Introduction As the new school year approaches feelings of anticipation and nervousness begin to set in. This will be the first year I will be teaching fifth grade and a literacy block. Teaching a new group of students each year is challenging because you have to understand and adapt to how your students learn very quickly. This year I get the opportunity to teach the group I had two years ago in third grade. I know most of the students in my class. I know what their struggles were, and I plan on using that to my advantage when planning my literacy block.
This is a reat group of hard working students, but many of them are struggling readers. Knowing this about my students, I plan on using guided reading groups, vocabulary instruction, book clubs, the K-W-L model, and interactive read alouds during my literacy block. Reading has been a struggle for me throughout my years in college. Reading for pleasure is easy for me, but reading for comprehension in an academic text is much harder. Vocabulary has always been my weakness, and after much research, vocabulary is a strong component to comprehending what the text is trying to convey.
My students are getting ready to ransition to the middle school where they begin to have to do much of their work on their own. I want to use this year to instill strategies and skills that will help my students in future learning. Components of my Literacy Block Along with teaching a literacy block, I will also be teaching social studies. Social studies is a hard subject because it has so much information from the past. In fifth grade I am extending the timeline already created from previous grades. Knowing how difficult learning about the past can be, I must connect their new learning to prior knowledge.
During my social studies block I plan on using the K-W-L model. After an introduction to a new social studies standard is discussed, I will have my students complete a K-W-L chart. This approach will have the students create their own knowledge about the subject and begin to activate prior knowledge (Tracey & Morrow, 2012). In the first column, what I know will have my students brain storm anything they already know about the standard. I also want them to start linking what they know to what the text or article is relating to based on the title.
In the article, K-W-L: A teaching model that evelops active reading of expository text, Ogle (1986) says we need to ask specific questions about what the passage will be about to help develop the pertinent schemata (Ogle, 1986). Social studies can be so vast and sometimes irrelevant to what is going on in the world today. Making a connection to any prior knowledge they have can facilitate new learning. Based on the information provided in this column you want to begin to put it into specific categories (Ogle, 1886).
Once this has been modeled you want the students to begin to come up with some categories on their own. Ogle (1986) says this can really show the readiness for this level of thinking. To help deepen the understanding of they think they know Ogle says to have the students provide evidence to where that knowledge came from (Ogle, 1986). child. After discussing what we think the text will be about, questions are bound to arise. This column has the students record questions they want answered about the text before reading it.
The teacher must tell the students that everyone is reading to gain understanding, but what they learn may be different. Once the reading is complete the students will record hat they learned and make sure all questions were answered. I thought this would be a good way to incorporate research. If any questions did not get answered the students could find the answer by searching sites I have listed for them. Once the The what I know column will vary from child to information has been found the students can present their findings to the class.
This could also clear up any questions or misconceptions other students may have had. I plan on using the K-W-L model because it allows students to access and link their prior knowledge to new learning, helps plan what the tudents should expect and want to learn from the reading, and show me what they learned from reading the text. This is a model I can also use during my literacy block. Vocabulary instruction will be an important part of my literacy and social studies block. In reading and in the content areas my students are bound to come across words they do not know the definition of.
In the article, Selecting Academic Vocabulary Words Worth Learning, it says academic vocabulary practice should be an essential part to a literacy lesson because vocabulary and comprehension go hand and hand (Townsend & Kierman, 2015). Knowing vocabulary and comprehension are linked, I want to give my students the opportunity to learn strategies to figure out new words and content related words in the texts and books they will be reading. In the article, Teaching Vocabulary, it says vocabulary drills are very isolated and you want to give the students the opportunities to see the vocabulary in authentic texts (Diamond & Gutlohn, 2006).
Diamond and Gutlohn (2006) says having the students go beyond defining a word causes them to think about word parts and helps connect words to each other. Along with using orthwhile texts, Diamond and Gutlohn gives three word- learning strategies students can use to figure out a words meaning. The first strategy is using a dictionary to find the multiple meanings of a word. The second strategy is morphemic analysis. This has the students looking at the base word, prefixes, and suffixes to come up with the words meaning.
I really found the activity we did in class meaningful and beneficial and I plan on using the activity with my students this year. I got more bang for my buck because using this strategy I can then construct meanings to other words with the same base ords, prefixes, and suffixes. The last strategy is contextual analysis. This has the students look for the meaning of the word based on the text around it in the passage or paragraph. Lane and Allen (2010) says that children come to us with a different amount of knowledge of words and their definitions.
