Digging Into - My Literacy Block

 I hope you are all out for summer vacations by now and are relaxing into your summer routines.  I know that I am!  I am just getting back from a weekend at my parent's beach house!  Which is AMAZING, however, it does not have wifi!  Hence why this post is coming to you a little late!  There is only so much time I can spend at Dunkin's on a Saturday morning! ;)

This week we will be talking about literacy block organization.  I have lots to say about my literacy block - mostly good.  My district is pretty strict with the organization of the literacy block for grades 1 and 2, so as far as timing goes I have VERY little flexibility, but as far as content goes I have MUCH more leeway!  We don't include our writing block in the literacy block.  That comes in the afternoon - a separate 45+ minute chunk.  The literacy block I will chat about today is a 90 minute chunk in the morning - including Guided Reading, phonics, focus lessons, word work, reader's response, listening center, poetry, and independent and partner reading.

 In our 90 minute block, we begin with 15 minutes of whole class phonics instruction.  We use the FUNdations program.  While I don't love the whole class piece of the program, I do like the scope and sequence.  I have made TONS of games and practice packs to go along with the first grade curriculum and am working on the Kinder and 2nd packs this summer!  I use individual white boards to make the lesson more interesting and interactive.  

The second 15 minutes is a focus lesson. This is where the strategy/skill is introduce through an interactive read-aloud and discussion.  This lesson sets kids up for the reader's response work that they will be doing next.

The next chunk is slightly more confusing.  For the following 60 minutes, I take reading groups and kids are working independently.  There are 3 20 minute stations to rotate through.  I have 5/6 reading groups depending on the needs and levels of my kids.  Here's where you may start to hate me...Our district provides an AWESOME literacy aide to each of our classrooms for 40 minutes!  That means 5 groups can been seen each day!  When I have 6 groups, that means that my highest readers are seen less, but they are more able to respond deeply to books, so they use 2 stations a week for that.  

While kids are with me we are doing the usual guided reading work.  However, some of my neediest learners need more than 1 20 minute session with me.  They may get a second guided reading session focused on phonics/sight words/fluency/comprehension/etc.  Usually this group is my most needy or maybe the 2 most needy groups. If I have an especially needy group of beginning readers or if I have an ELL room (which I usually do), I also can get support during reading group time from an ELL teacher or aide.  They often give the second dose of reading instruction.  

So, what is the rest of the class doing?  Here is the board they follow...

Stations here may include independent reading, partner reading, listening center, reader's response, poetry, and word work.  All of these stations can be differentiated based on the group's needs and skills they are working on. 

 Honestly, I wouldn't change much.  If you read my post last week though you would know that I do really want to make sure that kids are learning to use the strategies and skills we are working on whole class and in guided reading when they are reading to themselves or with a partner.  I would like to find a way to squeeze that in there, but I am still without any LIGHTBULBS...feel free to chime in in the comments with your suggestions!

For once, I have some GREAT products that you could use in your literacy block!  If you use FUNdations for Grade 1, I have practice packs, games packs, and spelling lists/practice that go with the program.  Even if you don't use the program, the games packs and spelling lists/practice work on HAVE TO KNOWS for grade 1, so they will be TOTALLY appropriate! Check them out in my store - HERE!  Also, I have JUST uploaded my MEGA games pack - 14 grade 1 games packs - That's over 80 games!  Get it 50% until Monday 6/30 at 6pm!  Find the set HERE!

Make sure you click through the rest of these amazing literacy ideas - More to think about for next year!! :)

See you next week when we talk about The Beginning of the Year!

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