Students need to learn and understand all the reading skills in your elementary classroom in order to comprehend what they are reading and pass those lovely tests! 🙂
Whenever I am teaching a brand new skill (i.e. theme) to my students I break it down in a staggered approach. Each day I am teaching it in a new modality and with a new group of students. I also am going to make sure that each day I do a small group strategy group for the students who are not quite catching on yet!
Below I am going to map out for you how I plan each day of a BRAND new skill week. Once I have taught the skill for a whole week I will work with that skill often, review it, and use it in context. But this week is completely focused on that skill!
Monday- Whole Group Introduction
Monday I am introducing the skill to students, but not how you would think!
I am not using a text here. I am going to do a lesson that allows the students to experience the skill in real life. This should be a memorable experience that allows the student to really think about the skill and apply it to their memory.
For example, when teaching cause and effect I may crack and egg in front of them or throw supplies all over the room. Sometimes I even take a fake nap! These mini-lessons allow them to put something in their memory and figure out what cause and effect is before I directly tell them.
Then, I will usually share an anchor chart and directly teach that skill.
Tuesday- Whole Group Mentor Text
The next day we will start by reviewing the skill. I will typically play a Pixar video and we will practice the skill using that video.
Then, I will read a mentor text with the class. This is a highly engaging picture book that all students can enjoy.
We will practice the skill as a whole group using that mentor text.
I try to do this in two different modalities. So, we may do acting with the mentor text and a graphic organizer, both focusing on the skill.
Wednesday- Small Group Project
Now, we are going to move to working in small groups instead of the whole class.
We will start with a quick introduction where we are practicing the skill altogether. For example, we may put pictures on the board where students have to identify why the pictures were taken (authors purpose).
Then, I will give the students a small group project to complete. Typically this will be me giving the group a book to read and completing a task that revolves around the skill. These tasks are usually highly engaging. For example, they may be doing an acting scene that retells their story using the skill, they may make up a song, or they could make a poster that shows the skill.
I will either give students all the same book or I will give them technology and have them pick books off an EPIC collection. Epic is a free website/app that provides students with many free books to read in the classroom. You can check it out here.
You can assign the students a collection and then allow the group to pick any book they want.
During this time I will walk to each group and do a mini-lesson on the skill and help clear up any confusion or misunderstanding.
Thursday- Partner Work
We will again start with a whole group review of the skill. For example, I may put a short story on the board and do direct teaching of how to go back in the text and find the answer.
Then, I put students in partners to work on the skill. Today, they are more directly working with the skill. So, I may have them read a short text and answer direct questions on the skill. Or they will read a book from the EPIC collection again and complete a graphic organizer that shows the skill.
Friday- Individual Work
Typically on Friday, I will read one more mentor text with the class. Then, I will have the students complete a task that practices the skill and goes with the book. When they do this task they will complete it on their own. This is a great time for me to work one on one with the kiddos that are still struggling.
Skill Week Tips
- Assess on Friday with a quick close read assessment of the skill. If students understand then move on and use the skill often throughout the year. If there are misunderstandings, plan skill groups throughout the coming weeks to help those students.
- Make sure you are teaching in small group as well. I do this by having one skill group every day. I work with kids that showed me that day they need more work on the skill.
- Teach the skill in every modality. Incorporate art, music, video, acting, paper and pencil, etc. into the week.
Guess what?! I have every single skill already planned out for you in this format! Skill week lesson plans are completely ready to go lesson plans to teach a brand new skill. Besides books, everything is provided. So, all you have to do is print, copy, and teach!