Each day your child will be Working With Words, have Supported Reading, Supported Writing, and Teacher Read-Aloud and Self-Selected Reading time.
During Working With Words, your child will be participating in activities that will introduce and/or reinforce concepts of print, phonemic awareness, letter recognition, letter formation, sound/symbol connections, sight words, decoding, and spelling.
As the year progresses, we will have portions of our literacy block devoted to Teacher Read-Alouds, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, and Self-Selected Reading. During Teacher Read-Alouds, I introduce and model the reading strategies that the children will be learning. I “think aloud” during these lessons so I can teach the children how to “think as they read.” As reading strategies are introduced, we add them to our “CAFÉ menu” that is posted in our classroom. A list of the ‘star reading’ strategies that we will be learning about are listed at the end of this post.
Shared Reading is a strategy in which the children “share” in the reading with my guidance. We read chart stories, poems, ‘morning message’, and “Big Books” together during this time.
Small group instruction at your child’s level occurs during Guided Reading. We practice the strategies taught during Read-Alouds and Shared Reading together. It is during this time with your child, that I can monitor how well s/he is applying the strategies and coach her/him to use what s/he knows. The children practice literacy skills at Literacy Work Stations in small groups, with a partner, or independently while I work with small groups and conference with individual students.
Our Supported Writing block involves the children in writing activities during Interactive Writing in addition to Focused Writing and Writer’s Workshop. Listening and speaking plays an extremely important role in acquiring literacy. I do have a “show and tell” time in my Grade One program. However, we regularly have “buzz groups” in which the children are involved in structured listening and speaking activities. These activities are frequently excellent precursors to writing pieces. Your child will be asked to share oral retelling of our favourite stories this year with you. Look for the ‘story bit bag’ that will be send home periodically throughout Grade One. The monthly calendar denotes when this will be visiting your home and when it should be returned to school. Our class mascot will also visit your home this year for one week.
Poetry is another important genre that I use in my literacy program. I use poetry to encourage your child to reread and develop fluency. We look forward to seeing you at our Poetry Café in Term 3!
Assessment and Evaluation
I use a variety of ways to assess children’s reading and writing abilities. Your child will be keeping a reading and writing portfolio this year. These important collections of your child’s work will be shared with you at each teacher/parent conference. I also make anecdotal records (observations) of your child, take running records of your child’s reading, use rubrics based on the Grade One Reading and Writing curriculum expectations, and use exemplars (samples of students’ work at each level) to assess and evaluate your child’s progress.