It feels so great to be at school and in a routine. I can't believe it is October already. Our groups got a bit of a late start due to the new assessments that have been taking place. We have been testing in both reading and math using a new system called FastBridge. ELL students have also been benchmarked using the new TELL assessment system. I look forward to discussing these results at conferences!
During our small group instruction time, we are focusing on improving our English skills in the four domains of reading, writing, speaking, and listening while supporting the Reading Street Core. We are together five times a week for thirty minutes. We are on a five day cycle of learning where each day builds on our understanding of the lesson the day before. You can see a brief overview of what we do each day below.
Day 1: VOCABULARY! We begin with a vocabulary/language warm up using conversation cards, talking sticks, or detail dice. Grades 3-5 also have a word of the week warm up. Then we are introduced to the week's new vocabulary words, pictures, and definitions. We hear the word, see the word, say the word, and use the word. These are the words that they will see in the next day's text. Next we use sentence starters to explain why the pictures, words, and definitions match. Finally, we enjoy a vocabulary game using these newly learned words. The game for the month of October was called, Rolling, Rolling, Rolling!
Day 2: READING! First, we review the vocabulary from the day before. Next, we preview the book through a picture walk/talk. Then we watch a short video clip which highlight's the week's comprehension skill or strategy that we are working on. We choose how we'd like to read the text from our reading choice list. Choices include silent independent reading, choral reading, echo reading, teacher read-aloud, or buddy reading. We then read a Reading Street text which is connected to the same concepts being taught in their classroom. We finish with a wrap-up of the day's skills taught through some typeof formative assessment.
Day 3: SPEAKING & LISTENING! On day 3, we begin by rereading the text from the day before. Then we engage in a speaking and listening task by participating in a learning conversation based off of the reading. We are working on checking our comprehension, using vocabulary words correctly in conversation, using evidence to explain our thinking, and answers questions beyond the text.
Day 4: WRITING! The next day, we begin our writing which is based off of the reading of the week. This writing is in the form of a reading response and again students are encouraged to use vocabulary words within in their writing as well. We check our work independently and with a buddy using C.O.P.S. and Color Pencil Editing. After everyone is finished, we take turns sitting in the "Author's Chair" to share our work and again practice our speaking and listening skills. This lets students work on speaking loudly and clearly in front of an "audience." As well as practices our listening skills by being an "active audience" and being good critics who can give feedback in the form of specific compliments and respectful suggestions.
Day 5: SIGHT WORDS & COMPREHENSION!
On Fridays, grades K-2 are working on sight word practice. Our agenda includes review past and present sight words, a song, "fun write" of the words, movement sticks, and a sight word game. This month's game was "Roll and Stamp!" Look for that game coming home next week!
Grades 3-5 are focusing on comprehension. Our agenda includes review using our anchor chart and a song, choosing roles, and then using props and puppets to engage us in reciprocal teaching of high interest level texts. This month we've been reading National Geographics while using the reading strategies including predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing. Look out for the "Family Links" weekly homework to practice these strategies!