We have completed Week 5 of school everybody! Hard to believe! I have to say, I love my class and, so far, I love Dual Language!!
I teach English Language Arts to a group of 13 (yes, 13!!!) native English speaking kids and it is so much fun!! It’s amazing to me the interaction and discussions we can have since there are only 13 of them!! Okay, I know I am using a LOT of exclamation points, but seriously, I feel so lucky to have this wonderful small group of kids to work with for the morning!
The majority of our first 5 weeks together has been setting up routines, discussing books together as well as setting up the beginnings of the Daily 5. We have discussed Ways to Read, How to Pick Books, the 5-Finger Rule, and practiced, modeled, discussed and practiced again how to Read to Self until we all have it down. We have settled into the routine for the most part and the kids are beginning to become more independent during Daily 5 time! Good deal!
For our whole group lessons, we have been focusing on how to think about literature. We have done book studies of Swimmy by Leo Lionni and Julius: The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes. We have also focused on to think about and relate to characters like Pepita and Franklin! Let’s take a look!
For Swimmy and Lilly (the main character in several of Kevin Henkes’ books) we read the same book each day and focused on different things. The first day, we read half of the book and made predictions. The second and remaining days, we read the entire book and picked a focus for each day – Problem/Solution, Retelling and Character Analysis.
For Franklin, we spent the week discussing what we know about Franklin. Our discussions revolved around making connections between him and books we’ve read before as well as between Franklin and our own experiences – Text to Text and Text to Self Connections. The kids’ discussions were really interesting to hear and facilitate. They had great connections to other books we’ve been reading and themselves.
You might be wondering about all these charts and graphic organizers. Let me explain. After reading, we complete most of the organizers together as a class on the document camera. Then, for the first couple of weeks as first graders, the kids usually copy the more in-depth organizers such as the retelling and character analysis. Now, though as the kids have gotten used to using the organizers and are becoming more familiar with the word wall and how to use a word bank, the initial chart we do together looks like this:
After the kids have filled theirs out, we come back together and create one together for the wall like this:
These completed organizers then go onto our literature chart! Eventually, the kids’ charts will go on the bigger literature chart making the chart truly their own creation!
For now, I use a clear pocket chart to display 6 journals each day. I pick the journals to display randomly. I don’t pick the best or worst specifically, I just randomly pick 6 journals out of the basket, turn to the organizer for that day and put them up. This allows them to see their work as well as to compare their work to others.
There you have it!! Stay tuned this week, I’ll also be showing you some of the vocabulary building and Dual Language elements in our classroom!! See you soon!