I just finished reading chapter 1 of this book and let me tell ya–I am super excited about trying this system with my second graders next year (for those of you that do not know, I will be teaching 2nd grade next year :))! After reading chapter one I thought, “sistas you are preachin’ to the choir!” I cannot wait to read further in this book to hear all about this literacy block system that is meant to foster independence with your students (again aren’t ya thinking “amen sistas!” :)),
I’m linking up with Suesstastic Classroom Inspiration‘s Chapter 1 Linky Party. A whole bunch of teacher bloggers are participating and posting their thoughts on this chapter (some are even posting some great D5 ideas and printables as well).
Okay, so I’m sure that you all have had enough of my silly ramblings…here are my answers to the questions:
1. On pages 4-6, the authors present two different pictures of their classrooms. In thinking about and reflecting on your own practice, how would you characterize your literacy block? Does it look more like the first or second scenario, or is it somewhere in between? How will you change it?
This next year will be my first year back into a general education classroom in quite a loooong time. I have been a special education teacher for the past seven years, and I taught students with mild/moderate disabilities in a self-contained classroom. So, as you can imagine, I know that it will be a little different next year with teaching 2nd grade :). When I taught first grade (again years ago before I was a SpEd teacher) I would say that my literacy block was more like the first scenario. Let me tell ya–it was a lot of work prepping and managing all of those centers! And, just like the book described, I was exhausted!
Next year my goal truly is to create independent learners and thinkers, and for my kiddos to take some ownership of their own learning. I am hoping that the D5 will assist with all of these things.
2. The typical teacher is very busy having students do lots of different activities. How is what you are having students do now in your classroom creating quality readers and writers?
Again, since I have been teaching special education students in a self-contained classroom, my experience in this has been very limited given their varying cognitive and language levels. However, the bulk of my instruction in my SDC class was in a small group format with focus upon specific skills. Students generally completed a worksheet or activity related to the reading standard that we were working on. During my whole class lessons, I would do a lot of “think-alouds” during reading to model comprehension strategies for students. We would also complete a lot of classroom posters that focused upon specific literacy skills (story comprehension, etc). For writing, we would also work on these in either the small group setting so I could target the specific needs of my students or I would teach a lesson as a whole group and model the writing process for them (this had to be heavily modified due to the cognitive abilities of the students). I am really looking forward to further developing my teaching strategies in these areas next year with my students.