My name is Elena Kucharski and this is my 22nd year teaching in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Baldwin Wallace College. My Master’s Degree is from Marygrove College. My second Master’s Degree is from Graceland University in Quality Schools. I enjoy taking classes which focus on technology integration in the classroom. I am also a lifelong learner! I just completed coursework on the Daily 5 and have explained it below! I have been married for 24 years to my amazing husband Don. Don is a medical coder and a content developer for high school electives for an online school! We have two beautiful daughters named Alexis and Melina. Alexis is 19 and we just moved her into her apartment at Baldwin Wallace where she will be in her second year of college! Melina, who is 13, is at BBHMS in 8th grade and twirls for our BEES. I hope you enjoy my blog this year!
A Blog is a type of online diary that people can write journal entries and post them online. These entries may contain pictures, or file attachments, or links to other things online. Each week I will post a newsletter that will let you know what we are doing in class. This will keep you updated with weekly curriculum, homework, and any other events happening in our classroom. On the left side of this blog you will notice the section on categories. This is where you will find links to spelling tests, special websites, listen to the reading stories on line, and many other important links to our curriculum.
The Daily 5
This year your child will be working on the Daily 5 during their language arts block. The Daily 5 is a philosophy, not a curriculum, where the children develop work skill independence through a gradual release model that provides systematic practice and modeling to achieve a desired behavior. Once the level of independence is achieved, students will be engaged in meaningful reading and writing practice that reflects the Common Core State Standards that we use along with students’ needs to drive our instruction.
The Daily 5 consists of 5 areas of practice, Read to Self, Work on Writing, Word Work, Listen to Reading and Read to Someone. Each area has expectations and goals attached effectively meeting the needs of that round during the Daily 5.
Once the Daily 5 is up and running smoothly, students will receive explicit, whole group instruction and then they are given time to independently practice the focus of the daily lesson. During this time, we will be able to provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students that will specifically meet each student’s needs.
Because of the specific components of the Daily 5, we will be spending the first few weeks of school incorporating practice of the expectations that go along with each component. Students will be building their stamina, or working on reading and writing for an extended period of time. We will also spend time assessing students to gain information about their strengths and needs as a reader.
The Daily 5 will be a different way to structure a literacy block and you may notice that there will be a change in the amount of worksheets that your children will be bringing home this year. Worksheets do keep your child busy, but they do not necessarily result in the high level of learning that we want for your child. Instead, your child will be taught how to pick out “Good Fit Books” at their level, and providing motivation and encouragement to write about topics that interest them. As a result, they will spend time practicing reading and writing. We anticipate that their excitement and the love of learning will develop as they read and write.
As a parent, the best way to support this new endeavor for your child is to encourage them to pick out “Good Fit Books” at the library. Help them by sitting down and reading nightly. At the end of each page, ask them to retell what happened. Be sure they can answer questions as to who the story is about, when and where it is taking place, what is happening and why. Children can useFirst, Next, Then and Finally to sequence their response. Encourage children to ask questions that they hope to have answered by the end of the chapter and have them make connections. Have children think about how the book reminds them of an experience they had, or how it is like another book they read!
Thank you for your support and for giving me this opportunity to foster the love of reading and writing in your child and helping to develop a love of life long learning!
We are using the My Math program this year. A letter will come home soon on what we are working on each unit. Along with My Math students will work on math fluency every day with the Rocket Math program. We will also work in math learning centers titled MYMATH.
Our science book is from Pearson this year. It is a consumable book that the students are allowed to write in. We will begin our unit on inquiry and rocks and minerals! Stay tuned to detailed information on what we will be learning!