Organizing and Managing the Language Arts Block: A Professional Development Guide

Organizing and Managing the Language Arts Block: A Professional Development Guide

by Lesley Mandel Morrow
     
 

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This book offers essential guidance to preservice and inservice teachers seeking to create, revise, or add new strategies to the teaching of the language arts block. The focus is on how to implement effective strategies in the context of a well-planned classroom and a smoothly choreographed daily schedule. In a series of vivid case studies, Lesley Mandel Morrow… See more details below

Overview


This book offers essential guidance to preservice and inservice teachers seeking to create, revise, or add new strategies to the teaching of the language arts block. The focus is on how to implement effective strategies in the context of a well-planned classroom and a smoothly choreographed daily schedule. In a series of vivid case studies, Lesley Mandel Morrow brings to life the methods used by exemplary teachers to create rich, student-friendly learning environments for children in grades K-4. No component of organizing the language arts block is omitted, including setting up and running classroom learning centers, assessing different instructional needs, conducting whole-class and small group meetings, and linking language arts to content area instruction. Enhancing the practical utility of the book are sample daily schedules and classroom management tips for each grade level, along with dozens of reproducible learning activities, lesson plans, and assessment and record-keeping tools.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this book, Lesley Mandel Morrow does a fantastic job of synthesizing a compendium of effective practices, strategies, and classroom management techniques being used by exemplary classroom teachers. This text will support both preservice and inservice teachers by demystifying some of the complexities of teaching and managing a reading/language arts block efficiently. The classroom case studies are wonderfully written and should serve as an inspiration to both those who are currently teaching and those who wish to in the future. The teachers described have created classroom environments centered on literacy tasks that motivate, challenge, and teach students from the moment they arrive at school."--Allison Swan, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

"The case studies presented in this text reveal in extraordinary detail the organizational and instructional strategies of exemplary teachers who are successfully meeting the highest expectations for language arts instruction. Preservice and inservice teachers alike will find the format invaluable for group discussion and support as they strive to emulate the teachers on whose work the text is based."--Laura Klenk, PhD, Department of Learning and Instruction, The State University of New York at Buffalo

"This book is written in a style that is accessible to both practicing teachers and those about to begin their careers. It will appeal to those who are starved for how-to ideas that are realistic and practical. The essentials are all there: scheduling, classroom layout, creating smooth transitions, and classroom choreography. Teachers will be sure to have the ¿Tools for Teaching Language Arts' pages pinned to their wall for easy reference!"--Douglas Kaufman, PhD, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572307940
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
11/20/2002
Series:
Solving Problems in the Teaching of Literacy Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
7.56(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Organizing and Managing the Language Arts Block

A Professional Development Guide
By Lesley Mandel Morrow

The Guilford Press

Copyright © 2003 The Guilford Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57230-794-3


Chapter One

Kindergarten and First-Grade Activities and Plans

GETTING STARTED 59 Language Arts Block Time Schedules 59 Schedule 1: Suggested for Kindergarten 59 Schedule 2: Suggested for Kindergarten 60 Schedule 3: Suggested for First Grade 60 Tools for Teaching Language Arts 61 Ideas for Classroom Organization and Management 62

THINGS TO DO WHEN THE STUDENTS ARRIVE 64 Folder Check-In and Note Basket 64 Attendance Station 65 Lunch Station 1: Suggested for Kindergarten 66 Lunch Station 2: Suggested for First Grade 67 Class Helper Chart 68 Class Helper Chart 1: Suggested for Kindergarten 68 Class Helper Chart 2: Suggested for First Grade 70 Journal Writing 70 Buddy and Independent Reading 71

MORNING MEETING 75 Morning News 75 Calendar 75 Weather Report 77 Weather Report 1: Suggested for Kindergarten 77 Weather Report 2: Suggested for First Grade 78 Morning Message 79 Creating a Word Wall 80 Daily Word Practice with the Word Wall 81 Reading Aloud 82 Shared Reading 83 Mini-Lesson:Comprehension 83

INDEPENDENT WORK AT CENTERS 84 Creating and Using a Center/Activity Chart 85 Word Study Center 86 Letter Study Center 88 Rhyming Center 89 Rhyming Word Sort Activity 93 Writing Center 95 Listening Center 96 Buddy and Independent Reading Center 99 Reading Activity: Reading the Room 101 Technology Center 103 Story Props Center 103 Science Center 104 Overhead Projection Center 109 Word Wall Scavenger Hunt Activity 112

GUIDED READING 114 Grouping for Guided Reading 114 Assessing Students 114 Selecting Materials 117 Guided Instruction for Emergent Readers: Suggested for Kindergarten 117 Guided Instruction for Conventional Reading: Suggested for First Grade 119 Book in a Bag 122

