Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1st Grading Period Pacing Guide Details

Hi friends! I posted this pic a few weeks ago and had some requests to share more about my 1st grading period pacing guide. 
I'm not going to cover everything today, but I'll give you an overview of what I'm planning on teaching the first part of the year and if you have any questions or anything else you want to see, just comment below and I'll answer it or write a post about it :)

Here's some info you need to know before we get started. I am departmentalized, so I only teach Reading/Language Arts/ and Spelling. I have 3 different classes and each class lasted roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes. Time is by far my biggest struggle. 

My school uses Scott Foresman Reading Street, but we are encouraged to teach the standards, not just the book. We can (and should!) use other resources out there rather than simply teaching Unit 1 Week 3 Day 1 from Reading Street.  I taught 1st grade for 4 years and LOVED RS (that was before the Common Core version. I only used the 2008 or 2009 edition, so I can only speak for it). 5th grade Reading Street was a completely different story. I could not teach it the way I did in 1st grade because of time. In 1st, I had an entire 2 hours devoted to reading alone. 5th is different so I had to adapt. I used the series for the most part and just picked which parts I thought were most important to cover and then I also used novels to teach certain skills and strategies. I always felt like my most successful teaching came from when I moved away from following the book exactly. I knew I needed a plan to become a little more organized in my teaching and make it a little easier on myself. 

I'm still using many resources from Scott Foresman, but I'm not following their weekly plan, nor using their stories for the most part. Instead, I'm using articles from Time for Kids to bring in nonfiction and Scholastic's Storyworks from works of fiction. Occasionally I will use the text from RS. I used my classroom money two years to purchase Storyworks and let me tell you, it was worth it! I LOVE this magazine! The stories are great and come with tons of activities and resources to use with it. It's Common Core Aligned too! 

The first thing I did when I sat down to work on my pacing guide was to map out the school days throughout the year. I'm a visual person and seeing how many 4 day weeks we were going to have really helped! Any day that the students weren't going to be there, I highlighted in green. I also went ahead and marked any major assessment windows and testing in my classroom, which I will talk about in a separate blog post.  
Next, I went on an online search to get a base outline to help me. I found this pacing guide that helped a ton! I loved how they laid out the standards they were focusing on and included resources from Reading Street that met that standard. 

Then, I determined what standards I wanted to work on during the first grading period. 

I took those standards and analyzed them to determine what skills and strategies I needed to focus on. This part really helped me understand what the first few months were going to look like and it instantly made me feel more organized and better about my plan. 

So then I figured out the weeks in the first grading period and identified my main topics to focus on in Reading. I'm sticking to one major skill for two weeks. This may seem like a lot of time, but I started doing this mid year last year and it worked a lot better for me as opposed to one week. We were able to get more practice in with each skill. When you think about it, you're covering more than one standard with many lessons so it works, especially for the 1st nine weeks when you are establishing routines and the students don't automatically know how to do certain things yet. This part may differ in the next grading period if I see I need to adjust in order to cover everything. 

I used the same process for Language Arts.

As far as anchor texts go, I'm currently working on that . I know we'll start the year with Frindle because we are covering characterization first and the first two chapters of Frindle do a great job of providing enough detail for the protagonist and antagonist to really analyze and dig deep! 

I finished Word Nerds after starting this planning guide, so the way I do vocabulary this year will be different. I plan on doing a kind of book study on this amazing book starting in the next few days! It won't be a full fledged book study like a lot of the other great ones out there because I don't have enough time to organize that, but I do have lots of ideas and thoughts to share with y'all about teaching vocabulary after I read this. :) 

Hope this helps! If y'all have any questions, leave a comment and I'll answer or do a separate post about it! :)


9 comments:

  1. I'll need to go get my Word Nerds book from my classroom then!

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  2. Do you have a district pacing guide? Do you have mandated district assessments that fit certain standards? Are you the only 5th grade reading teacher or do you have a team? I'm just curious how other districts work bc we have a lot of hoops to jump through. Seems like you have more freedom to teach.

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  3. Love this post!! I'm almost finished with Word Nerds myself and can't wait to implement what I've learned in my classroom this year. :)

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  4. What calendar is that where you highlighted in green? Love it, and love this post! I need to do some planning like this. We started a new core program last year and were directed to follow it with fidelity. But at the end of the year I felt like we missed so much. We were also going very slow because of several new initiatives including the new program.

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  5. I agree with Jo-Anne Love the calendar

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  6. This is amazing! It has already helped me a lot! Just curious if you are planning on posting about more specifics: typical daily routine to get to all standards, which reading street stories you are actually using, how you incorporate anchor texts into your daily schedule, ect..... thank you for sharing all of your hard work!

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  7. I began following your blog and Instagram last year. I also teach fifth grade ELA. I loved the activities you used last year for the first week of school. Are you going to start with Frindle on day one? I am still trying to figure out how I want to start my year.

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  8. I have to tell you that I am so thankful for all that you are sharing! I taught fifth grade my first year but this is my eleventh year teaching and I am moving from second to fifth. All of your posts have been so helpful. My school is departmentalizing as well (for the first time), but I am only teaching reading (to the entire grade). How would you suggest working in the Vocabulary portion into a 45 minute period? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you again!

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