PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

4th Grade Book Clubs


Dear Families,

I really wished I snapped some photos of the book clubs that are going on in 4th grade humanities.  I was too busy talking and conferring with kid!  It is so great seeing all that you taught them about inferential really taking hold.  The students are now independently monitoring their reading and talking at length insight into the characters, figurative language, character motivation, symbolic thinking, etc.  I added vocabulary to for a few book clubs.  I am going to continue to add vocabulary for most of the other books as well.  Ask you child what book they are reading.  You might want to read it with them at home.  This way you can extend the conversation to a deeper level.

Here are sample questions that the kids are beginning to ask themselves as they read…

  1. Juice thinks she’s not very smart because she cannot read. What do you think?
  2. Do you think Juice is a typical 9-year-old? Why or why not?
  3. What does she do to prove her sense of responsibility and love for her family? What types of things bring Juice the most happiness?
  4. What do you think it means when Ana Rosa says “In daylight, silence is louder and angrier than at any other time” (p. 6)?
  5. Should Charlotte have disguised (hidden) her gender?
  6. How do characters’ names related to their personalities.
  7. Is Charley a good role model? Why?
  8. What do the animals symbolize?


  • I gave them a multiple choice practice ELA test last week.  I am grading it and will share the results with the class this week.  For the most part they did well.  It looks like nonfiction technical writing is an area of weakness for most of them.  They did better on the narrative reading passages.  With that in mind we will work on that as a class closer to the test.
  • I will be giving spelling words this week.  The next spelling test will be on Friday February 2nd.
  • We will be traveling to Historic Richmond Town for a field trip on February 8th.
  • Did you read this article in the New York Times. It solidifies my theory about achievement.  The more you know, the more you are able to learn.  Take your kids out of the house to a museum, An Historic Site, A library, a walking tour of Manhattan!  Learn content!  Not by reading text books but by experience new things, new people, new food, new art, new music, etc.  Textbooks and test prep won’t cut it!
  • I am almost judging the architecture projects.  We will have design winners soon!


  • We have been talking as a class about “unexpected and extraordinary” acs of kindness.  We are beginning a new initiative to give unexpected and extraordinary acts of kindness to people in this school that might need it.  We thought he janitors, crossing guards, nurses, people who might feel left out and the third graders who will be nervous about taking the ELA might be possible people who we might target.