The First Six Weeks: Language Arts

A Guide for Establishing Language Arts Routines in the First 6 Weeks of School

Covers Introduction of reading, handwriting and word study routines.

For Writing – visit your first writing planner on Atlas

Week Questions and Content Actions and Resources
Week 1

Reading

Who are we as readers?

 

  • Establish students’ attitudes to reading, identify their favorite books and genres – share your own.
  • Interactive modeling – choosing books from classroom and returning to correct location.
  • Establish routines for read aloud (where/how to sit, how to indicate if you have something to share and turn and talking to share ideas)

 Resources

Responsive Classroom Website Interactive Modelling, Turn and Talk video

Week 2

 

Reading

How can we ensure that we are always learning (and becoming better readers?)

(for G1-G2)

  • Interactive model and teach 3 ways to read a book – read the pictures, read the words, retell the story. Co create and display Anchor chart

(for All)

  • Launch read to self. Establish procedures for read to self/independent reading, build stamina over the weeks as needed. Co-create and display Anchor chart

Resources

The Daily Five Book

  • Three Ways to Read a Book – pg 47 -49
  • Launching Read to Self Pg 49 – 58

 Additional Resources

  • See Chapter 2 in The Reading Strategies Handbook for mini-lessons on Building Reading Engagement – Focus, Stamina and Building a Reading Life
Handwriting (G1-3)

  • Begin Handwriting Instruction
  • Interactive Model – Body position, pencil grip, following correct letter formation, how teacher will check handwriting (using the “check” box in the student workbook).
  • Continue with Handwriting over remaining weeks (4 times per cycle)

Resources

Bettina can be available to model pencil grip and body position for classes.

Week 3

 

Reading

How can we ensure that we are always learning (and becoming better readers?)

Good Fit Books

·      As part of Read to Self, teach students how to find and determine good fit books

·      This can be linked to Math through the panic, stretch and comfort zone chart

Launching Read to Someone

  • Begin to include “Read to Someone” as an option/activity during the reading block.
  • Interactive Modeling of what read to someone looks like
  • Co-construct and display anchor chart

Resources

The Daily Five Book

Additional Resources

See Chapter 12 of The Reading Strategies Handbook – “Supporting Students’ Conversations”

See Language Essentials Page, under “Digging Deeper” for anchor chart on stretch zones in reading

Begin Reading and Word Study Assessments

  • Begin running records on students using PM Benchmark or Probe
  • Complete Word Study assessment and form word study groups.
  • Record data on Language Arts Handover sheet

Resources

–       PYP Language Arts Assessment Schedule

Reading

  • PM Benchmark Kit
  • Probe Assessment Kit

Word Study

Words Their Way, Silver Edition

  • Chapter 2 (for in depth information on spelling assessment and sample class charts)
  • Appendix A – for assessment word lists and recording sheets
  •  See Primary  Language Arts Assessment Schedule for details on which assessment to give
Week 4

Reading

How can we ensure that we are always learning (and becoming better readers?)

 

 

Launch Listening to Reading

  • Establish listening to reading routines.
  • Co-create and display anchor charts

Resources

The Daily Five Book

Listening to Reading – pp75-78

Student Resources Available for Listening to Reading

(can introduce one new resource each week or all at once depending on grade level and student’s prior experience)

See – NIS Library Online Subscription Login Info (for log in and password details)

  • Tumble books (for all students)
  • Reading A-Z (for some students – see ELL teachers for log in and student lists)
  • YouTube QR codes
  • Pebble and Go (all students)
  • Flipstar (online magazine subscriptions – see Librarian)

Establish Book Box Agreements

  • Form agreements around book box selections and what a balanced book box will look like in your classroom.
  • Consider balance of genres, language, longer and shorter text etc

Week 4

 

Word Study Whole class interactive modeling of preparing word lists

  • how to cut
  • how to rule columns in word study book
  • how to “mark” your cards (coloured stripes on the back etc)
  • where to keep cut up words
  • where/how to pack up

Interactive Modelling –  an open or closed sort

Interactive Modelling – writing sort.

  • how to set up page in workbook
  •  how to write headers
  • using word cards to check spelling

Resources

Words Their Way, Silver Edition,

Chapter 3 – see particularly pp 59 – 69 for examples of differentiated support in sorting and examples of follow up activities.

Week 5

 

Reading

How can we ensure that we are always learning (and becoming better readers?)

 

  • Establish flexible guided reading groups only if read to self, read to someone and listening to reading routines are established and working well – if not, continue setting expectations and building stamina for these routines.
  • Model – what to do if you’re stuck with reading and a teacher is working with a group

Review goals from previous Semester 2 report

  • Confirm or set new goals

Week 5

 

 Word Study
  • Review how to set up page in workbook
  • Introduce Blind Sort
  • Introduce Blind Writing Sort

Resources

Words Their Way, Silver Edition pp64 – 65

Week 6

 

Word Study
  • Introduce Speed Sort
  • Interactive modelling – how and where to record sort time (and to what decimal place, if any)

Resources

Words Their Way, Silver Edition, pp68

For emergent spellers

  • Interactive Modelling – draw and label or cut and paste (for emergent spellers)

Resources

Words Their Way, Silver Edition pp67

 

 

Introduce Word Hunt (not necessary for groups working on latin and greek roots or less regular letter patterns – if unsure, read notes in WTW book, pages shown below)

Teach

  • how to set up book/paper for a word hunt
  • where to choose word hunt books from
  • looking for the letter pattern and listening for the sound

Resources

Words Their Way, Silver Edition,pp 65 – 66

For groups working on Latin/Greek roots

  • Introduce Brainstorming
  • How to set up brainstorm page
  • Where to find additional words (if needed after brainstorm)

Resources

Words Their Way, Silver Edition, pp 67