How to organize a daily 100 minute Language Block for Primary Grades
Language can feel very overwhelming to plan because there is so much to cover in the year. However, good long range planning and a daily plan helps your year go smoother.
Regularly Scheduled Program
I find that having the same schedule that runs every day and every week results in positive behaviour. The students know what to expect and prepare themselves both physically and mentally for the next event. Sometimes the task varies within the scheduled activity to create interest, but the topic remains the same. The following is the schedule that I follow every day.
2. Grammar Search
I begin my Language Block with an activity called Grammar Search that combines grammar and poetry. I introduce a poem, which we read together and discuss what the type of poem it is.
I then display two lines of the poem (two per day) that the students search through to find grammar rules, writing rules, punctuation and words within words using special symbols. This is an independent (student directed) group activity that occurs for about 15-20 minutes.
For further details, see my blog A Unique Approach to Teaching Grammar and the Grammar Morning Work unit on my Teachers Pay Teachers site, Laurie’s Classroom.
2. Daily 5
For the next 20-30 minutes, I meet with one guided reading group while the rest of the class is at their one centre for the day.
These centres follow a weekly schedule because I need each student to complete work at each of my five centres. They are aware that each centre has specific work that will be either assessed or checked for completeness.
Centre #2 – Questioning
Comprehension questions for their guided reading book.
Centre #3 – Silent Reading
Centre #4 – Spelling
Centre #5 – RAZ
Listening/reading and answering questions on a computer program.
For in-depth descriptions of my Guided Reading and the four other Daily 5 centres, please see my blogs My Guide to Guided Reading and My Guide to Daily 5.
To close the lesson I explain what I want them to work on independently. Once, they are working and settled, it gives me the opportunity to work with a small group of students that struggle with similar issues or I can work with one student at a time to give them assistance or feedback.
I run my program on a Monday to Friday schedule. If it’s a four day week, I double up on my guided reading and daily 5 session and shorten my writing activity so that I see each of my 5 groups every week. This keeps me on schedule for the next week.
The order of my schedule changes a bit for Monday so that I can introduce new activities for the centres for the week.
I schedule a 30 minute period in the afternoon for individual book talks and read aloud. This is described in my Teachers Pay Teachers unit, Four Corners Reading Book Talk.
At the end of the day, once the students have placed their homework in their agendas and are packed up ready for home, I like to spend at least 10 minutes on a shared reading (usually a novel).
Please visit my TpT store, Laurie’s Classroom, to check out all of my teaching products and free materials.
I hope you find this Language Block Blog helpful in planning your own schedule.