Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy
An overview of Barbara’s first-grade curriculum, as conveyed in the materials that she provides for families at the beginning of the school year, is shown in Chapter 3. That material also includes an outline of an average day in her classroom, which is reproduced below:
An Average Day: • Math skill-building & catch-up time • Morning meeting & Calendar • Sight Words or Spelling • Writer’s Workshop • Poem Books • Recess & Snack • Literacy Choice Time & Reading • Lunch • Quiet Reading Practice • Math • Student of the Week or Story & Surprise box • Social Studies/Science/Health • Specials (Art, music, gym, library) • Home
As the outline illustrates, Barbara, like most first-grade teachers, concentrates on teaching mathematics and (especially) literacy. Mathematics appears twice (during a skill-building and catch-up time scheduled as the students filter into the classroom at the beginning of each day, and during a mathematics lesson taught early in the afternoon). Literacy appears five times. Following the morning meeting and calendar discussion (also designed in part to serve literacy goals), her students experience a word analysis or spelling lesson, a writer’s workshop, and time spent reading or writing about poems. Following recess, they engage in literacy choice time activities while Barbara teaches reading lessons to small groups of two to five students. Finally, the first period following lunch is spent
reading silently or quietly reading aloud to a partner. A later period during the afternoon scheduled for miscellaneous activities (e.g., student of the week, surprise box) also frequently includes reading a story to the students-another literacy activity. Some of these activities routinely include home assignments or take-home products, so her students experience interactions that support progress toward literacy and mathematics goals at home as well as at school.