We begin each morning visiting and settling in to the spots that we have picked for the day. Once our day planner is out…we choose a book to read, or work on our “exploring” (details to follow). Ms. O uses this time to take attendance, catch students up on unfinished work, or work one on one with anyone who needs a boost.
When our special song plays, we clean up what are working on…join in on the movement break…then meet on the carpet for morning meeting.
During this time, we greet each other, discuss what the day will look like, and have a sharing circle (Mon and Fri). Next we decipher our mystery morning message. This is our phonics time where we work on specific word study rules and grammar. I then look for this to be reflected in their reading and writing. After that, we write our day planner message where we practice our letter placement and printing. The kids then answer the question of the day (math related), exchange their green bag books and wash up for snack.
I have just changed the way our math period looks like and the kids seem to really been enjoying it. We begin with a “number talk” where we discuss our thinking and strategies to solve a set of question. Go to (www.mathsolutions.com) to learn more. We then complete a set of questions or problems on our own. When the kids finish their job, they head to a math invitation where they practice different math skills in a hands on approach. Ask your child to explain what their choices are and which one is their favorite:)
After recess we alternate between RW and WW…
Reader’s workshop begins with a mini-lesson based on a comprehension strategy that we are working on. We are currently working on questioning and inferring. After the lesson, the kids get their RW book bags and go find a cozy place to read. They take out their chosen book, activate their schema, and begin reading while stopping to make tracks of their thinking. Their RW notebooks should begin coming home shortly as most of them have filled up a book with their sticky notes. Their comprehension grows each time they take a minute to think about what they are reading. I confer with 3-4 students per session where I listen to them read, ask them questions to gage their understanding.
Just like in RW, we begin our WW with a mini-lesson based on the skill we are focusing on. Today we talked about different ways to start our sentences in order to make our writing interesting for the reader. The kids are then released to practice the skill through writing a personal narrative, report or story. After the break, I will introduce poetry to give them another way to express themselves. Each student has their own writing folder and finished writing folder where they keep their work. I confer with 2-3 students per session giving them whatever guidance they need at the level they are working at. Those students then take a turn in “author’s chair” where they showcase their writing in front of the class.
Exploring is where we learn about the science and social outcomes in our curriculum. We begin by talking about the outcome and what it means. We define the big words that we do not understand so we can figure out what we need to learn. Next we activate our schema (what we already know), followed by creating questions about what we want to find out. Then…we read for information. The kids also learn about text features, key words and other elements of language that help us to gain a deep understanding. The current outcome we are working on is “analyzing the growth of development of familiar animals during their lifecycle.” They have each created a book about their chosen mammal and are now working on learning about the life cycle of a bird, reptile, amphibian, fish or insect.
That’s all for now!