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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

100 Minutes Book Study: Chapter 2

Well I'm still running behind...but I'm getting closer to being caught up.

Chapter 2: The Building Blocks.
Interesting name for the chapter but it totally makes sense. You need all of the blocks to build a house, without all the pieces your house will have holes. I think the same could be said for reading and writing, if students aren't taught "all the pieces" then they are going to have holes in their foundation. The same can be said for an literacy block. If you want students to be independent you need to build a strong foundation. You need to start small and teach them what the expectations are.

The Building Blocks 
I think in the past, whole class instruction has been given a bad name. This is understandable. How can you reach all 20 odd students with the same lesson? I sometimes look around at my students during a lesson and wish that there was a a way to engage each of my students in the lesson. There are always one or two whom I know have no clue about what is being presented. 

Small-Group Instruction is always the goal. We all know that this is prime learning time. Guided reading and conferencing are so important for students to progress in the literacy.

Independent Activities: students need to be able to work independently for Small-Group instruction to be successful. 

All of this needs to be built up slowly. Lisa suggests beginning with: 
  • Reading Time (Lesson)
  • Independent Reading 
  • Writing Time (Lesson)
  • Independent Writing
This is actually very similar to how I set up my literacy block. We have Reader's Workshop for approx. 45 minutes and then Writer's Workshop for an addition 45 minutes. I really like this set up. I find it gives me time to work with groups and conference with individual students. I find that my students have to be very accountable for their own actions. It took us a while to build up to that sense of independence.

I have the beginning stages set up in my classroom, so it seems logical that I can take the next steps and implement AWARD Time (reading and writing independent time)

So I'm still wondering how effective the writing lesson will be  if there isn't any follow through?
Is there choice in the different AWARD time activities?
If technology is to be integrated, why is there a separate "Tech Time."

I'm sure these answers will become more apparent as I read. I'm really interested to try out this model in my classroom. I'm not sure if the last few weeks of school is the ideal time to try something new. I'll let you know if I end up taking the leap before the 27th of June.

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1 comment :

  1. Emily,
    Thanks again for posting. Have you read Lindsay's post at Apples and Chalk Dust? She's wondering about ending the literacy block with a writing lesson and no follow up as well.
    Thinking of Teaching