Our literacy block goes for 2 hours and is our version of CAFÉ and Daily 5. We follow all the same skills and strategies however we set out our sessions quiet uniquely.
After trying many different ways over the years we found that students benefited from shorter, more focused literacy activities.
This year our literacy block is separated into the Daily 5 areas of Read to self, Read to others, Listen to reading, Word work and work on writing. We also have a CAFÉ focus.
Below shows you the structure of our literacy block.
Read to self
Each day we start our sessions with 15 minutes of Read to self-time.
We have increased this over time as it can be difficult for the students to focus for that length of time without practise.
During this time we are able to listen to students read, take running records or complete reading conferences.
We have 30min CAFÉ focus daily. This is the time were we discuss our reading strategies and complete activities based on them. As we only have half an hour activities often go over more than one lesson. We have found this time frame very beneficial and the students know they need to be focused for that set amount of time.
Read to others/ listen to reading
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday students have 15min to listen to reading or read to others. When they are reading to others they are practising their CAFÉ skills.
On Tuesday and Thursday we have set guided reading groups. The other students complete read to others/ listen to reading or continue on with an activity from CAFÉ. Our students are wonderful at being independent learners, which gives us the chance to really focus on our guided reading groups.
We have 3 days of spelling focus were we look at blends, spelling rules, spelling patterns etc. On the other 2 days we have word work, where the students complete games/ activities that are differentiated to suit their abilities.
Word work in our classrooms is very focused on the structure of words and blends and letters go together to form words. We have seen amazing results in our students spelling and reading of words from setting up our program this way.
Work on writing
We have 3 days on our writing genre. Monday is writing in our writer’s notebook. It is a ‘teacher free’ book where spelling is not checked and students can set their work out however they please. It is a great book for students to jot down ideas that they can use in their writing later in the week. The other two days we focus on grammar and punctuation.
We hope this is helpful to you and we would love to here your feedback on our structure or how you structure your literacy block.