Instead of the normal update on everything, I'm writing to update you on a few new things that will be implemented this week. Please get in touch with any questions.
As I wrote in my last blog post, I have adjusted spelling groups to target each students' needs. This past week students learned how to make a Word Ladder for a classmate. My goal is to do more spelling in class, but we need to get those procedures in place in order for students to be independent on other spelling activities while I meet with groups. This week I'll be introducing a variety of sorting activities, as well as Spelling Battleship. Beginning this week, I'll be incorporating spelling into the weekly homework in a new way.
As the year has gone on, this class (as a general group) continues to struggle to write with volume. Many struggle to get words on the page/screen during Writer's Workshop, and students' daily responses to reading are still usually one or two short sentences. In an effort to give students more opportunities to improve the quality and quantity of writing, we'll be dedicating a short time each day to respond to open ended writing prompts. Also, students will begin to write about their reading at home in a journal for homework.
This week will see two new additions to the weekly homework assignment. The first is the new spelling component. If you used to work on your child's spelling words with them, that's great; please continue! The homework assignment will be to look out for their spelling/sound patterns in the book they're reading during the week, and record them on their homework sheet.
The second addition to weekly homework is a journal. Each week students should write one entry (hopefully on Wednesday or Thursday evening) that tells
- the title of the book
- a short summary of the the book/part they read
- a time when they stopped to think about something important: what did they stop to think about? why was their thinking important? how does it help them understand the story better?
Each weekend, I'll respond to your child in their journal.