Students learn from being engaged and motivated in their learning. Hands on and inquiry based learning promote involvement and success. Motivation is also enhanced when students are offered choices in their learning.
The learning environment is student-centered, and instruction is individualized to each student. Modifying lessons scaffolds each student to succeed in their learning. Opportunity to learn with their peers and with technology promotes learning achievement. Learning targets are necessary for students to understand learning expectations.A calm and caring environment promotes a safe learning environment where the students are able to express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
Reading instruction is a balanced literacy approach. Reading instruction begins with assessment. This is done to find a baseline of where the student is and where I need to help take the student. Assessment can be given in a variety of ways: running records, benchmarks, reading conferences, quick checks, sight word recognition. After getting to know the students as readers, I know how to guide them. I then use mini-lessons to assist the reader in implementing reading strategies. This is done with the CAFE menu. In addition, I use guided reading and reading conferences to further support the student. Students also are given time to read freely and with a book of choice. Also, read alouds with high quality text are implemented to help with student comprehension. Students complete Daily 5 where the students read with a friend, listen to reading, and complete word work.
Reading and writing instruction go hand in hand. Students receive mini-lessons and writing conferences. Students write with and without a prompt in a variety of genres. In addition, writing is completed across curriculum and assessed. Students use rubrics for self and peer editing and publish a select few pieces. To show growth, a writing portfolio is put together.
Math instruction begins with assessment. Students are given learning targets to know where and why they are learning the lesson. Math is inquiry based and students are able to use manipulates. Math instruction also includes number talks, small group instruction, and centers. The students see a variety of problems with real world situations, have time to explore ways to solve the problems, and have large group discussions on student created strategies that are posted in the room.