So I spent the last four days sitting in a high school chemistry room attending LETRS training, which is the new “latest greatest” that our district is requiring us to take. LETRS stands for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling. Now that’s a mouthful, and a earful too if you have to sit through the four days of training.
worst best part is that I only took the Foundations course and there are 12…yes, TWELVE…more modules!
So I sat and participated while we were instructed about the different phonemes, and graphemes, and morphemes, and brain studies, and all that until my head was hurting. I thought it was from all the “new” learning but then we found out that they were varnishing the floors in the building. Never mind all our important learning.
Of course, if you have been teaching elementary reading for as long as I have and you don’t know these things already…well, I want to know what school you teach at so I don’t accidentally send my kids there.
Anyhoo, I always try to find the silver lining so instead of being grumpy I brought my laptop and reviewed my language arts lessons that I already finished for weeks 1-4. Actually, I found some places where I could be more clear with my planning so the other 2nd grade teachers could do what I’m doing. (We do common planning and all that so I only plan for Language Arts and then share my plans.)
So for shared reading where I usually just put some little blurb about vocabulary…
…but then I was questioning whether my new teachers knew the strategies to teach this vocab?
What if they didn’t? What are they doing? Hmmm.
That got me thinking. There were a lot of great ideas in the LETRS training that I could implement in our regular routine. So I put together a trial of vocabulary stuff. We are lucky that our basal comes with some vocabulary cards that have the definition, an example and a discussion question on the back. But these really aren’t as useful as I wanted.
I usually make separate sentence strips for matching and the such but I haven’t ever included those in my plans. I thought it was just what I did and other people had their own way.
UPDATE: Pics for this unit found here!
I used the first story in our basal “David’s New Friends”, for those of you using Texas Treasures from MacMillian McGraw-Hill, and I set up a four activity set vocabulary instruction. I went with the LETRS format and did sets for Syllables, Definition, Discussion, and Examples. I also just wrote out the vocabulary words on cards.
Syllables has each word broken into syllables on cards for matching and blending.
Definitions has each word defined for matching.
Ask has smaller cards with discussion questions for oral language and word meaning.
Example is my favorite because it has picture cards with sentences but the sentence is made to be cut apart to work on word order (syntax).
You can find it in my TPT store here!
Sooooo NOW I have what my principal would call “transparent learning opportunities” for all the students in 2nd grade because blah, blah, we all have the same stuff, etc.
Great. Only 30+ more basal texts to go! Plus now I want to do this set up to cover the *ahem* Five Essential Components of Literacy Instruction.
You can look now. I stopped being all teacher-y.
I have a fairly decent phonics set-up, except it is mostly spelling based and student activities, not really instruction based. And Fluency is good. But I could really use a good way to translate what I am doing for reading comprehension into a “printable” format. Also I struggle with phoneme awareness in 2nd grade. I think I will work on some interesting things using phoneme-grapheme mapping.
I don’t know. See this is why I hate going to these things! Then my brain goes all teacher mode and I end up creating a ton of stuff and then my house gets messy.
Don’t ask how I just got from CPE to my poor housekeeping skills. Just don’t. Because I’m not sure.
There goes my afternoon! I’m off to tackle Reading Comprehension!