There are many componets to teaching ELAR (English, Language Arts, Reading). My general lesson plans focus on:
Word Study/Vocabulary: Word Study teaches children about how to decode unfamiliar words using phonics rules, prefixes, suffixes, syllables and other letter patterns. Vocabulary is more about deeply learning the meaning of words where students feel comfortable using them. Our weekly Daily Reading Ready packet will work on integrating these skills with short passages that also support comprehension.
Teacher Read Aloud/Shared Reading: I will select a book, poem, or text and read it aloud to the class in a whole group setting. During this time, I will model for the students best practices in reading. This is a time where students are actively listening while working on their oral comprehension skills. We discuss all the story elements including genre, author’s purpose, theme, text structure, and point of view. We also work on writing summaries together.
Reading & Writing Mini lesson: During each mini lesson, I will introduce a specific concept or skill. Most often this will focus on a particular writing or reading strategy or skill. I will explicitly model or demonstrate the skill for the students. Students then get a chance to practice the skill or strategy on their own or with a partner.
Guided Reading & Writing: I will work with a small group of students on different reading and writing skills. Each student has their own text and I work with the group to target a specific reading strategy or skill. Each group has books on their level. Students participate in repeated oral reading of known texts to apply and practice the use of decoding skills recently taught and to develop fluency with known sight words. Texts provide sufficient practice at the appropriate level for students to develop fluency. I will be going over student’s writing with them to work on skills they need to refine.
Independent Reading: During guided reading the remaining students in the class are reading text on their own. This is a time for students to practice and apply the strategies learned in whole group and small group lessons. Students select text based on their reading level and use sticky notes to tag their reflections or make graphic organizers. There also may be online reading activities that students work on such as Education Galaxy or Read Works.
Grammar/Mechanics: This is a time when we are working on the mechanics of writing sentences such as using capital letters, proper verb tenses… We will also work on editing and revising all year long.
Phonics/Spelling: Part of learning to be good readers and writers involves using phonics skills to decode and encode. Our spelling lists will be based on the different vowel spellings we are reviewing and learning. The skill and word list will be sent home on Mondays. Students will practice in class all week on various activities to learn the particular skill we are working on. Spelling Tests will be given on Fridays.
Cursive Handwriting: Third graders will build on what they learned about cursive in second grade. We use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum which will be completed in class each week. By the end of the year students will be writing everything in cursive.
Closing Comments: The closing is a time when the class comes back together and students share the strategies they used during independent reading or reflections/understandings gained about new strategies. It is a final check for me to see that students are understanding the reading objective during their independent reading. We review the “I Can” statements.