & Activities

Books to Read

The International Children’s Digital Library has numerous online books to read from countries all over the world. If you are looking for a book in a different language, this is a great place to start!

CDNIS has access to the TumbleBook Library. there are a variety of stories to choose from, but you must use the username and password provided on the school’s secure library database site.

Book Lists for Boys “Guys Read”

Reading List for all grades.This link targets 5th grade.

Seattle, Washington, US public library site. Lots of good books and tips for parents.

Read Along books and games

Powell’s Books from Portland, US favorite books for middle readers

Reading Tips for parents

More great reading lists for this age 

Reading Rockets: Online newsletter subscription to help your child with reading

Thinking Strategies 

The following thinking strategies are used by proficient readers when they read (click on each one to learn more about the strategy):

Into the Book has interactive games to practice each strategy. Click here to log in. The first time you visit the site you will need to ‘get a key’. Be sure to write this key number down in your homework diary so that you may use it the next time you go back to the site. This will allow you to save your scores and return to games that you may not have finished.

The Kids Lab from Samoset Elementary has good interactives to practice reading comprehension strategies.

Test your reading comprehension on Ms Nussbaum’s website. Select a passage and then answer the questions online.

Field Trip – Tuesday 4th September

Thank you for your patience as we have set up this new way of filling in field trip permission forms. We believe the following link is now working for everyone.


Hopefully one of the parents would like to accompany us on Tuesday – it will probably be almost a full day’s field trip.
Look forward to hearing from you and seeing some of you soon.
Julian Weekes

Where we are in place and time – August to October 2012

Central Idea: Our understanding of scientific discoveries has evolved over time and shapes the future

A simple question, but deceptively complicated is: “What does it mean to ‘discover’ something?”

Where we are in place and time

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; home and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilisations, from local and global perspectives

Literature Circle (aka Book Club)

Dear all,

Your child has been placed in a group of 4 children to read and share 3 books over the coming month. One book on Louis Braille, one on Helen Keller and one on Walt Disney. Children will be negotiating in their groups what pages they need to read to by the time the group meets next.

More importantly, your child will be given various roles this year, such as Discussion Director/Summarizer/Wordsmith/Illustrator

This should be part of the HOMEWORK that your child negotiates this week. Depending on your child’s reading level, it may be necessary to help your child with reading, or discussing the book with your child, to make sure s/he has a good understanding.

To help the discussion session, your child will normally be asked to come up with 4 or 5 questions (OPEN questions that require discussion/opinion) to share with their group.

The four books we are starting off with are: note – reading one of the Braille books

1. Walt Disney – Young Movie Maker

2. Louis Braille – The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind

3. Louis Braille – Out of Darkness

4. Helen Keller

Discussions, food and things to do/think about in 5W this week

Dear 5W Parents,

Class Blog – http://blogs.yis.ac.jp/5w/ – well, you’re already here so congratulations on that 🙂

I received many email addresses from families. Sometimes 3 or more per family. I do not wish to subscribe each email address to our class blog.

If you would like to, please subscribe with your preferred email address at the Subscriptions link on the bottom left of your screen. Of course you do NOT need to subscribe to log in to the class blog. You may also wish to subscribe (and unsubscribe) at any future date.

Here are some points that we have been talking about in class:

  1. Headphones – please ask your child to bring in a pair of earphones IF she or he would like to listen to anything whilst using the computer. Ones that wouldn’t matter if they get lost would probably be best!
  2. Have you sent in the ‘YIS Earthquake Kit‘ as requested? If not, if you could possibly do so at your earliest convenience, that would be great. ….see attached letter for guidance about what to include
  3. I have received many confirmations of  the phone numbers you would like me to use on the Emergency Telephone Chain and I will be updating it on Friday and sending it out. Typhoon season is with us and you never know if we’ll need to use it soon.
  4. Thank you likewise for the Walking Permission forms – and if you need to send one in, please do. Thank you.

Food and non sugary drinks can be consumed in class:

We discussed your child’s right to responsibly eat and drink in class and the reasons for this – we all work better if we are not hungry/thirsty/tired etc. However the responsibility comes with keeping the class clean, eating and drinking at appropriate times (not during teaching/discussion moments) and respecting others around you.

NO peanuts or nuts of any kind please.

The following is not an exclusive list. Your child can negotiate with me anything else that s/he thinks could be a good snack 🙂

For example:

carrot/veggie sticks
bananas/sliced fruit/dry fruits (not sugar coated)
sushi rolls
non-sugar coated crackers/dips
pop corn

Homework will start next week.

Best wishes,
Julian Weekes