English Language Arts Block

Discussion in 'General Education' started by OUOhYeah, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2018

    So I found out I will have about 2 hours for ELA with two 5th grade classes. My original idea was to have them start doing literature circles, but they are extremely low. I want to do a readers workshop and a writers workshop as well. I also want to do vocabulary and phonics skills. Any idea how to make this work within a balanced literacy framework?


    My idea is this:

    15 minute read aloud
    10 minute mini lesson
    15 minute word study lesson/work work
    20 minute centers for guided lesson + independent word work + computer work. x 3

    Then 20 minutes is still unaccounted.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2018

    I'm actually taking a course where this was a major topic of discussion last week. That's not a lot of time to fit everything in, but, if it were me working within those time constraints, I would do it like this:

    ~ 25 min interactive read aloud w/mini-lesson
    ~ 45 min independent reading/conferences/groups
    ~ 10 min word study (phonics and/or vocabulary)
    ~ 40 min writer's workshop

    I wouldn't do centers in fifth grade, if at all. They should be reading that entire time while you conference or meet with groups. You may have district mandates that you have to work within, but this is my best shot at it.
     
  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    What changes would you suggest if more than 50% of the class has 3rd grade reading skills? This is not uncommon in many low-performing schools. In such schools, I observed that underachieving students often have attention spans of about 10 minutes on independent activities other than video games. They tended to have major deficits in all areas.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2018

    In that case, I'd probably offer more opportunities for partnership reading and sharing/talking about reading. Really, there should be time for that built in anyway, I didn't specifically mention all of that. If the majority of the class is reading below grade-level, then I may reduce the time that they are reading alone and include time for them to read together or talk about their books. I'd still leave it at 45 min overall, though.

    I'd also make sure to get some books that they are interested in, ideally on their own reading levels.
     
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  6. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jun 28, 2018

    Don't worry about the 20 minutes. Whatever time schedule you decide to use, keep in mind that it's just a starting point to use as a guide. As you work with the students and learn what their academic needs are, be prepared to make any necessary changes. You may also want to consider providing whole-class instruction to address major deficits that most students struggle with, in which case 10 minutes for a mini-lesson may not be sufficient. The schedule doesn't have to remain the same every day to better meet their needs.
     
  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jun 28, 2018

    And don't forget about "books on tape'' / e books you can read and listen to you such as "Epic!"
    The students can practice reading with the supports of the read aloud /audio.
    :)
     
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  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jun 28, 2018

    This is what my ideal ELA block would look like... with grammar and writing:

    Read aloud (10 minutes)
    Mini lesson (15 minutes) ("I do")
    Shared reading/ guided practice (15 minutes) ("We do'')
    Guided Reading/ Daily 5 (30 minutes) (Students will independently practice the reading skills and strategies)
    Closure (10 minutes)
    Grammar / Writer's Workshop (40 minutes)
    :)
     
  9. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    I love this and I love the I Do, We Do, You do. OMG I would use Daily Language Review or Words their Way/Megawords.
     
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  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Regardless of low/high, they should be diving into independently-chosen books for at least a solid chunk of the time, in addition to the application of the whole-class or small-group work done possibly with other curriculum texts. Especially if there's a smaller likelihood of that IR happening at home as much.

    If their stamina isn't there yet, that needs to be built up during the first month...and if needed, it could be two smaller chunks of time within the block instead of one longer chunk of time.
     
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  11. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    This will be the first classroom where I will have books. My charter didn't have books and I was never instructed in college to go out and buy books for my classroom, granted I have done that. However, they should have leveled books and I think a public school would have that.
     
  12. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Well, not just "leveled" books, but books that they have chosen to read, without focus on "level". My ideal literacy block would have an opportunity for students to read both their independent reading book (that they chose with no respect to leveling), as well as the whole-class text which I may have chosen based on certain levels / small-group text that was chosen by me specifically for that small group based on where they'd be most successful.
     
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  13. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    That's true, I have students now that love certain books but are higher level and they read it anyway.
     
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    To really help, you could put them on a timer, individually if needed, and have them track their progress. You could make goals with your struggling or reluctant readers. You can't just take a bunch of non - readers and say "now go read for X amount of time,'' it just won't happen.
    I 100% agree that the teacher needs to MODEL how to build stamina and provide opportunities to practice to really get those kids reading independently. If they start at 3 minutes and then go up to 5 minutes and so on then it will really help them.
    Timers really are magical for many students. I've seen this many times in my capacity as a sub teacher.
    :)
     
  15. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2018

    Grade 6 ELA teachers-how do you schedule your block of ELA?
     
  16. OUOhYeah

    OUOhYeah Comrade

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    ^ I feel like they should be similar. I still think I could do literature circles with them vs. guided reading. Like... I guess combing the two?
     
  17. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I did my entire research class project on Using the Gradual Release Model to teach Reading Comprehension. Fisher & Frey (who wrote the book) are my homies!
    :D
     
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