My main goal is to create a space in which students enjoy listening to stories and get inspired by the written word. Love for reading is fostered by selecting and exposing students to different genres they naturally gravitate towards on their own.
When stories captivate them, the motivation to read for pleasure gets reinforced. By sharing and discussing themes and ideas from stories they relate to and enjoy, they naturally level up and explore a variety of authors recommended by me or their friends.
I use a literature-based curriculum, non-fiction books, as well as poetry and magazines, in order for my students to explore the world around them. Oh, the places we can go!
★ Development in fluency
★ Reading aloud in a group with expression
★ Paired reading
★ Recognition of sight words
★ Expanding vocabulary
★ Retelling stories and refining retelling with details
★ Predicting outcomes
★ Understanding cause and effect
★ Drawing conclusions
★ Working towards solid comprehension skills
★ Sustained silent reading
★ Partner read with another grade
We learn both technical and creative writing. I expose students to both types of writing by modeling. With respect to technical writing, I teach new spelling and phonetic concepts each week. I reinforce these concepts through homework assignments. The cycle runs from Wednesday through Wednesday and the students complete the cycle with a weekly test. I also teach grammar, in which I focus on complete sentence writing. I teach students about nouns and verbs and learn how to identify them.
Our expository writing skills culminate in an end of the year “Animal Report,” which each student presents to the rest of the class. Oral Presentation of this report is the highlight of the year for each individual student. They have a chance to be experts and teachers. It is an opportunity to truly shine!
I also teach creative writing, where the goal is for students to express their ideas. We spend time developing the structure of a story, including its beginning, middle, and end. We learn to expand by adding more details to each of these three parts. Eventually, students are able to share their stories with peers and learn to give and receive feedback.