A Day in the 3-5 Cohort, Fall 2015-2016
During writing, students are working in one of two groups, both focusing on narratives. Mrs. Petersen's group is writing and learning about realistic fiction pieces, stories that could happen in real life with some fictional elements. Mrs. Ebert's group is writing and learning about personal narratives, stories that they have experienced. No matter what group they are in, students receive the same format of instruction: a direct instruction lesson (or two depending on the day) and time to work on their writing piece with support from an adult, as needed.
While working in our reading workshops students work through three stations: technology, independent reading and teacher station. During the teacher station, students are either working on skills within a book club or they are working on skills associated with reading using shorter texts. During the technology station, students work on either RazKids or they can take an Accelerated Reader quiz. During their independent station, students are either reading on their own, working on book club reading or reading with an adult.
Students are grouped based upon their learning goals and needs. These groups are evaluated and rearranged at least every three months, or sooner if needed.
Our math time looks a little more traditional compared to our other subjects. During math, students are separated by grade level and then by learning needs. Each teacher takes one group of kids, Mrs. Foerster's math group meets in her room, Mrs. Ebert's math group meets in the Art room and Mrs. Petersen's group stays in the cohort room. Depending upon the need in the room, students are taught in either a more whole-group method followed by independent work time with assistance, or they are taught in a math workshop model. Regardless of what room or teacher your child is working with during math, all students receive similar instruction methods including direct instruction, independent practice time and technology time.
Word work time is again grouped by need. Students are given a new sort(set of words) every week. When they receive the new words, the group is with a teacher. Students try to sort the words first, then the teacher works through the sort to make sure each student understands the word patterns. Students that aren't meeting with a teacher on a particular day, meets with peers in their same group to practice their word sorts. Students are assessed on their spelling skills informally within their writing pieces and more formally within a unit assessment.
We have been so thrilled at the student successes and discoveries while working through our first three projects. This year, our project time will include the following topics: Wisconsin History, Government, Glaciers/Wisconsin Landscape, Animal Adaptations and Habitats, Habits of Mind, The Science of Flight and more! It has been fantastic to see students grow in not only subject and area content but also in social/teamwork skills and research skills. During project time students are involved in a variety of activities that include components of direct instruction, independent research, team research, non-fiction writing and presentation skills. Research and lessons include book materials, textbook materials, short videos, online databases, magazines and more!
Please look for monthly blog posts, beginning this month, that will detail what students will be experiencing and learning in each content area.