Mrs. Smith's Grade 1 Class
Our Literacy Block consists of independent reading, shared reading, teacher read-alouds, writing and working with words.  It is very important for students to have time to read and listen to reading every day, in a variety of ways.

Independent Reading

Reading 'Just Right' Books
The only way to become a better reader is to spend time reading.  During the month of September, we spent time every day "building our stamina" so that we could spend longer and longer amounts of time reading to ourselves.  We now read to ourselves for 20 minutes, two times a day.  During our first Independent Reading time, we are free to choose from any of the books from the shelves.  This allows us to read some high interest books that might be a little  more difficult for us.  We have learned that we can read these books by reading the words, or by looking at the pictures and making up a story to go along with the pictures (ie. Read the pictures), and finally by retelling the story if it is a familiar one. During our second independent reading time, we read "just right" books.  Each student has their own reading bag with several just right books in it.  These books are at our own reading level; not too hard and not too easy.  Students spend a lot of time throughout the year learning how to choose just right books.  While the students are reading, I am either working with a small group of students, doing a guided reading lesson, or I am reading 1 on 1 with students.

Partner Reading

Sitting elbow to elbow, knee to knee to share the book
Partner Reading is another way we build our reading skills.  During this time, we sit elbow to elbow, knee to knee so that we can share the book.  Students can take turns reading to each other, or read chorally together.  This helps students to gain confidence as readers and improve their fluency.

Shared Reading

Every week, we practice reading a new poem, or story.  This provides an opportunity to practice our word wall words in a meaningful context.  We read the poem together on a daily basis.  The poems are placed in our Shared Reading Folder every Friday.  This gives students a chance to show off their reading skills by reading their poems with their families over the weekend. These folders should be returned every Monday so new poems can be added!

Guided Reading

During our guided reading time, I have the opportunity to work with small groups of students.  During this time, we practice using a variety of reading strategies.  The skills the students practice in these small groups then help them when they are reading independently.

Working with Words

Each week, the grade 1’s will learn to read and write 5 new words.  Every day, we practice the words for the week and review words from previous weeks. To help us learn the words, we do chants, play word games and use letter manipulatives.   As well, each week, we focus on 1 word family.  For example, we learn that if we can spell cat, we can also spell hat, bat and that.  Several times a week, the students participate in language centers.  These centres provide the students with an opportunity to practice reading and writing our word wall and word family words in an independent, hands on manner.  Students choose from centres such as:  dry erase boards, play-dough words, word wall bingo, computers, and magnets. 


 We use the 6 Traits Writing Program.  The six traits are: Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions.  There is also a seventh area that we focus on, which is Presentation.   For more detail on each trait, see our 6 Traits Webpage.