Classroom Activities

Independent Reading- Students are given time in class to practice the reading strategies they are taught through independent reading.  Independent reading typically begins with a 5 to 10 minute “mini lesson” in which the teacher introduces or reviews a reading strategy that skilled readers use as they read.  In addition to reading silently in class, students are also required to complete a weekly journal entry in which they must summarize and respond to what they have read.   Students also take part in group discussions on a regular basis, so they have a chance to share what they have been reading.  Independent reading allows all students, regardless of their reading levels, to become better readers by employing literacy strategies on their own.

Sitton Spelling®- Instead of weekly word lists to memorize, Sitton Spelling emphasizes learning important words, not for a weekly test, but for a lifetime of spelling in the real world.    This lifelong spelling ability grows though skills instruction (word origins, spelling rules, usage, etc.), through everyday writing, and through the study of specific words not yet mastered. 

Grammar- In writing and in speaking, students must recognize that the rules of language affect communication.  While students are taught to identify and correctly use the eight basic parts of speech to turn words into sentences, students are also expected to use these rules to communicate in their everyday writing.

Literature and Read Alouds
- Independent reading activities allow students to grow as readers at their own pace; however, it is important for students to have shared literary experiences as well so that they can use the same points of reference in classroom discussion and when receiving instruction.  The short stories, poems, plays, and nonfiction pieces that they read in the literature book give them a chance to use their reading strategies in a whole class setting.  Read alouds expose students to a higher level of literature, usually in novel form, where the teacher reads to the students and models his or her own use of some the strategies used by skilled readers.

Writer’s Workshop- Just as it is important for students to develop their reading skills independently, students should also at times work independently in order to become better writers.  A writer’s workshop typically begins with a “mini-lesson” that teaches a skill or technique that good writers use.  Students then put it into practice by working on a general writing prompt or writing on topics of their choosing.  Students are exposed to a variety of writing styles and are called upon to develop their own “voices” as they write.  Students keep all of their in-class writing in a composition book that is periodically evaluated by the teacher.