Word Study happens every day from 10:15-10:40am. It's a time to reinforce literacy and makes sure our students are finding balance and getting well-rounded exposure.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we will do a read aloud. Read alouds are SO important! They help our students become better readers, invite them to start thinking more deeply, spark discussion, and introduce new topics that relate to other subjects. Here is more on the importance of read alouds:
We always make sure to fit in a class read aloud followed by a book discussion. During this time, students gather on the rug to hear the teacher read a fantastic, high-quality book that really gets them thinking. Unlike your average bedtime story, read aloud allows the teacher to choose meaningful pieces of text with powerful main ideas so that student thinking never becomes one-sided.
As the teacher moves through the book, she is constantly revealing her thoughts to the students by thinking aloud about the characters and their choices making sure to highlight high level comprehension strategies that the students will later use in their own independent reading. Additionally, she provides several opportunities for students to "turn and talk" about key moments in the text. As the students talk in partnerships, the teacher listens in to confirm that students are internalizing the main idea.
She can then push their thinking even further by presenting them with a discussion question following the end of the book or chapter. While the students discuss a central theme from the reading, they are positioned in a circle so as to practice their discussion techniques with each other while the teacher acts more as a spectator than a guide. This year, we will read chapter books from renowned authors like Kate DiCamillo and E.B. White, but we will also save time to investigate shorter picture books from award-winning writers such as Patricia Polacco, Eve Bunting, and more.
Every Tuesday and Thursday we will rotate through 4 different stations. These are the stations: Handwriting - we learn cursive in 3rd grade! Keyboards - oh yay! What a great skill. Mechanics - because our writing won't be taken seriously if we can't add punctuation correctly or spell iPad - students choose from different apps such as Spelling City or Vocabulary city to reinforce their learning *The rotations will happen on a 2 week basis.
But what about Spelling? We will assess Spelling every two weeks on a Friday, and students will have the list to bring home on the Monday two weeks beforehand.