Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Typical DAY in 5th Grade (for me!) And Questions Answered!

Hi friends! After posting about a typical week, I had some questions about what a typical day looks like for me, so that's what I'm going to talk about today! Again, if you haven't read my blog for a while, here are some things to keep in mind:
{I am departmentalized. I teach Reading and Language Arts}
{I have 3 classes a day, as well as an enrichment class, which is made up of my homeroom class}
{Each of my classes last around an hour and 15 minutes.}

In my district last year, 5th grade started a program where everyone of our kids got a Chromebook. They weren't allowed to take them home, but each child had their own individual Chromebook that they carried around with them in their own bag. The Chromebook went to every class. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this is and how it has changed my teaching. We are able to do SO MUCH MORE now that we have access to all this technology. It enhances our lessons and engages the kids on a whole other level. Sometimes our lesson that day doesn't require the need for the Chromebook and that's okay. BUT we do use them everyday for our warmup (Status of the Class).

So let's get started with a typical day. Here's a rough overview and then I'll elaborate further.

Don't have access to technology for every student, every day? No problem! I use to do this on paper and it worked well, but having the ability to email allows students to practice using technology to do everyday things (like emailing!). Plus it's fun! :)
So, what is Status of the Class? We were required to start doing this a few years ago as part of STAR/Accelerated Reader. Status of the Class is where students "check in" with you to report what book they are reading and how far along they are in that book. They write down what book they are reading each day and what page number they are on. I love keeping this because it allows you to monitor how much your students are reading, what kind of books they navigate towards, and how much they abandon books. Do you have this problem? Some of my kids abandon book after book. By keeping a status of the class, it adds a little bit more responsibility to the students about not abandoning books. I conference with students each day and ask about their progress if I see they aren't reading much outside school. 
Now that all my kids have Chromebooks, they email me daily with their status. They tell me what book they are reading, what page number they are on, and what part they are on. I LOVE the fact that they now have to tell me about the book. It helps me monitor comprehension. Plus, it's getting in writing! 
Don't have access for all your kids to have an Internet device? No problem! Before we got Chromebooks, my kids wrote down their Status of the Class on paper. I made a table in Powerpoint and wrote each of my kids' names in each box. I made daily copies and each day, they wrote their book title and page number in their box. I took a picture so y'all could see what I'm talking about. I didn't have an old copy, so I just recreated it...using character names from The Office, of course! :)

I love starting class with this because it's something that they can sit down and work on. I don't have to settle them down and instruct them while waiting for everything to get unpacked. It's routine and they know what to do. 


This helped create a love of reading in class, therefore making it one of my favorite activities! After we finish up Status of the Class, we have 1 person do a quick book share. These last around 5 to 7 minutes. The presenter comes up to the front of the room, writes the book title on the board, and give a brief summary of the book. We don't allow any spoilers! After they finish, the presenter ask for questions or comments. We take around 3, depending on time.
I just have to share this...one of my sweet girls gave a book share on Flora and Ulysses. After telling everyone about the funny incident with the squirrel almost being sucked up by the runaway vacuum cleaner, I had a line of people wanting to be wait listed for the next available copy! My kids have discovered many new, great books through Quick Book Shares!

I cannot believe I don't have a picture of this area in my classroom. The closest thing I have is my agenda board pic
See those boxes to the left? The top one is for my objective, the middle is the essential question, and the bottom is the focus standard we are working on that day. 
After finishing the quick book share, we direct our attention to the Objectives board. I don't read the agenda aloud because they can do it (and they do! Read about this board here) I call on someone to read the objective and the essential question. They know they are responsible for answering the essential question at the end of the lesson, which is my exit slip.



I hate to admit it, but there are many days I don't get to small group meetings. Time is such an issue! Sometimes whole group is too long and there isn't time to meet. Students are engaged in the lesson, so I tell myself it's okay that we didn't meet, but this is an area that I want to improve next year! :)


This is the answer to my essential question. They write it on a post it and stick it under the essential question. I read them and if it is wrong, I pull it off and put it at my desk. The next day, students come and get their sticky note and if their's is missing, they know they got it wrong and they come conference with me :) This works really well! 

There were some additional questions left on the typical week post, so I'm just going to answer them here:
Q. When do you intro spelling (and what do you use?) 

A. I don't do much with spelling. I give them the words on their word list on Mondays, we do a sheet with them at some point in the week, and we test on Friday. The words come from Reading Street. I know spelling is important, don't get me wrong, but I feel like there are more important things to concentrate on. I incorporate them into our writing activities and other assignments throughout the week. 

Q. What do you do on Language Arts day?
A. This will be a post later this week :)

Q. What do you look for in your Reading response letter?
A. This will be in a post later this week, too! :)

Q. throughout the year would be amazing too... like a picture of your lesson plans.
A. This isn't really a question, I know, but I did want to include it because I'm going to start sharing visual plans on Sunday each week :)

Q. Are your students all on grade level? Do you have to accommodate interventions?

A. No. We have the RTI process at my school, so that's how I accommodate struggling students. 

Q. What does your first week look like?
A. I will write a post about this right before we start back to school, which is in two weeks :(

Q. Also, when you teach a novel, do you read it together or do you have them do the reading on their own?
A. A mixture of both. I mostly read it because of time and I want them to hear a fluent reader read. BUT them actually reading it and practicing their fluency is important to! So I usually take a page and have them take turns reading it to their partners, concentrating on expression, tone, and rate. 


