Welcome to Back to School Night. Tonight’s Agenda. My literacy philosophy Our classroom schedule Instructional activities Assessment and evaluation Importance of group work Parental involvement. Mrs. Wetzel's Literacy Philosophy.
My literacy philosophy
Our classroom schedule
Assessment and evaluation
Importance of group work
I believe the teaching of literacy will include a balance of reading, writing, speaking and listening activities.
As your child’s fifth grade teacher I believe it is crucial to use a variety of instructional strategies to meet the needs of all diverse learners.
I believe literacy concepts are taught by the use of authentic literature and the use of research based practices.
Balanced literacy is a way of teaching that incorporates in depth instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. I provide daily opportunities for students to apply what they’re learning in authentic literacy activities.
7:40 – 8:00 Morning Work
8:00 -8:45 Science/Social Studies
8:45 – 9:30 Special Classes
9:45 – 10:30 Math
10:30 – 10:50 Math Problem Solving
10:50 – 11:15 Self Selected Reading
11:15 – 12:15 Lunch/Recess
12:15 – 12:30 Read Aloud
12:30 – 1:00 Shared Reading
1:00 – 1:45 Writing
1:45- 2:30 Guided Reading
2:30 – 3:00 Interventions
Red identifies literacy blocks of time
In a balanced literacy program there are many components that work together to engage and teach students. I offer a variety of researched based instructional activities throughout my literacy time. Let’s take a look.
We will begin each day with morning work which will last for 20 minutes. This is a fun, exciting, and productive way to start our day. Morning work consists of a number of different activities all centered around word work.
Morning Message – A letter from me consisting of a variety of topics. Some might include activities we will be doing later that day, a current event that has recently taken place, or outcomes of school events from the night before.
Word Sorts - Students will know what skill they are working on and get out the corresponding word sort. They will sit with a small group that is also working on the same activity. They will work collaboratively to sort their words based on the skill.
Answer of the Day – A solitary vocabulary word from the week or weeks prior will be on the screen. The students see the word and without discussion they get out a post it note to write three questions. The only requirement is all three questions must have that word as the answer.
Vocabulary - We use this time to discuss new words throughout the year. This is a time we discuss meaning or meanings, where the words come from, and synonyms or antonyms to the words.
Each day we spend a minimum of 25 minutes reading books of our choice. This allows the students a chance to read books on their level that are of interest to them personally.
While the students are reading I pull them back individually to discuss what they are reading. Through these conversations I guide them in the following ways:
what types of books to choose
help them to decode unfamiliar words
give them guidance with strategies that good readers use
This time is about fostering the love of reading.
A favorite time of day for many students is read aloud time. The students gather on the rug around me and listen as I read from books of all different genres.
During read aloud time students are:
listening to quality literature.
hearing a model of strong fluency.
listening to the teacher think aloud about what she is reading (asking questions and making inferences).
using the comprehension strategies themselves.
participating in grand conversations.
Ask your child to tell you about what we are reading. You may even want to go to the library to check out a book to read aloud with your child.
Every day the whole class spends time on fifth grade level text. This allows each student to be exposed to grade level text daily. State Standards are used to determine what skills are to be taught during this time.
Throughout shared reading we:
read from our basal readers.
have author studies in literature focus units.
all read from the same novel.
Before, during, & after reading we:
study words from the text.
learn about the elements of stories.
produce cumulating activities.
participate in grand conversations.
Every day we dedicate 45 minutes to writing. Again, our curriculum is guided by state standards. I use these standards along with best practices to engage and teach students the craft of writing for a purpose and audience.
Our writing is broken apart in three parts.
The first 15 minutes is devoted to a minilesson on a specific skill.
The next 25 minutes the students may be doing a variety of things. Most will be engaged in writing, however others may be peer conferencing or working with the assistant in a small group on a specific skill. While this is taking place I am circulating the room to conduct mini conferences with students on their writing.
The last 10 minutes are used for author’s microphone. This is a time to share and respond to student’s writing.
Numerous activities that go along with the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, and conventions
Activities that correspond with the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing
Lessons about the types of writing we do: descriptive, persuasive, narrative, poetry, expository, etc.
We devote 45 minutes daily to guided reading. Guided reading is when students are reading and participating in literacy activities on their own independent level. It is at this time of day students get more instruction on how to be successful readers and a love of reading is fostered. If you were to walk into our classroom during this time of day you would see many different stations and/or activities taking place, all of which are leveled for the individual reading levels.
Fluency Station – Students practice fluency on their independent reading level.
Vocabulary Station – Students practice previously taught vocabulary terms using games, word sorts, and our vocabulary notebook.
Computer Station – Students write in our class blog answering questions and commenting on the book we are reading aloud or the text we are reading during shared reading.
Book Basket Station – Students read content area texts on their independent reading level with buddies.
I pad Station – Students play phonics and vocabulary games using apps on their level.
Mrs. Wetzel’s Station – Students work with teacher in small groups.
Editing Station – Students edit transparencies to practice editing skills.
After the students observe, learn, practice, and independently do the task at hand, I will assess them to check for understanding.
As you just heard, assessment is so much more than tests. Therefore your child will be assessed everyday through observations, projects, prompt writing, etc. I will use these assessments to determine your children’s grades for their progress report. As you know, our corporation uses standard based progress reports, not a report card based on percentages. Therefore the assessments given in class are used and represented on the progress report.
In our classroom your child will be participating in whole class work, small group work, and individual work throughout the day. The purpose of this is to match classroom instruction to meet the needs of the individual students.
Whole Group Instruction: mini-lessons, shared reading, content area (Science and Social Studies)
Small Group Instruction: guided reading, guided math, content area
Individual Work: throughout every subject
I am thankful for the opportunity to meet you tonight. I am also thankful for the opportunity to teach your child this year. Since we both care deeply about your child, let’s take a look at how we can work together.
Websites to use at Home
This is for our class blog. You too can respond to our literacy discussions. Also it might help you engage your child in dinner conversations.
This site is an awesome resource. It is organized by grade level so your child can pick where they need to be and has a ton of activities and games for all subjects, including language arts. It is motivating so your child will enjoy all it has to offer.
Become a guest mystery reader.
Read the classroom newsletter.
I hope this presentation has provided you with some helpful information and gives you a better idea of how literacy is taught in our classroom. I look forward to the year ahead working with your child as well as working with you. Please contact me anytime if needed. Thanks again for coming tonight!
Student Impact Statement
This project will impact P-12 students learning in that after reading the texts, discussing crucial elements to a balanced literacy program with other colleagues via blackboard, and focusing on reading theorists such as Emmett Betts, the teacher will have a better understanding on what it takes to teach reading effectively. Thus students at all levels will receive the correct instruction in order for them to become successful readers.
Professional Practice Impact Statement
The Balanced Literacy Project has professionally impacted my teaching literacy greatly. I have a much better understanding of the elements needed to teach literacy, their value, and how they all work together to form an effective literacy program. Because of this project, I am more confident using these new teaching practices daily with the ultimate goal of my students becoming successful readers.