Saturday, November 21, 2009

Routine Work

I learned long ago both as a parent and a teacher that while establishing routines with kids can be a lot of effort, in the long run it pays off. I see that in Writing Workshop, where the time we spent early in the year going over and practicing routines pays dividends in that the children move smoothly and efficiently into their writing work after our mini-lesson each day. Now that we are in our fourth week of Word Study 5 Ways, word study time is beginning to flow more smoothly, with the students spending less time asking questions and figuring out what to do and more time focused on their task.

I have begun using a Monday Checklist with my students. On the checklist are items such as “Check my Reading Folder. Remove books I am through with. Be sure I have some just right books in it.” Another item has them check their Word Study folders for the Word Study 5 Ways sheet for that week, looking over it to be sure they know what the words are and beginning to plan out getting the practice done over the course of the week. These kind of beginning of the week routines help our week go smoothly.

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