I attended a second grade class at Smallville Elementary on February 22, 2014; the class began promptly at 0855. There are 26 children in this second grade class. There are 15 male students and 11 female students. The student diversity is 2 Hispanics, 1 African-American, 1 East Indian, and 1 New Zealander (White but with an extreme accent). Three children were left-handed.
Two days a week in the morning, the children participate in a reading and writing block called “literacy and writing workshop.” The classroom is organized into five different levels with one group having one extra person; the levels are based on scoring of reading assessments. The groups are rotated so that each may spend 15 minutes cycles with either the teacher or Para-educator. The groups not with an instructor were to work on the “Daily-5” (explanation later) until their scheduled lesson. After the students finish their lesson, they are to fill the remainder of the workshop time working on “Daily-5.” This workshop is part of a regular routine. The students understand that after a reading a story with the teacher, they are verbally given a writing assignment. The assignment is usually to write a five sentence paragraph and color a picture related to the reading.
I observed Mrs. Rammond begin at 0915 with a group of five boys. It is a reading group that struggles with pronunciation and comprehension. The group individually takes turns reading a paragraph from a short story. The story is always 12 paragraphs long and has pictures tha...
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The writing class session I observed is a packaged program in which the students have been participating in for 5 months. They all know the routine of the reading and writing workshop and understand “the Daily 5.” The student’s movements are purposeful and there is little time wasted in transitions. The books used by students become more complicated as the students ability strengthens. At the end of the workshop, Mrs. Rammond praised those students who used their time efficiently during “the Daily 5.” She spoke directly to the students who wrote in their journals and asked them to share their entries. The students learned some new trivia about insects, practiced writing and then had some time for art.
Boushey, G., & Moser, J. (2006). The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades. Portland: Stenhouse Publishers.
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