By Amy Rudd, Verizon Education Blogger
As I move into full implementation of the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, I imagine the possibilities. I like the idea of being able to integrate many of the standards at the same time and having the students learn in a way that is meaningful and authentic to them. I have always had a name wall and a word wall, and I love interviewing students to learn more about them. I want to begin building our community of stars. To start off my plans, I found a ReadWriteThink lesson, Student of the Day: Create Sound/Letter Understanding With Names, that will fit well with our first unit on ABCs and Friendship. Two of the first grade standards that can be addressed with this lesson are as follows:
W 1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts which they name a topic;
supply some facts about the topic and some sense of closure.
RF 1.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
In addition to the recommended ideas that are shared in this lesson from ReadWriteThink, I created a little anticipatory set to sing to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- "Special, special little star, now we wonder who you are...." Then choose the star and begin the lesson.
I would want to write each child's information on chart paper and then post it in the classroom after the lesson so it becomes a mentor text example that the children can reread alone, with a partner, or in small group during center time. I might also change the favorite ice cream flavor to a favorite thing the student of the day would like to add to the introduction.
To begin, the class will write all of this interactively in a whole group. An additional change that may need to occur is doing this with a small group while the others are working at centers. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that the range of abilities of a first grader are ever widening. As a result, knowing the range of abilities and changing the group size will be a key to successfully writing about each student each day. Also, the children are sometimes more wiggly than others. I will need to gauge the best time for interviewing the student and writing together as a community.
I think this lesson will be a great way to start the year and get to know each other. I found an additional resource that includes a video of a teacher delivering this lesson. It gave me further ideas in building a response by the other students which will help make them accountable for the listening they need to do during the interview portion of the lesson. Also, I want to include a list of norms that we follow when we share during lessons.
And finally, when all students have had a turn being the star of the day, I will type up the writing, print the pages, and bind them into a class book, running off a copy for each student.
What ideas do you have for building a community of little stars this year?