This week marks the 5th week we have been in school. I feel like my routines are starting to firm up and students are starting to be a little more independent.
The week started out with a little visitor to our classroom.
(Well not really little!)
(Well not really little!)
I opened the closet to get some paper out and I saw something scurry out. I closed the closet and this large fellow was sitting there.
As long as this is not on me I am okay. I knew the kids would freak out, so I calmly said "Wow, this guy is huge! I am going to take a picture of him. Does anyone remember what type of spider he is?" Kids yelled out "Cane" spider and "King" spider. I explained it was a Cane spider and that they came from the sugar cane fields. I spelled it on the board and then we talked about how they were harmless and help eat the bugs in our classroom. I took a picture and they all got back to work. This guy slunk away and I was happy with that.
This week I felt like I had gotten a good feel for our new Wonders reading program. I am picking and choosing the most important pieces and I have my Daily 5 routines up and running.
Here is the schedule of my Literacy Block for the Week.
That first block of the day is spent going over the skills for the week. I have adapted our morning work packet to include the essential skills that Wonders covers for the week.
Every Monday I give a pre-test to see who needs help with the spelling skill. If they pass the test they don't need to take the test on Friday. Wonders does provide differentiated spelling lists for each of the levels.
I place my spelling list up on the board for the week for different activities and for kids to read them each day. That little pocket chart is for Word Families that I got from Really Good Stuff.
On Tuesday I read the story in the Anthology to the class and we go over the vocabulary together.
I then have the students partner up and read it. Then they do the vocabulary page in their practice books.
I try to get in the writing by having them respond the the essential question for the week in their writing journals.
On Wednesday through Friday is when I differentiate and meet with all of my students. I am so happy we received the leveled readers that come with the program. I can easily see what skills my students need and go from there.
I can also work with my lower group on high-frequency words, spelling and fluency. My higher readers can work on the same skills, but I can get them to do more critical thinking, writing and comprehension questions.
My Daily 5 rotations are basically the same as last year. My Word Work centers are all skills that we are covering and they also include activities for spelling. I changed my Writing center a bit and have focused the students on what the Wonders program suggests. This week we were on Unit 1 Week 3. The essential question was "How can a pet be an important friend?" The skill this week was writing a friendly letter.
I made some simple writing templates to put in the center. I told the students that they were going to write a letter to their pet and tell them all the reasons why they were a good friend.
They did such a great job and they were so excited to write their letters and take them home. The kids that did not have a pet could write a letter to an imaginary pet or just a letter to a friend. If you would like a copy of these templates click on the picture to download them from Google Docs.
Over the last few weeks I have created flashcards and lists for my small groups and whole group activities. I have also put together spelling lists at all the different levels that Wonders has provided.
Included are spelling lists, spelling cards, vocabulary cards, and high-frequency word cards for Weeks 1-5. If you are using Wonders this might be helpful to have all of the lists in one place to use for small groups, centers or homework.
This will be a freebie the month of September. I would love to hear your thoughts and know what I should add for Unit 2. Head over to my Facebook page and you can grab it in my Facebook freebie section.
Are you new to Wonders as well? I would love to hear how it is going for you and any tips you might want to share :)