WRITING WORKSHOP 122 Mini-Lessons 122 Mini-Lesson 1: Suggested for Kindergarten 122 Mini-Lesson 2: Suggested for First Grade 123 Buddy Writing 125 Teacher-Guided Writing 126 Conferences with Individual Students 126 Sharing 127 Publishing 128 Poetry Writing: Concrete Poems 128 Keeping an Idea Notebook 129 Independent Writing 129

GETTING STARTED

Language Arts Block Time Schedules

These suggested schedules should be rotated for a balanced program. Note that each schedule covers the LAB only and not the entire instructional day.

Schedule 1: Suggested for Kindergarten

8:30-8:50: Things to do when the students arrive Attendance/Lunch Station Folder check-in and Note Basket Helper chart Journal writing Buddy reading Independent reading

8:50-9:20: Morning meeting Morning message Daily schedule Daily news Word Wall Calendar Weather report Gross motor development

9:20-10:00: Guided reading instruction/independent work at centers Meeting with guided groups Using a center/activity chart Buddy and Independent Reading Center Listening Center Writing Center Letter Study Center Story Props Center Technology Center Rhyming Center Science Center

10:00-10:30: Shared reading and reading aloud Shared reading of literature

Schedule 2: Suggested for Kindergarten

8:30-8:50: Things to do when the students arrive Attendance/Lunch Station Folder check-in and Note Basket Helper chart Journal writing Buddy reading Independent reading

8:50-9:20: Morning meeting Morning message Daily schedule Daily news Word Wall Calendar Weather report

9:20-9:50: Shared reading Shared reading of literature

9:50-10:30: Writing workshop Mini-lesson Guided writing Independent writing Sharing

10:30-10:40: Independent reading

Schedule 3: Suggested for First Grade

8:30-8:55: Things to do when the students arrive Attendance Station Lunch Station Class Helper chart Journal writing Buddy reading Independent reading

8:55-9:20: Morning meeting Morning news Calendar Weather Morning message Mini-lesson: Word Wall Mini-lesson: Comprehension

9:20-10:20: Guided reading groups/independent work at centers Word Study Center Writing Center Listening Center Buddy and Independent Reading Center Math Center Reading the Room Science Center Overhead Projection Center Word Wall Scavenger Hunt Activity

10:20-11:05: Writing workshop Mini-lesson Buddy writing/independent writing Teacher-guided writing Conferences with the teacher Sharing

Tools for Teaching Language Arts

Classrooms contain many materials-some supplied by the demands of the curriculum and the school district and some supplied by your own preference and personal ingenuity. You may have a fully stocked classroom, or you may have one with only a minimum of materials. Be creative with what you have. And be creative when your needs go beyond what is readily available to you. Don't be afraid to ask students to bring in anything from crayons to fabric to glitter and beyond! The following list is intended to help you get started. Then it's up to you!

Big books.

Pointers.

Highlighting tape.

Framing devices (e.g., a fly swatter with the center cut out).

Chart paper.

Easel.

Index cards.

Markers.

Crayons.

Presharpened pencils.

For the Listening Center: cassette player, headsets, books on tape, and books.

Classroom rich with environmental print.

Classroom library (which contains varied genres of children's literature).

Wide variety of other reading materials (magazines, newspapers, etc.).

Baskets for organizing books and materials.

Beanbag chairs and pillows for the Reading Corner.

Stuffed animals.

Stick puppets; other types of puppets.

Felt board and felt board storytelling pieces.

Roll movie box for storytelling.

Clothes, hats, and props for "dress-up" corner.

Magnetic board.

Magnetic letters and numbers.

Chalk.

Overhead projector.

Leveled books.

File folder games.

Journals.

Envelopes.

Classroom mailbox.

Dry-erase boards and erasers.

Varied kinds of writing paper.

Sentence strips.

Art supplies (paint, markers, crayons, pencils, scissors, glue, construction paper).

Computer, printer, programs.

Pocket charts and stands.

Book bins/book boxes.

Small chalkboards and erasers.

Magnetic or cardboard word chunks.

Blank books.

Ideas for Classroom Organization and Management

Purposes:

Use time effectively and efficiently. Provide a structure to the classroom setting.

Make smooth transitions from one activity to the next.

Gain the attention of the children

Keeping Disruptions to a Minimum While You Are Working with a Small Group:

It is essential for the children to understand that when you are working with a small group, they are not to disturb you. This must be established at the beginning of the year and followed through consistently throughout the year.

