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Reading Biographies

During Communication Literacy Paige's group has been engaged in a case study on biographies. The students have used biographies as a way to explore an author's purpose of informing an audience.

During group debriefs, students observed that biographies do more than teach us facts about a subject's life. L.B. noted that "you can just Google it instead." Rather, the group observed that we can learn about how other people in the world use or don't use the mindsets.

For example, C.S. explained that Malala Yousafzai exemplified the being adaptable and taking action by facing challenges and attempting to solve problems. Also, H.P. noticed that Derek Jeter engaged in collaboration by working with teammates, coaches, and umpires. In general, these biographies have been an effective vehicle for students to investigate how people utilize the mindsets in communities outside of our own.

Since our biography exploration has been student-driven, interest in this form of communication has grown organically. Multiple students in the group have chosen to read 3-4 biographies and have decided to share their knowledge with the group by writing informative reports about what they have read. Overall students are excited to impart their newfound wisdom about eminent people from our history and today.


This Week at a Glance

Communication Literacy

  • Book groups

  • fluency and intonation

  • punctuation and capitalization

  • Typing Club

  • Practicing paragraph structure by turning our persuasive outlines into a fluid paragraph

  • Identifying why we read biographies and what we can learn from them

  • Collaborative imaginative writing for Story Pirates

Patterns & Modeling

  • Making predictions when collecting data

  • Review of mode, range, minimum, and maximum in a data set

  • Defining the median in a data set and exploring how to find averages

  • Identifying patterns in number representations and determining how they help us find factors and prime numbers


  • Forming groups for cereal companies and defining roles within each group (ex. CEO, graphic designer, etc.)

  • Begin research and development of cereal product


  • Beginning a new read aloud book, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

  • Visit from parent John Tompkins to explore the central nervous system and neurotransmission

  • Continuing Digital Literacy education: Private and Personal Information - How can you protect yourself from online identity theft? How can we be safe when providing our information online?

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