You know your children’s instructional reading level, you have placed your students into groups and chosen books for each group….now what!?! It’s time to plan your instruction for each group, for each day of the week. We have created a planning sheet here: http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/2012/05/22/literacy-center-planning-sheet/. This sheet is designed to be printed for each group. Complete the sheet so you have record of what each group is working on, each day of the week. This is also great documentation for students. Once you have your sheets printed, it is time to begin planning! Here we will give ideas for day 1. It is important to begin with vocabulary instruction so that kids can understand what they are reading. We call this preloading words or preloading vocabulary. This day is also used to activate prior knowledge. Here are some activities we use on these days:
- Preload Words – this is for students who are reading books with basic words. Students understand the meaning of the words but they may not be able to read them. Put the new words on index cards. For each new word, put three known words on index cards. This is creating a word stack for student practice. Use this stack like flashcards. Make sure you have three known words and then one new word. Hold the cards up and say the word, have the kids repeat each after you. Once you have done this, have the kids say all of the words without your prompting. With these cards you may also choose to lay out the cards and have students find the word you ask for. Later in the week, these cards can be placed at a center for independent practice.
- Word Search – give the students the book you will be reading. Tell the students a word and have them find it in the reading.
- Vocabulary Building – Use this word map page to help students become familiar with new words before they encounter them in their reading. Students define the word and draw a picture to show the meaning.
- Vocabulary Flip – Fold this paper in half on the solid line. Students cut on the dotted line and flip each tab over. Have students write one word on each tab. They then write the definition or draw a picture to show the word behind the tab.
- Reading Preview – Great for nonfiction texts! Tell students the book title and topic. Have them record what they already know about the topic. This is similar to a KWL chart but with fewer sections.
- Picture Walk – Meaningful for a fiction text. Students take a picture walk and then record their predictions of what will happen during the beginning, middle and end of the story.
- Just talk! Activating prior knowledge can be a time when you give students an idea and they share a memory. For example, if you are reading a book about going to the park, students can share their own personal stories. You might even have them begin by drawing a picture and then have each student share. This is also great listening and speaking practice!
This is just a post to get you thinking…Do you have other activities that are meaningful for the first day of instruction? We would love for you to share with us! Please add your ideas in the comments below to help our readers make their instruction even more meaningful.