And we're off!

I don't know about any one else, but life sure does have a way of being full on!  School is already so busy, and it's only lunchtime on day one!
I thought I'd share how I'm going to organise my literacy block this term.  I'm not trained in CAFE, or Daily 5, or anything like that, so everything I'm doing is 100% based on little tidbits I've picked up from reading the wonderful blogs I follow! Thanks wonderful people.

First thing - in the E-Z Class we run a 6 day cycle.  It makes planning easier, and it makes it more manageable with 48 students.  Monday-Thursday are included in this cycle, and then Friday is separate.  This isn't a school wide things, but still works well enough in just our class.

So the first thing the students need to do is decide which reading and writing workshops they are going to attend.  I put up a sheet of paper like this on my white board on day 1 and the kids have to choose at least 1 reading and at least 1 writing workshop each cycle.  The lessons are based on what they have written down as their goals. Check out this post here to find out how we do this.  If you are from NZ and want a copy of the standards in the format that we use just send me and email and I'll send it out to ya!  
Second thing they do is fill in their sheet showing what they are going to work on each day, this is where I have taken some ideas from some if my fellow bloggers.   They choose from the following options, each with a different requirement for each cycle.  (I realise that these are quite similar/exactly the same as some of the things in daily 5). Reading to myself, book club (which is a reciprocal reading group of at least 2 people), computer, word work, writing.  
At the moment I expect the students to fill in their workshop options at the start of the cycle, but the other things they can fill in throughout the week.  They have 4 15 minute sessions to fill in each day. I take two 30 minute workshops - which will change if needed.
I'd say that this is awesome and that you should all try it out, but to be honest we are only just starting out this way! I normally write contracts that have everything in them based on a couple books/articles.  
One thing I'm not looking forward to is the word word part. I hate teaching spelling, and think it takes up far too much time, but at the same time I hate it when my students can't spell words that they should know how to spell at 10 years old, so it's kind of a necessary evil.

I will check in again in a couple of cycles time to let you know how successful we have been.  Failing that I will check in and tell you how bad it was!  


1 comment

  1. Love your ideas! I want centers but even though I only have six students each hour and plenty of materials, it always turns out to be unproductive for the unproductive personalities in my classroom. Frustrating! I am going to set them up on Spellcity (free online but I haven't tried it yet) to practice individualized spelling lists. You are quite motivating so thank you and keep posting, Heather


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