I teach K in a private school in which I am the only K classroom. In a convention recently I met another teacher from our branch of schools who is the only K teacher in her building too. We were discussing some of the things we do in our classrooms and debating how much academics/play there "should be" in our classrooms. I personally believe that students learn best through play at this age. However, I also use my time to do shared reading, guided reading (though I do not have leveled books available in my school so I am "winging it" in a sense), and independent reading in my LA block. She told me that she uses spelling tests to assess in her classroom and suggested that I should be doing this as well so that my K kids will be ready for the tests they will encounter in first grade. I am a first year teacher so any advice on this would be appreciated. I don't want my kids to be "behind" or unprepared when they get to first. How do you run your LA block and do you think spelling tests are a good idea?