5th Grade Still Using the Dictionary

What’s in a word? In the book Frindle by Andrew Clements, Nick’s fifth grade language arts teacher, Mrs. Granger, had a battle cry, “Look it up! That’s why we have the dictionary.” The fall 2019 grant through the Cissna Park Education Foundation allowed Mrs. Kollmann to upgrade the 1964 set of dictionaries on a shelf in the fifth grade classroom with twenty of the hardback Merriam-Webster Intermediate Dictionary that has a 2016 copyright. With the changes of meanings to words like mouse or the addition of words like cyberbullying (1998) and in a setting where we are not 1:1 with a device, this upgrade will indeed help fifth graders to “look it up.” Also purchased were three hardback Merriam Webster’s Intermediate Thesaurus, which will allow students to replace uninteresting words with stronger choices.

Continuing the word theme, the grant purchased a companion volume to the Words Their Way core text, which the third, fourth, and fifth grades are using for spelling this year. It is called Word Sorts for Within Word Pattern Spellers. Words Their Way allows for differentiated lists for the different levels of spellers in the classroom.

Finally, the grant also purchased a dvd called Our Friend, Martin, which will expose the fifth graders to some of the riveting words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as they are intertwined in an animated educational film about a time-traveling adventure. Mrs. Kollmann said, “The fifth graders are looking forward to this glimpse into the life of a man who helped change the course of history”.