A new school year is here and there are not enough hours in each day to get everything done. More technology is being integrated into classrooms. We are hearing more research about Blended learning , which mixes technology and traditional face-to-face instruction in the classroom. In a typical model, Blended learning combines traditional classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and sometimes even place of their learning.As the new Chromebooks, laptops, iPads, and computers are being delivered , there is a great need for ideas on how to use them and integrate this new technology into our Language Arts block using our adopted curriculum. There are so many benefits of using digital resources, but two main reasons are that you don’t need to make copies and student engagement is incredibly high! This was the inspiration for converting our Journeys story activities and resources into interactive, Google drive based activities to fill this need.When doing Literacy Centers, it makes life so much easier when you have repeatable “centers” that students learn at the beginning of the year so they know what to do each week. We have formatted our resources so students quickly learn how to use the resources and they quickly are able to work independently from the teacher.
One of my very favorite parts of incorporating small groups in a Language Arts block using a Daily 5 framework is the variety if offers students. I have yet to meet a student that has not LOVED Daily 5. I think their absolute favorite rotation within Daily 5 is what we call the “Technology” rotation. You can incorporate “Listening” (which is what many teachers call this rotation), but if you call it “Technology” there are so many more fun things you can do with this rotation.
Congratulations! You’ve finally got your small group framework nailed down (see blog post Part 1) and now it’s time to focus on the rotation of “Word Work”. This the time when a group is working on things such as grammar, vocabulary, spelling, mechanics, or conventions while you are pulling your small group and working with them.
So you’ve finally managed to get your small groups running and students are working independently from you, but what do you do now? What do students work on and how do I chose? What resources do you use for each rotation? Here are some ideas to help you simplify your planning for your small group rotations. We’ll start this week on the “Read to Someone” rotation: