I am home from my bachelor weekend in Tunica! We gambled, ate and drank. Then we gambled more, ate more and drank more. Then we went to the spa and had facials and jacuzzi time! And then we gambled again, ate again and drank again. And we had a blast!!!! We laughed all weekend! And this despite the fact that we found adult diapers in our hotel room! Nuff said! Also, I have to share this! I know mustaches have been popular in blog land…well, guess what I found at the Gap?!?! Mustache boxer briefs!!!!!! I totally bought some!
It’s Sunday which means it’s time again for my Sunday feature: Scheduling Sunday where I share the schedule and goings on from one day of the week in my kindergarten classroom. Since school doesn’t start until August 1 (yeah, I said that!) I am going to share my literacy block schedule with you!
We have a 90 minute uninterrupted literacy block. This is a holdover from our days as a Reading First School. Those days were intense because of the training but also valuable because I learned so much about teaching reading! And the money we were given to spend was SWEET! Seriously, we got $500 a year to spend on literacy materials (anything we wanted and we got a shopping spree at Barnes and Noble worth $700!) Now, we use the Balanced Literacy model. With all of that rambling being said, here is what my literacy block looks like.
8:30-Letters and sounds (letters early in the year until all have mastered (or most) and then sounds. Towards the end of the year we start with blends, we focus on vowels and the King of Ing.
Sight Words-We do our 40 sight words EVERYDAY! I created a PowerPoint with a yellow background and green font and we just go through the words. At the beginning we use the I Do We Do You Do model so I read the words, we all read the words and they read the words. As they learn the words, I begin to pull my voice away. This is such a great tool because my students know all of their words so quickly! After most of them get all 40 mastered, we start on the list of 220! I am including a link to download the PowerPoint (I hope this works…this is a first for me. If it doesn’t please let me know.) I used the Print Bold font that can be downloaded for free. Just Google it. Or click here for the font!
Poem-Each week I have a poem that goes with our book, theme, holiday or letter that we’re learning that week. At the beginning of the week I read the poem and they echo. As we go through the week I begin to pull my voice away and by Friday they read the poem themselves. This is a great fluency tool for my kids.
After this, we move from the MONSTER PIT (circle carpet) to the reading carpet.
Phonics/Phonemic Awareness-we work on the sound of the week, blending, segmenting and syllables during this time.
Story or Book-Shared reading, read aloud and comprehension. This is when we do our story and work on comprehension. I use Stick Pick on my IPad to select students to answer questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. We are now focusing getting our students to answer higher order questions so we work hard on those levels in Blooms. This is when we do story maps and Thinking Maps. My students LOVE thinking maps and I noticed a huge improvement in comprehension after we implemented Thinking Maps. If you get a chance to do Thinking Maps training, please do it. They are powerful tools!
After this, we move to our seats to do a picture sort focused on the sound of the week. We also have picture and word sorts that we use on Thursday and Friday to work on our blending skills. These were created by one of my awesome teammates!
This sounds like a lot, but we do this all in 30-45 minutes each day. This is thanks in part to great procedures and routines established early in the year.
After they complete their sort, they go to centers/work stations while I work on guided reading and one on one instruction.
At 10:10 we would go to specials. When we return from Specials, we would work on writing. We do a lot of shared and guided writing. We also make a lot of class books. However, this is my weakest area of instruction so I’m desperate to improve my teaching of writing.
It took me 3 years to settle into this routine. It came from a lot of reading blogs and other teacher sites and our basal (which I do not use at all now!). I have stuck with this routine because I see my students making such gains and becoming such strong readers.
Once the year gets going, I will post about each of these pieces in detail with specific activities and picture so you can see what I’m rambling about. As always, if you have questions or comments or snide remarks, I would love to hear them!
Big Lots had 20% off today so I picked up a few things. Packs of colored paper for 80 cents! I try to do as much copying on colored paper as I can because it’s so much more fun than boring white paper! Two binders to use for my teacher binders! And some baskets, well because baskets are awesome!
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