Friday, June 27, 2014

Organization of My Literacy Block: Digging Into Next Year Blog Hop

Literacy is such a big and important part of our day in my classroom. We use 2 big chunks of time for literacy. Last summer I read 'The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades' by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.

So I started off the year by establishing the Daily 5 routines which worked really well. The kids loved the stations and I found it was a great way to get any assessments done including my Dibbles progress monitoring. Below I have included the posters that I made for my Daily 5 Stations. Click the posters, or click the above link to download these free posters.

We did our Daily 5 stations from 8:45 to 9:20 each day and I found it was a great way to get the day started. My stations were highly structured, and I always made sure that all of the materials needed at each station were already waiting at the station when the students arrived in the morning. I also do not allow a lot of choice. The students start at the station I put them at (no complaints), and they rotate through each station. This ensures that everyone spends the same amount of time at each station and everyone is accountable for producing the work at each station. I usually only have 3 stations for each day.  I try to vary the activities and skills needed for each centre. Some of the centres I used include: 

For our writing centre:
We wrote stories, made picture books, post cards, letters from one character in a story to another. We wrote alternative endings to stories, we wrote jokes, we wrote recipes, and we also used our spelling words to write stories. One of the favourite writing centres was an activity where students used stickers to replace some of the words in their story. 

You can find more ideas for writing centres and everything you need to run your own writing centres including: a poster for each station, graphic organizers, and writing paper in my Hurray For Writing Centres!
For our word study station we often used sight words play dough placemats, we did dictionary scavenger hunts, put words in alphabetical order, and did variety of activities with our weekly spelling words. 
For our listening station my students used IPads to listen to stories using the Tumble Books App. This is a terrific online library that reads books to students. There are also games, puzzles, quizzes, and videos. This resource does cost money, but it is well worth it! 

Later on in the day, my class had their reading groups. My school purchased a “boxed reading program” called ReadWell during my first year of teaching for the primary classrooms. For my first 2 years I used the books from the program and I did my own discussions and engaging projects and activities. After their reading group, students had the responsibility to go back to their seats and complete their story “activity” that goes with their reading group. Each reading group’s activity was always appropriate for that group’s abilities, and activities were specifically designed to be highly engaging and meet the needs and interests of the students in the group. Activities included: reading response journals, graphic organizers, and projects. These projects included: student made board games when we read 'The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark', Students completed research projects about endangered animals when we read 'Judy Moody Saves the World', and students made posters advertising businesses students would be interested in running when reading 'Arthur’s Pet Business'. Last year, myself, and the other primary teachers at my school received pressure from my administration to “follow the script” of the ReadWell program, so my last years  students used the activity books from the program for seat work. 

I use colour coded bins to organize my reading groups. I like these coloured bins because everything the reading group needs including: books, decoding books, activity books, and flashcards are all in one place and the group is ready to go. The colour of the bin also becomes the groups name. 

You can check out more blog posts on the topic of 'the organization of literacy block' from other fabulous teacher authors by checkout out the Diggin' Into Next Year Blog Hop! 

1 comment :

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