Daily Schedule

Our Classroom - An Overview


2017/2018 THEMES

September/October/November/December – Identity
January/February/March – Systems (Cities)
April/May – Innovations
June - Reflections

                        C U R R I C U L U M

READING

Children will be exposed to many genres throughout the year, including informational texts, poetry, fairy tales and folk tales, picture books, and chapter books.

Daily routines:

·      Solving mystery message
·      Reading daily schedule together
·      Teacher-read picture books and chapter books
·      Quiet reading time (including buddy reading, books on tape)
·      One-on-one reading with students

Weekly routines:

·      Poetry anthology
·      Special readers

Other:

·      Assessments are done at least twice a year. I use the Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI) tool. This is a two-part assessment – word lists for sight word knowledge and decoding skills, and passages to read for fluency and comprehension.

·      Read to Feed is a home reading project for the entire month of October. Children read to you to earn money for a service project to help people in poverty.

·      Weekly library time

WRITING

Writing is done across the curriculum, and there is also dedicated time devoted to improving written communication skills.

Children are encouraged to free-write in their journals, which can take the form of drawing, labeling, or writing stories. We will also practice writing poems, lists, directions, and letters.

A big part of our writing curriculum is in the form of our “Memory Books”. I take pictures throughout the month, and then several days are spent brainstorming and writing. As the year goes on, additional attention is spent on the conventions of writing – using upper and lower case letters and proper spelling and punctuation (depending on level of the child).

Several times a year a more formal “Writers Workshop” will be held. Writing instruction will focus on developing and improving the seven traits of effective writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. Children will take pieces of their writing through several stages – brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

A popular morning routine is correcting sentences. I write a sentence on the board with many errors and students take turns correcting my mistakes (upper and lower case letters, spelling, punctuation).

HANDWRITING

Handwriting will be practiced weekly using a riddle book.  Pencil grips will be given if needed to help correct grasp.

SPELLING

Spelling lists will be given weekly, and words practiced using a “Spelling-Go-Round” sheet. Students earn points each time they practice all their words using one of the methods on the sheet (shaving cream, sidewalk chalk, letter stamps, sign language, etc.). A spelling challenge will check for progress each Friday.

MATHEMATICS

Students in this class have either Grace or me for math. We both use a combination of working in textbooks, and more lively, hands-on math activities.

Math is held each day, from 8:55 until 9:40.  We use the Singapore Mathematics program. Students are helped moving between their textbooks and workbooks, and work at their own pace. After each set of books is completed, a thorough assessment is given. A passing grade of at least 80% is necessary for a child to receive the next set of books. If there are “holes” or issues with particular concepts, practice sets will be given until the skill is secure.  Singapore is the cornerstone of our math program, but it is not the entirety of our program.

After approximately 20 – 30 minutes of book time, students will work on a variety of projects and/or play math games. Salute is an example of a fun math game that can be played at school and at home. We also may work on logic puzzles, math-art projects, real-life math problems, making math books (such as “how to multiply”), put on flea markets to practice money skills, etc. If possible, I will occasionally relate it to our monthly theme (making maps with map scales for the Explorers theme, for instance).

SCIENCE

We have a weekly science time with Shan each week. I also include science activities, usually theme related, whenever possible in the classroom.  The scientific method will be taught as children conduct various experiments. Students will practice using observation and documentation skills, do scientific sketches, and make predictions.


SOCIAL STUDIES

Our themes are usually rife with social studies opportunities. As an example, using the first theme of Identity, teachers plan activities that naturally lead to age-appropriate outcomes.

Our theme of Identity will lead to students:

* Showing some understanding of time and how the past influences peoples lives
* Identifying ways people are alike and different
* Using simple mapping skills

We also are “Environmental Superheroes” and plan special monthly projects.  Students begin to recognize how people affect their environment. Last year, our projects included the following fun and effective projects. This year's projects will include many of the same favorites, but may be tweaked slightly:

September – Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt 

October – Vermicomposting

November – Junk Mail Challenge

December - Bake sale for the Birdies - proceeds to be used to sponsor a raptor at LSNC

January – Snow ice cream

February - Birdseed valentines for our winged friends on the playground

March - Make "green" cleaning solution and do some spring cleaning

April - Decorate grocery bags for Earth Day - Trader Joes
            Visit “our” raptor at LSNC

May - Field trip to MRF - Materials Recovery Facility



No comments: