Monday, August 8, 2011

Top 3 Things Linky Party!


Simply 2nd Resources  is having a linky party to share the top three things we are going to focus on in our classrooms this year.  Here are my top 3:

1. Math Workshop: It is my number 1 goal this year to make math workshop work in my classroom. In Chicago, our school day is so short that I have only had 50 minutes at best in the past to teach math. I need to find a way to squeeze out 10-20 more minutes a day in order to make math workshop work. I have read Debbie Diller's book and read so many great ideas on blogs. My hope is to start math with a quick 5 minute meeting to go over anything new at the math work stations/ to get the stations organized/ do a quick read aloud...maybe I'm being too ambitious to say I only need 5 minutes for this! Then, 20 minutes of workshop, where students can participate in one activity and I can meet with one small group. Next, I will teach the Everyday Math lesson whole-group for about 20 minutes. Finally, my students will have about 10 minutes for independent practice of the "new math" in their math journals. During this time, I will walk around to help those tier 2 and 3 students that need more support. What do you think? Am I missing anything? I know I need about 70 minutes for this to work...which I totally don't have...but I am hoping to "make it work" in the words of Tim Gunn :)

2. The Phonics Dance: I just learned about the Phonics Dance through the fantastic bloggers I follow...I love blogging :) Again, scheduling is going to be a challenge. Given that I am adding something to an already packed day, inevitably something has to go. But, what will that be? Right now I am thinking of dedicating one round of mini-lessons during the Daily 5 to the Phonics Dance, which means I will have to squeeze in all of my vocabulary, fluency, and accuracy mini-lessons during one round rather than splitting between two, if that makes sense. So Daily 5 will look like this: 
Comprehension mini-lesson
Round 1 literacy stations/ Guided Reading
Phonics Dance mini-lesson
Round 2 literacy stations/ Guided Reading
Accuracy or Fluency or Vocabulary mini-lesson 
*I am thinking M and T= vocabulary W and TH= accuracy F=fluency??
Round 3 of literacy Stations/ Guided Reading
 All I know is that my students will just love the Phonics Dance, and I have heard nothing but how great it I will just have to make sure I am getting to everything I need to in that third mini-lesson! If anyone has any better ideas though, I am completely open to hearing them!!!

3. Word Walls: I have always had a word wall in my classroom, and when I taught first grade I used it everyday in an interactive way. However, for the past two years in second grade, I have gotten away from that. Last year was rock bottom. We even stopped adding words to the word wall at one point...really embarrassing! This year, I want to make sure my students use the word wall as a resource and that I use it as a scaffolding tool for word recognition and for spelling. That's why I am going with the popcorn word theme for the word wall this year, and also why I am not going to put the HFW from our basal up on the wall - and just focus on the 2nd grade Dolch word list (and Hunk and Chunk exemplars). I think it will be far more meaningful and engaging! 

I can't wait to post pictures...but I can't get into school for another week because they are redoing the floors in my hallway. We don't start school until after Labor Day, but I am very anxious to get to work! 

I can't wait to read about all of your top 3 things you want to work on this year!


Becca Morris said...

You have an awesome list! We are both going to tackle the Phonics Dance and our word wall this year! Good luck!

Simply 2nd Resources

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