Happy Monday!!! I hope you had a great first day of the week. I had a half day for a training. Balanced math.
I get lots of questions about my schedule and my day and how I fit it all in. Last week I shared my morning meeting routine so today I want to share my reading block routine and schedule.
We use the balanced literacy approach for reading which means we have a 90 minute block of uninterrupted (uninterrupted in teaching and school terms people…how many times does that phone ring?!?! Just sayin…) reading time. Within that 90 minutes, we are required to do the BIG FIVE: Phonics, phoenemic awareness, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. So buckle up and hang on cuz it’s a wild ride in Mr. Greg’s reading block.
8:30-8:40 Morning Meeting ends and we immediately turn to the Smart Board! This is what I call our warm up and review. We do our letters and sounds using a chart that correlates to our Dr. Jean song, Alphardy. Repetition Repetition Repetition. Did I say repetition? We start this in September and by the end of October a majority of my monsters are very strong in letters and sounds. The visuals in the chart help as do the motions I made up for the song.
After letters and sounds, we go through our sight word Power Point. Yes, we do sight words (sights words=bad! hehe) daily. Every day. All 40 words. Again, repetition repetition. The monsters are exposed to the words every day and read them every day.
After our sight words, we do our poem. We do the same poem all week. The poem is related to the theme or lesson or holiday of the week. On Monday, I read the poem once and then we echo read. As the week progresses, there is less of my voice and more of the monsters. By Friday, they are reading the poem fluently on their own. I give this HUGE props for my monsters being fluent readers. I also try to make the poems silly and funny so we’re engaged and enjoying reading! Be sure to check out the freebies page for some free poems!
After our poem comes the emergent reader. I have started writing emergent readers for us to use but I have also used sight word based emergent readers. This is a great time to work on pointing to the words as we read! We like to read a little fast with our books so we have to concentrate on reading to the words Mr. Greg is pointing to. On Thursday the books goes home for homework and they get to keep the book at home! Be sure to visit the freebies page for some free emergent readers!
This is when we also do our name changing. A favorite!!!!!! This is how it works: You take the first sound of the day of the week (Today is Monday so the sound is mmmm). Each child changes their name to that sound. So, Bob becomes Mob. Sara becomes Mara. The kids LOVE this and it really builds their phonemic awareness. And of course, Mr. Greg changes his name. Before we start changing names, we decide if there is anyone whose name will not change. And then we discuss why.
Finally, we work on our phonics. We might do the sound of the week (usually Monday) and we don’t spend a lot of time on sounds at this point. Early in the year, our sound focus is much more prominent. We do segmenting, blending, rhyming words, compound words, vowels, beginning, middle and ending sounds, and all of those skills that we need to work on.
Shew, are we tired yet?!?! This warm up section takes about 20-30 minutes. So now it is approximately 9:00 or 9:10!
After this, we move to the reading carpet for our read aloud. We discuss title, author, illustrator and make predictions based on the cover. Then I read the story. As I read I am asking questions and we’re discussing the story. After the read aloud, we do a comprehension activity. We do our story map, thinking maps and lots of sequencing.
And that is it for our whole group. 45 minutes or about half of my reading block. The monsters now do some independent work. Usually this is a differentiated picture sort. To differentiate our sorts, some monsters are doing sounds and others are working on blending and reading words and matching them to the pictures. (And this is the time every Monday that we do our silly hats!!) While the monsters are working on their sorts, I begin pulling for small groups.
Now, here is where I get controversial (OK, that’s not true. I am always controversial… I mean sound of the week and sight words=bad.) so don’t hate me. And don’t throw things. Here goes…deep breath…I don’t do small groups for guided reading. AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH OMG I KNOW RIGHT?!?! I will give you a minute to breathe deeply and remember you love Mr. Greg.
OK…instead of guided reading groups, I read with my students one on one. Yep. Every child. Every day. First of all, I have 16 kids so that makes it much easier. Secondly, we also have a 30 minute intervention block in the afternoon that I use to read with my monsters. So if I don’t read with a monster during the reading block, I will get to them during intervention time. (Disclaimer: early in the year when I still have monsters doing skills such as letters and sounds I will pull groups for that time.) Every child reads a book on their level and they keep the same book for the whole week. The book goes in their book bag so they can practice anytime they want! And they do love reading from their book bags!!!! YAY for loving to read!
While I am working with my readers, the monsters are at centers. To manage centers, I use a center wheel! I will share more about centers and the center wheel next week! I think I have bored you enough for today….
We clean up at approximately 10:05 and head to specials.
If you have any questions about my reading block, please let me know! It’s a lot…it’s fast paced…but it really does allow us to cover a lot. It’s very repetitive to the point that the monsters know what’s next which makes transitions super painless. And having that routine makes the whole morning run smoothly.
And of course I won’t let you down….here’s Silly Hat Monday!