So that's what a typical day looks like for me! If I didn't answer your question, leave it below and I'll respond to you individually :)
Happy Tuesday!

20 comments:

  1. Do you use the test that comes with RS to test skills? If not how do you test reading skills?

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    1. I just blogged about this! :) http://www.lifeinfifthgrade.com/2015/07/testing-in-5th-grade.html

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  2. I have a question about the status of the class :)
    The table you create that you showed a picture of.... That is yours not the kids, correct? Like you have a copy of that paper filled out every day that you keep for your record. You said that the kids fill it out. So everyday you have them write on that paper as well as their own individual chart that they keep their own record of daily statuses on?

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    1. I've done it both ways. I've had the kids pass the paper around and everybody fill theirs in and I've had them come to me and I write it down (this worked better for me!) This year, I'm going to have them keep track of their own progress by creating an excel spreadsheet on their computers and logging their reading everyday...that's the plan anyways! :)

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  3. If you are teaching the same skill throughout the week, what do your essential questions look like?

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    1. Whatever the focus is for that day. Like if we are covering the comprehension strategy of inferring, the essential question might be "What clues do readers look for to make an inference?". Or if we are covering a language arts skill, it might be "What are the four types of sentences?" Just questions to see if they were listening and understood the main point of the lesson. :)

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  4. I'm curious how you plan to incorporate the Word Nerds vocab stuff into your schedule. I also teach ELA in departmentalized 5th grade and struggle to get in reading, vocab, grammar, writing, spelling, listening and speaking standards. I've had to create a "vocab day" once a week just to get it in!

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    1. I do that too! Tuesday is my "vocabulary day" but that's just the day when I focus my whole group lesson on the vocabulary strategy. I'm going to try and do small activities with the words each day. I'll update y'all on how this is working out throughout the year! :)

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  5. You have inspired me to get the Word Nerds book and I've just started reading it. I'm wondering how you will incorporate this into your daily schedule. Also, are you reading in your class novels everyday?

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    1. I'm hoping to incorprate it through small activities that continually use the words in context. I'll update y'all throughout the year on how this is working out! :)
      Yes, when we are reading a novel, we try and read it everyday. :) I don't just use novels. I tend to teach 3-4 novels throughout the year. In between we use other resources like the basal series, Storyworks, and Time for Kids :)

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  6. Always love reading your posts! We don't teach Spelling either. I don't even give out words and have a Spelling test anymore, but I sure do plan to incorporate 5 Vocabulary words that we will really focus on for the week since reading Word Nerds.

    Shepherd's Shining Stars

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    1. Thank you!! :) :) I'm glad to hear you say that! I feel like vocabulary is much more important, too!

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  7. I love the idea of kids emailing their book status, but how do you prevent it from clogging your inbox? Do you open and read all those emails every day? I remember reading you have around 70 students and next year I'll have 100! How do you manage that?

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  8. I am so looking forward to your weekly lesson plan post... thank you for doing that. You have done an amazing job this sumer with all of your info! Side note question, totally off topic.... did you ever mention how you have students check out books from your class library? Did you use an ipad app? Thank you in advance!!!

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    1. Yes, if you have an app worth using, please share! I tried a few that didn't play out so well.

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    2. I just discovered this blog... But I'll share what I use: Classroom.booksource.com
      It's great. We use the A.R. program at our school too and I couldn't keep up which books the kids were reading, if they were really reading, if they were finishing a book, etc... This website (FREE!) will allow the kids to checkout the book from your personal library and will send you a list regularly of overdue books. The initial startup can be time consuming. Plus the program allows you to set up how many books they may borrow, and the time frame as well. It is well worth it! This way I was able to monitor students taking A.R. quizzes plus many other reasons to use it!

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    3. I just discovered this blog... But I'll share what I use: Classroom.booksource.com
      It's great. We use the A.R. program at our school too and I couldn't keep up which books the kids were reading, if they were really reading, if they were finishing a book, etc... This website (FREE!) will allow the kids to checkout the book from your personal library and will send you a list regularly of overdue books. The initial startup can be time consuming. Plus the program allows you to set up how many books they may borrow, and the time frame as well. It is well worth it! This way I was able to monitor students taking A.R. quizzes plus many other reasons to use it!

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  9. We don't focus on spelling too much either. When you use a worksheet through the week, could you share an example of the sheet/activity you would use? I'm a new teacher, and a fifth grade one at that, so I'm learning as I go! Thanks so much, I appreciate your posts so much!

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  10. For the quick book shares...do you hold them accountable at all...do they fill out a form or they given a schedule in advance?

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  11. I am enjoying your blog so much. I have shared your blog address with my fellow teachers. You have done an amazing job and I look forward reading and using many of your ideas. Thank you so much sharing all of your wonderful ideas and strategies.

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