Saturday, July 30, 2011

Teaching Literacy All Day Long!

I returned last night from our school retreat in Michigan.  We have done a retreat for the past three years, and it is a great time to get together, discuss the school year, and have fun.  It has been noted by many teachers and administration in our district that their staff would never participate in a retreat that they have to put their own time and money into, so I'm very proud to belong to a staff that enjoys each others company, whether or not we get paid to be with each other!  

In addition to discussing our school calendar for the year, catching up with each other on the Daily 5 & CAFE, and starting to jump into the 6 Traits program, we got a little time to meet with our grade levels to discuss schedules and such.  Last year, my teamie and I split the subjects and shared classes.  I taught Reading, Language Arts, & Social Studies, and she taught Math, Science, and Spelling.  I threw out the idea maybe I could teach Spelling instead of Social Studies, and she loved it.  It really only makes sense, since Spelling is part of literacy, but I wasn't sure how she would feel about teaching Science and Social Studies.  She said she loves teaching Ohio history, and would alternate teaching Science and Social Studies every other day.  Which leaves me tickled pink!  I get to teach two 2 hour 20 minute literacy blocks every single day!  I can only imagine the possibilities of how much literacy work we'll get done!  I will actually be able to have a reading workshop & a writing workshop under the Daily 5 umbrella! 

I'm also going to change our spelling/word study program a little bit.  I will post about that tomorrow and ask for suggestions.  We started using Word Journeys last year, and it was really great.  I'm going to look at Beth Newingham's word study program and research some others to make it work for my students and I.  I'm even thinking of (gasp!) getting rid of spelling homework.  But...more about that tomorrow when I've had some time to research and think!  

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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