During our CAFE classes, we share the form we use for mapping out our whole group lessons for the year. We refer to this as our Curriculum Calendar. Many of you have asked for a copy of our Curriculum Calendar and we are happy to share it with you.
We started this mapping process when we were trying to balance our basal skills and strategies, our state standards and then our district standards. There were so many details, we couldn't possible "cover" every skill and strategy and keep track of which we taught and which were left to teach. You have in front of you our latest attempt to keep track of what content we are responsible for.
The most important thing to remember when using a Curriculum Calendar....We get paid to think! When the calendar says we will be teaching a skill that week, we think... do all of the students need this skill? If so, we teach it to the whole group. If not all the students need this skill we ask ourselves...do some of the students need this skill? If so, we teach it to a small group. If only one or two students need the skill, we will teach it in a one on one conference to those students who need the skill.
We always remember, we wrote the map to help us address the important skills and strategies to help students achieve and meet standard, but we wrote the calendar before we even knew this group of students. Always keeping in mind the filter of who needs a skill or strategy has helped us move from just covering material, to teaching students the skills and strategies they truly need.
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Getting ready to launch Word Work? Here is Quick Start Guide #5. It gathers from our site all the downloads and videos to get Word Work started with your students.
Launching Word Work - I Chart
Word Work is one of the last Daily 5? components to be launched. In this video, Joan and Carrie introduce Word Work and record behavior expectations on the "I" chart. You'll notice that familiarity with this process makes launching go quickly and students are able to contribute desirable behaviors with ease.
Many of the questions we receive about Word Work revolve around materials. Children begin to internalize spelling when they can manipulate letters, touching and moving them into correct order. Michael Grinder calls it developing their "Muscle Memory". The materials we use are conducive to this manipulation of letters.
In this video, Joan takes you on a tour of the Word Work materials in her room.
Natalie came from a school with a very structured reading program. In her first year of using it, she felt a need to come up with a structure for managing the morning so her focus lessons and the timing of each round felt intentional. She also wanted to ensure that she was meeting with each student in her room as their needs dictated. If you tend to be like Natalie in your love of structure and order, check out this video then you may want to download her tool to use yourself or to inspire you to create a system that perfectly matches your own style and need.
Are you wondering what goes into our student book boxes? Joan is going to let you take a peek and explains the purpose behind each student having a book box of their own.
Until next week!