Wear a "Do Not Disturb" or "Stop" hat. The children know that when you are wearing this hat, they must not interrupt your lesson.

Provide a "Sign Up for Service" paper. If the children need help while you are engaged in small-group instruction, they sign their names on the "Sign Up for Service" paper. You will attend to their needs when you are finished with the small groups.

Establish a "Teaching Table" or "Teaching Area" for small-group instruction. The class members know that when you are at the "Teaching Table," they must try to solve their problem alone or ask a friend for help.

Create a portable "Stop" and "Go" sign (one side says "Stop," the other side says "Go"). Carry the sign to different areas of the room. When you are working with a group, use the "Stop" side of the sign. When you are available to help students, use the "Go" side.

Assign one or two reliable children to be the others' "helpers." When other children need help, they may ask the "helpers."

Methods for Gathering Attention:

It is helpful to have one or two routines that you regularly use to call the children's attention. The routine must be established in the beginning of the year. The expectations for the students' behavior when they hear the "call to attention" must be specific and clear. You must be consistent.

Listening Ears: When you say, "Give me your listening ears," the children are to cup their hands around their ears, get quiet, and look at you.

Freeze: When you say, "Freeze," the children are to stop what they are doing, get quiet, and look at her.

Hands Up, Ears Open: When you say, "Hands up, ears open," the children are to put their hands in the air, get quiet, and look at you. You then say, "Hands down, ears still open."

Knock, Knock: When you knock two times and raise your hand, the children stop what they are doing, raise their hands, get quiet, and look at you.

The Cleanup Chant: When you say, "It's time for our cleanup song," the children are to clean up and return quietly to their seats after singing: Clean up, clean up, Everybody, everywhere! Clean up, clean up, Everybody do your share.

Clap Back: Clap out a rhythm. The children are to clap back the same rhythm.

ABC Song: If children need to move (e.g., to their tables, the Reading Corner, etc.) tell them where to go and have them sing the ABC song with you. By the end of the song, everyone should be in the designated area.

Finger Spelling: Tell the children where to go; then finger-spell alphabet, using the signs for each letter in American Sign Language. By the end of the alphabet, the children should be in the designated area. This keeps the children focused, and it introduces them to another form of communication.

Counting: Tell the children where to go; then have them count with you to a predetermined number. They should be in the designated area by the time they reach the number.

Tickets, Please: After a lesson or activity, tell the children that their ticket to the next activity is an answer to a question related to what they were just learning. For example, after you have read a story aloud and discussed characters from the story, the ticket could be to name one of the characters from the story. Or you can ask for an open-ended response by asking the children to name their favorite character, the funniest character, the character they liked the least/most, and so on. If a child is unsure of an answer, allow him or her to think about it, and return to this child after "tickets" have been collected from a few other students.

The "If" Game: Make a statement beginning with "if." If a student or students can say "yes" to the statement, then they may move on to the next activity/ place. For example, if it is just about snack time and the children need to go sit at their tables for snack, say, "If your name begins with D, please go sit down at our table for a snack." Continue with other letters.

All Good Listeners: Say, "All good listeners point to your ears. All good listeners touch your shoulders. All good listeners look at the teacher." When children are following along, give the directions.

Follow the Leader: Start by clapping your hands, and then change to patting your head, touching your nose, and the like. If You're Ready and You Know It: Begin singing,

If you're ready and you know it, clap your hands. If you're ready and you know it clap your hands; If you're ready and you know it, then you'll sit right down and show it. If you're ready and you know it, clap your hands. The words can be changed to fit various tasks. Let the lyrics flow for each situation at hand. For example, if the children are engaged in an art project and it is time to clean up, sing something like this: If you're ready and you know it, put your glue stick away. If you're ready and you know it, put your scissors away. If you're ready and you know it, then your face will really show it. If you're ready and you know it, put your project in the Work Basket.

THINGS TO DO WHEN THE STUDENTS ARRIVE

This section includes meaningful literacy activities for children to do when they enter school. Sometimes there is more than one activity for each area. Select one or more to use, and vary them throughout the school year. These activities should be planned to cover a period of 20-25 minutes.

Folder Check-In and Note Basket

Purposes:

Build children's independence, responsibility, and accountability.

Help children discover that written forms of communication are functional and meaningful.

Materials:

One folder per child.

Basket to hold folders.

Basket for notes.

Activity:

1. Children go to their cubbies, hang up their belongings, and take out their folders they took home.

2. Any notes from home that are in their folders are placed in the Note Basket for you.

Continues...


Excerpted from Organizing and Managing the Language Arts Block by Lesley Mandel Morrow Copyright © 2003 by The Guilford Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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