Now, even though I said I love the program, which I do, I still have a lot of questions about how it will look in my classroom. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your help!
Currently, I follow Fountas and Pinnell's word study program. Monday I introduce the spelling pattern(s) for the week, we brainstorm words, and then my students choose 10 of those words they want to learn. Tuesday they do "Look, say, cover, write, check" with their own spelling words. Wednesday they do a buddy check (they have spelling buddies). Thursday we do a "making connections" activity - making words, word sorts, rhyming words...and Friday spelling buddies give each other their spelling test. My question is: would I still do this with the Phonics Dance? The program has you introduce a new hunk and chunk on Mondays and Wednesdays. I couldn't introduce a hunk and chunk on Wednesday and then test my students on Friday...sooo I am wondering if anyone does spelling tests/lists and phonics dance or is it one or the other?
My next question is about the word wall. I love putting "exemplar" words for each hunk and chunk on the word wall...but then that's only two words per week. What other words do you all include on your wall? In the past I have put up the high frequency words from our basal series (Harcourt Storytown). I don't love this because I don't feel that my students really learn the words - so I am sort of leaning toward using the 2nd grade Dolch words? What do you all think? I'd really love to hear how you use word walls and introduce new words.
The final question I'll ask you all is: when do you do the Phonics Dance? First thing in the morning? During Daily 5 mini-lessons? (Those were my two thoughts.) I teach in Chicago Public Schools, which from what I have heard has the shortest school day in the country. I need tips about how to fit this in! :)