Fish in a Tree, the Chapter!

If the author chose the name of this chapter (29) to be the title of the book, it had to be an important chapter! We were alert for Reading Signposts from the start!  Here are some that we spotted:

  • Again and Again: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Ally running out of rooms
  • Memory Moment: remembers swinging with grandpa
  • Tough Questions “Why can’t I read?”
  • Kiesha’s Words of the Wiser: “Hunched over and silent is no way to meet the world.”
  • Albert Einstein’s Words of the Wiser:  “Everyone is smart in different ways.  But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking that it’s stupid.”

Character Hot Seat gave us a chance to ask these characters the hard questions we have been wondering about.  After making a Character Wheel, texting in character for a couple of weeks, and much discussion as we read, we were ready to become Ally or Shay or Albert…or a Halloween character, perhaps!

Character Hot Seat!
Character Hot Seat!
Questions for the Characters


“Texting” in Character!

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This week, we paired up with some students in New York to “text” back and forth in the role of some of the characters. We had a Mystery Skype with them earlier.  Now our students are matched up with assigned characters, in groups of three.  Each one has to imagine actually being the character and “texting” (on a Padlet) about what is going on in the story.  We plan to continue this throughout the rest of the book.

GRA First Week!

So many choices, so much excitement!  Galloway 5th graders loved making such a strong connection with the author through her videos as she read and answered questions. The book is already touching hearts as Ally’s story becomes more and more real to us.  We were able to begin several connections with other classes around the world, through Edmodo, Edublog, and Skype. The Mystery Skypes were a great team-building kick-off!

Two Weeks In!

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After last week’s Mystery Skypes, we began exploring what other classes were doing on Edmodo and Edublog.  We also sketch and take notes as Mrs. Hunter reads.  One morning, students decorated wooden nickels during the story!  We are having great discussions about the characters in this story. Thinking about Dyslexia has created some interesting new understandings, too.


Poem by Colin M.

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Galloway 5th Grade, Atlanta, GA



Our Galloway fifth graders are participating in the GRA for the third year. We are an independent school located in beautiful Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA. Our 41 fifth graders are middle schoolers, unlike many of our local schools, so they come to me only for Language Arts, and they enjoy feeling a little more grown up and independent! The Galloway culture is strong on reading and many of our students participate in Book Clubs and Reading Bowls after school. Our library is an unusually energetic and inviting place that grows readers.



Last year, we loved figuring out where our partner schools were using Mystery Skype and yes or no questions. We are reading Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt this year. We are willing to Skype, use Edmodo, try Edublog….or share Google Docs. Notice and Note (Kylene Beers and Bob Probst) close reading strategies were immensely helpful last year and we will be looking for signposts as we read. We look forward to making connections with you!