Now for class.....
Daily 5 book study
Work on Writing/Word Work
I think the best way for me to tackle this is to interpret what I read first then to describe how it looked in my classroom. Then I’ll add my questions. They will be highlighted in yellow. I hope some of you will leave comments about how you use these two components in your classes. I want so much for this to work and I KNOW I need some help in this area!
Work on Writing
The book continues in the same pattern of introduction of the session, modeling correct and incorrect, practice and checking in. However the sisters stress that this is a time for writers to focus on sustained writing of their choice (pg. 80) We begin with having conversations about why writing is important and making the I charts/anchor charts needed to be successful. The first teaching point needs to be how to write words they don’t know how to spell. A description of how to do so is on pg. 82 explaining how to write what you hear and underline the word so you can go back to it later to correct the spelling. (But it never addresses how to teach that. Or at least I didn’t ever see it). Then we will list behaviors independent writers will use to be successful writers.
To be totally honest, I feel this is my weakest component of D5. I didn’t do a very good job of teaching what could happen during working on writing nor did I do a good job at checking for understanding of this area. So, no big surprise that kids didn’t utilize this as they should’ve. AND I missed out on an opportunity to help foster independence in my kiddos in writing. I was so excited to get to this part…then I was kinda let down when I reread. There isn’t much in the book about it (or at least that is my opinion) compared to the reading components. Of course the approach is the same…teach, model, practice/stamina, check in…yes I got that part. But I need help with the actual “how do ya do that?” kinds of things. Looking at the focus lesson described in writing on pg. 82-83 it looks like we teach/model how to write words in a sentence. Make the I chart, then model correct/incorrect and practice. But the focus lesson guide shown in the table at the top of pg. 83 doesn’t really match it. Also, what does check in look like with this? Do we talk about what kind of writing went on or how we followed the I chart (or both?) I do like the focus lessons for days 1, 2 and 3 though. I like talking about procedures because I know how important it is to make sure kids know writing and word work. Another thing that I am not secure with is the writing notebooks. What are they, what do they look like, what goes in them??? Questions, questions!! I mean, is it a spiral? Do I look at what is in the notebook? Do these things come to final copies? If working on writing is truly just for practice and sustained writing of their choice we shouldn’t expect them to edit and produce right? See…I’m confused. Please share your experiences with me!!! Help a sista’ out!
The book says to focus on spelling and vocabulary work in order to develop readers, writers, and communicators. Start by setting the sense of urgency for this session and the materials they can use to accomplish this. Then make your I chart to show these. Also make an anchor chart on the procedures for setting up and tearing down. ***My own little PSA Super Important thing to do with your kiddos*** This session follows the writing session pretty closely. They allow for lots of practice during the introduction week so students will learn how each activity works. Word work was pretty successful in my room. I focused on using this time for practice with word patterns, spelling, sight words, vocabulary etc. Here’s a list of some of the activities we did but definitely not all of them:
Wiki sticks, pom-pom words, cheer words/whisper words (with tiny megaphones), file games, POP (sight word game like POW), scrabble spelling, scoop and spell, big beginnings (a scatergories type game), boggle, spelling/phonics dice, magnetic letters, rainbow writing, spelling task cards, play-do, dry erase boards, shaker bottles etc.
Like I’ve said before though, I didn’t spend an adequate amount of time on setup and clean up. Big mistake for a couple of reasons:
A. lost and destroyed materials
B. wasted time
C. missed opportunities for powerful learning to take place.
It will be different for us this year. We are going to start with our discussion and I charts/anchor charts and really model how I want this to look like in our room.
I do have a couple of questions about word work though.
1. Do you allow kids to work together in partners during this time? Like what if they want to play a game?
2. Do you make your kids stick with the same activity the entire round? Are they allowed to get up exchange activities? If so, how many times?
3. Do you worry about accountability? Do you make them complete a “page” or something? I’ve done yes to all the questions but they didn’t always work out so well. Especially the moving to the work station and replacing their activity.
What are word study books? I’ve no idea about these and there aren’t any examples that I could find in the book
I have said yes to all these questions in my class. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I think that is the way it is with anything though. I know I need to spend more time on modeling what and how I want things to look. If I teach them how to work in partners or how to get another activity then things will be much better during this session.
Like I said last week, this is an area I really need some guidance on. I hope some of yall will share your experiences with me! We are getting near the end of the book…I am excited! Next week we will put it all together! Flow, flow, flow…
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