Class begins with another quick write activity. On the SmartBoard for them when they arrive is the The Sieve and the Sand Quickwrite prompt and instructions. The students are asked to write about a time in their lives when they tried to do something that was futile, something that truly couldn't be completed, yet they still tried anyway. I have the students think about and connect with this experience because those experiences mirror the theme of the second section of the novel: The Sieve and the Sand.
Students have not yet reached this point in their reading, so it can act as an effective precursor to their reading. It also acts as a focusing agent for the students as they work through this next section of the novel, building on the previous reading. I give the students a one minute warning in order to give them time to wrap up their writing as adequately and effectively as possible.
While the students are writing, I stick to our routine and go through the room with my handy dandy stamp and pad to stamp the third vocabulary activity in their Novel booklets for completion.
When the five minutes is up, the students get into pairs and read their writing aloud to one another. I do not have them otherwise share out this information, but I find it still helps them to feel validated and lets them have at least two experiences to potentially connect the reading to.
At the conclusion of the quickwrite and share-out, we quickly review the vocabulary activity to ensure the accuracy of student responses.
Once we have done this, I make every effort to faithfully follow my standard practice of reading alongside the kids, while moving occasionally from one table to another for greater impact of proximity and reinforcement.