5 Ways to Focus your Instruction

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Student Centered Classrooms: Focused Foundation!

The art of teaching is combining “the what” and “how” effectively.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about the need for careful planning.  You can read about this HERE.   When we plan lessons, we have to have “the end” in mind.  We need to ask ourselves, “As a result of these lessons, what do I want my students to be able to do?”   If my students are expected to reach a benchmark or behavior at a certain time of the year, I need to make certain my instructional practices help build the student towards this goal. The other day I got this message from a teacher and she gave me permission to share it with you:

“I just wanted to take a minute to let you and Deanna know something awesome! I work at a small charter school in XXXX. I teach a k/1 multiage class. We are a TAP school–you may not be familiar but basically each year we are given a value-added score. It’s based on a scale of 1-5. 1 being when students regress, 3 is when they show a years growth and a 5 is showing significant growth. These are based on MAP scores. For the last two years, I’ve been a solid 3 which I was thrilled with! I’ve been using your Writing Workshop for years and last year I added your Guiding Readers and adjusted your Guiding Firsties math so it could meet the needs of my Kinders as well. I just heard that my last year’s value added was a 5!! Thanks so much for developing an awesome curriculum in all areas! I saw my kids grow SO much last year!”

There are a LOT of ways to bake a cake! Deanna Jump and I have spent most of our teaching careers reading about “best practices” then trying things out in our own classrooms. We have been blessed to have the freedom to teach to the needs of our students. Over the last few years,  we have co-written curriculum that has been adopted by thousands of teachers and hundreds of districts.

Student Centered Classrooms: Writers Workshop

Back in 2011, we created our writers workshop curriculum.  We took everything we had learned about writing and combined it with our own classroom experiences!  The results have been so rewarding!

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Read more about how we run our writer’s workshop!  I have blogged many times about it over the years and you can catch up by clicking below:

Shop our Writers Workshop Curriculum:

Student Centered Classrooms: Engaging Readers in Text

We want students to fall in love with the texts they read.  We don’t want to teach comprehension skills, we teach them right away in kindergarten!

 

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Read more about our Engaging Readers through interactive read alouds:

Shop our Engaging Readers curriculum:

Student Centered Classrooms:  Hands On Math Learning

Students do not learn math by filling out worksheets or by looking at a whiteboard.   Math needs to be explored with hands-on activities.  That is why our math curriculum is student centered.

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Shop our math curriculum:

Student centered classroom!: Spirally review skills

As you know, not every one of your students is ready to learn the skills when the skills are first introduced.
MATH JOURNALS are a great way to spirally review skills each day. Have you taught a skill in October and all the students “have it”… then when you revisit the skill a few months later, they look at you like they have NEVER heard it before?  Bringing skills back again and again, help to make the learning permanent. Your first-grade teachers will thank you!   Our math journals take just a few minutes a day and the payoff is HUGE!  

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Read more about Daily Math Journals by clicking the link below:

Shop Daily Math Journals:

 

Each morning we start our day with these Read Write Trace Glue activities.   We can quickly review letter formation, spacing, capital letters, sight word reading, directionality, punctuation, and details in our drawings.  This is part of our morning work and my students love figuring out the sentence.

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Student centered classroom!: Make it Predictable! 

Make it easy for students to focus on their learning.  Once they know how to play a particular game, you can just switch out the themes!

You can find these centers by clicking:  Math and Literacy Center Bundle

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

We love these math fluency games.

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!
 Have some fun!

Games! Games! Games!  We love using games to over-learn!  We also use them as part of an early finisher option.  ABC, CVC, and sight word games are plentiful!
You can read about how I handle early finishers HERE.
 
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These are part of my Math Work Station units.  I have one for just about every theme under the sun.
 
Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

Student Centered Classroom:  Target your interventions!

At the beginning of the year, I sort of have a “cast the net” sort of approach.  But at this point of the year, it is time to zero in on what students know and what their next steps in learning should be.  I start with this! (I added the highlighted boxes).

Yellow: exceeding expectations
Blue:  right on target
Pink:  Focused RTI interventions
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With this report, I can see who I need to test still (my one sweetie has been out)… not really helpful with meeting goals.
 
Then I can click on the “Parent Letter” page.  I get this report.
 I send it home, but I also use it to select focus words for each student.  As you can see this was from last March.
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So… Yes!  Each student has their own focus words for the week!  This seemed like an impossible expectation, but ESGI makes it SO EASY to see what they need to know.  Click HERE to get your 60 day FREE trial of ESGI!
 
Then with this product,  I open up my document.
 
Here are screenshots:
 
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 The first thing I do is type the words in the blue boxes.  These are the word I want Mr. D to focus on next week.
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 Then I click the theme I want to use.
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 It jumps to that theme and the words are entered onto EVERY sheet.  You do NOT have to retype the words 600 times!!!!
This is Monday’s,
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 Tuesday’s,
5 Ways to Focus your Instruction 11
 Wednesday’s,
5 Ways to Focus your Instruction 12
  Thursday’s,
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And Friday’s!
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Then I simply print the selected pages and it takes me minutes to create custom sight word packets for my entire class.
 
Here is what each day’s worth of the packet looks like.  It builds in complexity as the days progress.  My junior teacher helpers are asked to listen and support the students as they complete each task.  It is REALLY important that the words are said out loud… otherwise… what is the point?
Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!
I have also had older students come into my room to act as Junior Teachers.  Can I just add… this works if you have another person support your student.  This should not be used as “seat work” or work done in isolation.  I have seen students accurately complete a worksheet and still have NO idea what they just read.
Here is another editable file that works in a similar way.  Click on the images to find these files.
Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE! Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

It is really easy to customize these pages.  I made text boxes.  You just need to type in the 5 letters you want to focus on… the rest of the page automatically fills in for you.  You can create a full page in less than 10 seconds… REALLY!

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The same exact thing goes for sight words.  This page took me literally 10 seconds to prepare!

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Now is the time to make a plan!

Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

 
Student centered classroom! Are looking for some guidance in improving your teaching skills? Here is a list of 5 ways to focus your instruction!! Reading, Writing, Math, Assessment, and MORE!

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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3 Responses

  1. Can you tell me where to find the addition games pictured? I have several of the Math Fluency games that are played with the board, but I also wanted to get the ones with the picture cards and recording sheet. They look like they are for addition. Thanks!

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