PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 5 Reading Goals and Habits

  • What do you read? (Favorite genre? Favorite series/characters?)
  • How you read? How do you go about choosing what you read? (Library, book stores, recommendations, e-readers? Talk about your reading process)
  • Why do you read?
  • Where is your favorite place to read? Why?
  • Do you read to anyone? Do you read with anyone? Who is your favorite person to read with? Why?
  • Do you have a library card? or your own shelf of favorite books at home?

It is imperative and an expectation that 5th graders read nightly at home. The brain is a malleable organ and we must continue to nurture students who have a habit of reading (quality reading material and ANY other reading material that sparks your child’s interest or passion), habits of noticing (It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see – in Henry David Thoreau’s words), thinking critically and interpretively when reading, self-talking, asking questions, and reflecting. Reading and reflecting will help instill fluency, cognitive thinking habits and skills, build and expand vocabulary acquisition along with empathy and understanding. We read to imagine, to feel, for information, for enjoyment, but mostly to escape our daily reality into unknown worlds, unknown adventures, unknown characters who face real life challenges and obstacles (death, divorce, adversity, friendship, determination, kindness, hope, loneliness, persistence, acceptance, loyalty etc.), we read to learn new information or be in tuned with current happenings around the world, we read to keep expanding our perspectives and horizons, so we can relate to others and try to understand/see things from other’s point of view. We read to empathize. We read, for humor and entertainment, we read to get to know ourselves better and to un-learn and re-learn.

Please continue to nurture a reading environment conducive to focused – attentional (quiet without distractions) reading and reflecting (+book talks) at home. Talk with your children about books and characters, what they are noticing, thinking, feeling and WHY they are thinking, feeling that way, read together, have them teach you or a younger child “how to read” or what habits they’ve internalized or have them share their theories/interpretations. Talk about symbolism, metaphors, figurative language, what the author is trying to say without actually saying it, clues that convey meaning or foreshadowing. Give them opportunities to transfer and apply classroom reading lessons/habits by encouraging them to teach you at home from their lens. Ask them to share about what the character is experiencing, how, what and why they are feeling a certain way, ask them which characters they connect with, and why? Expose and have quality reading materials and resources available to him/her. Foster independence and agency in your child’s own reading and learning process. Get to know great writers’ of young adult novels because reading and writing are interwoven!

I will post summer reading recommendations along with writers I enjoy and feel that are developmentally appropriate for grade 5 reading and up in the next Reading blog post. I also sent home the Scholastic May flyers, for this month. You can order books, for cheap on there by 5/31. Class code H882F

Please continue to hold your children accountable to read nightly. On some nights, feel free to have a book talk by asking them open-ended questions to tap into their thinking. Foster reflection, after reading. Thanks, for your continued Humanities support in nurturing readers’ and writers’ and good humans.

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Also, during the winter we had learned about our brain and how reading/books work (metacognition + the process of reading for meaning) Students had constructed brain maps to show what happens in their mind when they read. Here are some images from a while back:



Tune in to my next reading blog post about NOTICING and ANALYZING with CURRENT READING WORK FROM STUDENTS to be posted. The next reading blog post will focus on inferring skills (how to make inferences) and on symbolism. It’s amazing to discover and learn about ourselves as readers’, thinker’s, analyzers’, noticers’…uncovering how the human mind works is a beautiful mystery. How do I learn? How do I process and make meaning? How can I continue to grow and improve as an independent learner, independent reader? And, we always love to collaborate from people we can learn from (sharing ideas, building on ideas, communicating effectively, thoughtfully, kindly, asking questions, moving from the literal to the inferential thinking (metaphorical, figurative), sharing interpretations. Reading is all about meaning making and interpreting! Talking about books and what you read is pivotal in order to deepen understanding, to grow ideas and perspectives. Collaboration is key! Happy book-talking at home, too!