I conduct learning in a responsive and supportive environment, differentiating for student needs. In literacy, I focus on the 18 key reading strategies, and 8 writing purposes based on professional resources as First Steps Literacy and the Four Blocks Model. I believe all students are readers and writers and scaffold learning using approaches such as the Lucy Calkins Workshop Model. When possible I integrate literacy outcomes with our Units of Inquiry (social studies and science). A transdisciplinary approach helps students make connections to overarching concepts and also facilitates project-based learning opportunities.
In my previous part-time role as Literacy Coordinator I led First Steps Literacy Training workshops (2011) and in 2012 created a Google Site that housed key resources for teachers to refer to:
As much as possible, I try to integrate literacy with our Units of Inquiry (social studies/science units). Naturally, there are times where reading/writing need stand-alone attention. To provided a scaffolded approach to learning, I facilitate small group instruction through literature circles. Students are grouped according to DRA reading results. Depending on the focus, books are chosen for the group to read and students follow a guided structure where they either take on different roles in their group (word finder, summarizer, questionner etc) or rotate through activities that target strategies or reading procedures.
Collaboration with EAL teacher: Students work through their literature circle discussions with the help of the EAL support teacher. The EAL teacher also collaborates with our word studies (Words Their Way).
Extending the text
When students finish a book they have opportunities to share their understanding in different ways. Creating iMovies to promote the book to a target audience, redesigning the book cover, creating a quiz show etc.
During Literature Circles students learn about different reading strategies
Writing for a Purpose
Through inquiry-based and scaffolded mini-lessons, students learn the 8 text forms based on First Steps Writing:
Writing to Explain
Writing to Inquire
Writing to Persuade
Writing to Entertain
Writing to Describe
Writing to Recount
Writing to Instruct
Writing to Socialize
Students follow the writing process to generate published works.
Word Studies: Words Their Way
Students follow an assessment-based progressive word study program to improve their writing. Word Studies happens 3 times a week and is tailored to student performance on the diagnostic test.
We used the true story of the Panyee Football Club to understand plot diagram. Students were able to make connections to the heartwarming story of this Thai football team and then applied their understanding to their current text. Using Mural.ly to brainstorm Unit of Inquiry words, concepts and images. Creating bilingual eBook Dictionaries with Grade 5 EAL (2012) in preparation for Exhibition