Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Skill Workshop

In an effort to make every minute count, we've been trying a new thing- skill workshop.  Instead of a whole group daily review, we have groups that are skill based and designed to be mostly independent.  One group goes on laptops to watch a review movie I made, another watches a PowerPoint that reviews letters, sounds, blending, sight-words, and numbers/counting in a BINGO format.  The BINGO aspect is great because it keeps them engaged and super motivated.  I made sheets that have numbers 1-30 in a tracing font.  The numbers on the presentation are all mixed up, so when a number comes up, the kids use dry-erase markers to trace the number on their papers (in sheet protectors).  The other kids have writers' workshop.  They work on on-going projects that have several activities to help them create their own stories.  While the groups are all working, I am free to conference with writers, give mini-lessons to small groups, and pull kids to work on specific skills or progress monitor.  I LOVE it so far!  We've done it for less than a week, but the kids already know what to do, where to go, and what is expected of them.  Before I have to ask, they get their supplies and get started.  When we started the new routine, we talked a lot about why we were making changes and that this new time would be for them to practice what they need to practice.  With everyone working on tasks specific to their levels, the kids are happy, engaged, and making the most of those minutes.  My next step is to have the principal come in to observe so I can get some feedback and suggestions.

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