What a week. With Thanksgiving break closing in, the energy of the students in my classroom is high. The energy of their teacher, however, is waning. I’m jealous of all of you that have started your Thanksgiving break already. We still have two days with students this week, but I’m excited to spend those days doing some fun activities!
This past week, we continued learning about area and relating it to multiplication. The first day we tackled area of irregular shapes was a disaster, but we came back the next day with some crayons, which always seem to help. My students were able to break apart the shapes into smaller rectangles much better with the help of some color coding! I will be sure to start with this activity next year!
Next week, we’re going to design our dream houses and find the area of the entire house. Some students have already told me they’re ecstatic about adding Lazer Tag rooms and a space just for their dogs. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!
I also had some extra time this week to sneak in a few phonics focus groups, based off the spelling assessment we gave last week. My school uses the Developmental Spelling Analysis (DSA) by Kathy Ganske to assess phonics knowledge and provide Tier 3 interventions. Below are examples of what my data summary looks like. The first image shows my entire class’ data. It’s nice to look at it and see, at a glance, our areas of growth and success. And, of course, I love color coding it! The green tells me that my students have mastered that skill, the yellow needs review, and the red needs direct, explicit instruction.
As you can see, I have a wide variety of learners in my classroom. I use guided reading to meet all of their needs! I used the DSA data to create phonics focus groups, which students who are working on the same skills. Take a look at the next photo – it shows one of my groups. The post-it note is the area of focus for that group. This group in particular is working on consonant blends and digraphs.
Interested in learning more about how we utilize the DSA or other literacy assessments? Let me know!
I will probably be taking a break next week, since it’s such a short week (and Thanksgiving!) – I hope you enjoy the long weekend and take some time to rest and relax.