Scribbles By Maurie
My weekly routine for ELA goes something like this:
Monday - read aloud grade-level text
Tuesday - Shared reading grade-level text
Wednesday - Literacy centers (vocabulary, spelling, morphology)
Thursday - Writing Workshop
Friday - 1:1 Student/Teacher Conferences.
What I like about this schedule is that it forces me to consider how to teach the same text in a variety of ways. Admittedly, vocabulary can be a tricky subject for student engagement. I found this approach to work in a recent literacy center. First, I had the students write the vocabulary words, sounding out the letters/sounds as they wrote. In my classroom, we have a new focus on writing so I've been supporting students with graph paper - more on this later when I share more about the writing workshop on Thursdays. I do use a computer program called Quizlet for a few minutes (8 - 12) when introducing vocabulary but I try to really limit screen time in my resource room.
Next, I do a whole-group exercise where I use my favorite classroom tool - the sticky note! Students were grouped into teams and I would read aloud the definition and teams would take turn in finding the best word to match the read definition. I also wanted students to begin thinking about words as nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc. and though we haven't done enough of this kind of study, literacy is encouraged when words become familiar. So, when I read the definition I say, "This word is a noun, which is a person, place or thing. .." Then I read the definition provided by grade level text. The team whose turn it is "votes" on their best choice for that definition. Then the correct definition is read.
The exercise can then be used for independent practice as seen in the photo at top. Students can do this in pairs or alone which supports students reading aloud skills.