Monday, September 30, 2013

Balancing Act Part 2

My last post was a long one explaining how I am incorporating Balanced Literacy into my day in the first couple of weeks. Now that we have worked out the kinks we are moving up to the next level- dual rotations and individual practice. Ok, here goes. My colleague and I have been trying to wrap our heads around how to fit it all in during the day in a way that isn't overwhelming or frustrating and here is what we came up with. First, here is an overview of our day. (You'll notice that the rotations are broken up into 2 times of the day. That was for scheduling purposes)

8-8:30- unpack, announcements, morning work
8:30-8:45- calendar, morning meeting
8:45-9:00- phonics
9:00-10:30- Balanced Literacy Block (rotation 1)
***9:00-9:15- Shared Reading (pocket chart, big books, etc... focusing on a reading skill)
      9:15-9:45- Whole group writing
      9:45-10:30- Workshop rotations (T works with one group on a skill and aide assists the other 3 groups doing independent work from our work tubs: sight word activity, predictable reader, letter writing, etc... I put specific tasks that I want the students to complete for practice for the week in my work tubs. When students finish they have an assigned area to go to for early finisher activities: computer, promethean board, pocket chart, etc...)
10:35-11:05- lunch
11:05-11:30- bathroom/interactive read aloud (book for a skill with specific questions I want to          address or a book from our unit of study)
11:30-12:30- Related Arts and recess
12:30-1:15- RTI group/Balanced Literacy (rotation 2)
**** aide takes RTI group to another room to work on letters, sounds, reading, etc... remaining students rotate through the work jobs in groups of  2 or 3. Each student has a task to do for that day. As they are working I am pulling strategy groups to the back table for guided reading
1:15-1:45- Math and math workshops (whole group math on Monday, workshops T-TH)
1:45-2:10- Free centers

I use a work job board to let students know what they are to do for the day. If there is an activity that requires them to write or respond (ex. write the room or listen to reading) I have the sheet in a colored box and that work job card on the board has a coordinating colored dot so they know which box they need to pull from. There are 12 work job cards and they are rotated daily. It might take 2-3 weeks for all students to rotate through the jobs, but that's ok. The purpose is that they are doing meaningful work and practicing their reading and writing. It's ok if they don't get to every job every week as long as they are working with a purpose.  Having them organized and set up in a neat way has really helped me stay focused and helps the kids know exactly what they are supposed to do. My work job cards are available on my TPT site. You can grab them here.

That's Part 2. I'll take pictures of my work job board and rotation schedule and post them tomorrow so you can see how I make it work. Part 3 will focus on guided reading and writing. I hope you found this useful. If so, let me know. I'd love to know how you're fitting it all in!!

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