Happy Saturday, everyone! WHEW! It has been a CRAZY week for me…report cards, assessing, and keeping track of my huge giveaway. It has been a week of highs and lows for sure! Report cards are finished, and I am now sitting back and crossing my fingers that I don’t get an inbox full of unhappy parents. Is there ANYONE who has a report card that they feel truly communicates clearly to parents? Sigh. It feels like forever since I blogged about anything in the classroom, so here goes!
I promised over the summer that I would keep everyone updated on my Words Their Way journey, and I’m not going to lie–it hasn’t always been easy. Our district has asked us to do three groups this first year as we try to navigate things, and after assessing my students they fell in 11 different categories. ELEVEN! I did the best I could putting them into three groups–knowing full well I would need to differentiate a little on both ends of the spectrum.
Another thing I thought long and hard about is the fact that ALL my students are entitled to the universal instruction in the CCSS, so I looked through the books and picked out 10 sorts that I felt ALL my students needed exposure to and that I would teach whole class. I won’t assess these–but I will at least instruct so that all my students are exposed to the concepts covered, even if they aren’t at that point. I picked the sorts that addressed things like compound words, contractions, homophones, dropping the “e” to add “ing”, and the”ed” ending. I knew even my most struggling students might be able to apply these skills at their level, so each quarter I plan to teach 2-3 of these whole class lessons. This week I did one of them–the “ed” ending and how it can make the “t” sound, the “d” sound, or the “-ed” sound. I still did the sort in small groups and my strong spellers did it quickly so I sent them off to find more challenging words in their books. I then made word sort posters to hang and asked ALL students to be mindful of the “ed” words they see for the next few days and jot them down on the posters. My kids love “noticing” things like this so a few even came in the next day with a few cool words they found that fit the pattern.