Five for Friday!

First week of summer and I have been a busy bee!! I had Monday off, but Tuesday started my summer job as a county trainer for our newly adopted reading series, Journeys.  I enjoy working with teachers (though they can be a tough group sometimes!) and sharing what I do in my classroom (obviously right?? that's why I'm here blogging!).  My training partner is a teacher on my team, which makes it extra fun and my BFF is also a trainer. We get to meet for lunch everyday. For Five for Friday linky with Doodle Bugs, I want to share some of my summer training.

The focus of this training is not so much on the new textbook, but more on what the literacy block should look like. My county wants teachers to move from a 90 minute reading block to a 180 block. This block should include reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language arts, but we also need to start thinking about how science and social studies might fit, too. Over the last several years, my county has provided teachers with an Instructional Focus Calendar for each subject. This was nothing short of lesson plans. Many schools demanded that teachers follow these plans day by day, minute by minute. So many teachers have had their hands tied for so long and now they are getting their creative freedom back! I can tell that some are super excited about this change while others are unsure, and still others almost DON'T want it. It's hard to teach an

The Gradual Release Model is another focus of the training.
We are asking teachers to look at their reading instruction in this way. I really like this model and how it releases the responsibility of learning onto the students.

Daily 5 is another model we want teachers to consider. My county is moving towards this and I'm thrilled. I've already been organizing my reading time using it and it makes me happy to see so many teachers willing to consider it. Daily 5 takes you from traditional centers to much more meaningful literacy time with virtually NO prep! If you do not already use it or have not really investigated it, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Teachers in my county have to look at writing differently, too. Gone are the days of prompt writing. AMEN!! I thought this day would never come! We have one more year of the dreaded writing test. ALL teachers, not just grades 4, 8, and 10 will be responsible for writing. Shouldn't that be how it should have always been? Not so much here!

Is your day set up to teach integrated units? Do you use Daily 5 and/or CAFE? How is your literacy time structured? I would love to have some ideas to share at my trainings!


  1. I thought of you today. The Costco in Boca Raton had a poster up about a Carl Hiaasen book signing. I missed the date, but I thought of you and your author's chair. = )

    The biggest obstacle in our planning was the idea of teaching science and social studies almost exclusively within the reading block. We don't have the district piece, so we are used to that.

    It was nice to get to sit in on the planning. My position next year will be completely different, but I'm glad I know how things will be structured.

    Suntans and Lesson Plans

  2. The gradual release model is great - happy presenting and enjoy those lunches
    Paula’s Place and iSURF Maths

  3. You and I would become fast friends! I loved reading your post. Our district using a 90 minutes balanced literacy model as well. I am fully integrating SS into my block next year which magically adds 45 minutes to my block that I am thrilled about!!!

    My plan is this:
    45 minutes for Book Talk time, which might be read aloud, book trailers, book intros, conference time, independent reading, etc. Completely fiction and completely choice time where I might slip in a quick mini-lesson from RL standards but mainly independent reading and discussion time to simply enjoy books.
    That leaves me with 90 minutes of Workshop time where I will teach informational text standards using mainly SS texts. I do have state standards for socials studies that will need to be covered but I plan to do it through full integration into my workshop.

    I do touch on CAFE and Daily 5, but I don't strictly use either. I tried to do all of this last year in 90 minutes alone but I wasn't responsible for the SS standards. I am excited to try to integrate that in but I am most excited about the extra 45 minutes. :)
    I teach fifth grade. What grade do you teach?
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. I wish I could attend your training! Love your TPT products! Laura


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