Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wednesday - Focus on Language

Before I begin on my Wednesday routine, I have to get something off my chest....

I started on TpT earlier this year, and felt strange about it.  This summer I started this blog, and felt weird about it.  I tried to be a closet TpTer and Blogger, but word got out.  While I realize that there is nothing wrong with either of these things, it's easier to put yourself out there when you DON'T know your audience.  Just recently, I discovered that teachers from the other two primary schools in our district were purchasing things from my store.  I reached out to let them know that I would be happy to share with my district colleagues, and all were gracious to say that they knew I worked hard and were happy to pay for my items.  I have very mixed emotions on this.  I'd love for anyone to share similar feelings to mine, so I know I'm not alone.  But really, I guess I just needed to say it.  So, I know my district colleagues are aware of my store, but if any of them are also following this blog, I just want to say "Thanks!".  And not for their purchases, but for their support.  I'm very lucky to work where I do!

Now, on to my Wednesday routine:

Instead of breaking up language into 5-10 minute per day fragments, which Wonders suggests, we just give it a day.  Well, minus our 10-minute writing and any finish-up work from our Tuesday skill.  This pretty much is like Tuesday's reading focus.  If it's a new skill, which it will be most of the time, we add a page to our DIY Resource Book (aka Interactive Notebook).  But first, I try to find some kind of springboard to lead into the lesson, or other activity.  

For last Tuesday, we learned about compound sentences.  I started by giving them 14 simple sentences that they had to pair up by related topic in a small group.  Then we discussed being able to combine them with a special word (later to be named conjunction).  I wrote FANBOYS on the board and wrote out the conjunction for each.  We put in the easy ones to start, and then I guided them through the tougher ones.  I wrote "because" on the board next to "for" and we discussed it being an old-fashioned word.  I also use a British accent when I read a sentence that uses "for".  Not sure why I relate British accents to old-fashioned words, but I do, and it helps the students.  Finally, we add the commas.  I like these separate because many students put these in AFTER the conjunction.  I try to stress that they belong where the pause goes when we combine.

Then we make our DIY page.  This allows for more practice opportunities.  

I feel that spending a quality day (or most of a day) teaching and practicing a language skill is a much better practice than super short fragmented parts.

My Wednesday night's homework is to read the weekly selection from the anthology book.  And no, we won't reread this in class...GASP!  I love the close reads in the anthology and workshop for in class reading practice (although we admittedly haven't done much of these yet with our slow speed start), but I can't justify spending as much time as would be needed reading aloud this story each week.  Especially since I tend to spend way too much time getting off track and going in depth when we read together.  

So next up is Thursday.  We do a little with the homework story, but then focus more in depth on writing.  Hope you come back for Thursday's post, and please leave some feedback on your thoughts about my "daily" posts.  This blog is a two way street.  I'm not here to suggest that what I do is best for all, I want to hear how others are making Wonders fit into their weeks.

In closing, my kids and I went to the local corn maze today.  It was a beautiful day.  I'm happy that I was able to get a decent photo of us (Kate - this was taken so that I can give you a family fall pic for our school's board!).

This year's maze's theme is "Frozen".  There are 4 different mazes that would total over 6 miles if you walked them all.  It is less than two miles from my house, and I'm ASHAMED to admit that this was my first time there, but not my last!

Have a wonderful week everyone! 


  1. Haha! Love the fall pic :) It's always interesting to read about your day! I sent my anthology home for the first time this week and students really enjoyed reading it at home.

    EduKate and Inspire

  2. Very nice post, Mary. I like to see the time that's you are devoting to LA this year. I think that's great. For whatever reason, I think Language tends to get the short shrift sometimes. Nice pictures of the family, too! You and I have discussed the conflicted feelings we have about selling the things we make for our classrooms on TpT. I feel the same as you. I am happy to share anything I have for free to my colleagues or people I know. That being said, creating something for TpT takes a lot of effort, time, and creativity, so we shouldn't feel guilty for making a few extra dollars. I know that for you and for me most of that $ goes right back into our classrooms anyway. Thanks for sharing.

    Math is FunDamental