There is a gap among students based on their socio-economic groups and learning disabilities (Lane & Allen, 2010). This really hits home for me because most of the students I teach come from lower socio-economic homes and without adequate vocabulary instruction, which will help with reading omprehension, the students can have a hard time catching up with their peers (Lane & Allen, 2010). Based on this research, vocabulary instruction and word defining strategies will be an integral part of my literacy and social studies block.
Reflecting on my years of schooling the thing I remember the most was when my pre-Cal teacher would read aloud to us every day. I remember being excited to go to her class because we were going to find out what happened next. Gold and Gibson says that a teacher read aloud provide the students with a good model of what a confident reader looks like (Gold & Gibson,). A read aloud is a great time for teachers to not only model what a good read looks like, but also strategies a good reader uses while reading a book.
Gold and Gibson says this article focuses on three reading comprehension strategies that can be modeled during a read aloud. Strategy one is making a connection to their life, strategy two is making connections to past readings, and strategy three is making a connection to a larger or universal concept. During my read aloud time would be a great time for me to incorporate a think-aloud. Along with modeling what a good eader looks like I can also model what a good thinker looks like. In the article, Improving the Quality of Think-Alouds, Ness and Kenny says that think-alouds do not happen immediately when reading the text.
You have to have careful planning about the strategies you plan to use during the think-aloud with your students (Ness & Kenny, 2016). Reading the text once is not good enough. Ness and Kenny says that while planning a think- aloud you need to read the text three times. The first time is to find the “juicy stopping spots” that can help with comprehension or could cause confusion (Ness & Kenny, 2016). The second time is to see why I need to stop in this spot and to eliminate any that I will not need. The third time is come up with exactly what is going to be said during the think-aloud.
I plan on using interactive read alouds during my literacy block to give my students the experience to be read to and to help students learn strategies of thinking while reading a book. Book clubs have really peaked my interest and I plan on using them with my fifth graders this year. In the book, Teaching Reading and Writing, Templeton and Gehsemann define book clubs as “long-term ability-based groups of readers who meet egularly to talk about their reading experiences. (Templeton & Gehsemann, 2014). ” | will put my students in groups of four to six based on their reading levels.
Choice will be a huge component of book clubs and I want the groups to have a choice at what book they can pick to read. Templeton and Gehsemann say it is important for the students to have books they can read and comprehend without struggling. I plan on having my book clubs meet once or twice a week. During morning work on Monday and Thursdays I will have the students read the chapter they are required for their book iscussion on those days. While the students read for morning work they will need to make notes about what they are reading on sticky notes.
These sticky notes will have things they found interesting and things they want to discuss with their book clubs. Once in his or her groups, each person will have a job to complete. T really liked the jobs listed in Teaching Reading and Writing. They have the discussion director who will write any questions about what is happening in the chapter and predictions. The connector will write any connections made between life, other texts, or the world. The word hunter records any words that are important in the text or any words they did not know or understand.
The friend of the characters will write about what the characters are feeling and why they are doing what they did in the book (Templeton & Gehsemann, 2014). I found books clubs to be a great way to get my students discussing what they read, and I can’t wait to try it with my fifth graders this year! The last portion of my literacy block is going to be my guided reading groups. My guided reading groups will have my students grouped based on the text they can read with accuracy. I plan on using running records to group my students for guided reading.
The purpose of my groups are to allow my students to expand on the strategies they are leaning within a text they can comprehend. During my guided reading groups | will be working with a select group while the other students will be engaged in meaningful tasks that promote learning and literacy (Fountas & Pinnell, 2012). During my guided reading groups I also want to give my students opportunities with text that are on the “edge of their learning” where it pushes my students thinking with the support of the teacher (Fountas & Pinnell, 2012).
Jones and Proctor (2015) says text selection is also important because some text lends its self to more meaning discussions (ones & Proctor 2015). Guided reading lets me really work with my students on a level that they can participate in. Conclusion Literacy is such an important part of my day in fifth grade. All subjects have some component of a literacy lesson. I plan on using all of these skills discussed to give my students the most beneficial literacy block. I know I will have many struggling readers, and I feel all the components discussed will support my struggling readers well.