Over this past week a new content coaching cycle began. In the previous weeks, I have been working on science lessons and for this past week and the next two weeks I will be working on language arts lessons. I discussed what content I should teach with my collaborating teacher and we agreed that I should focus on other areas of ELA besides read alouds because I have a lot of practice in this area. My collaborating teacher and I agree that my goal for this content cycle is to plan and teach a shared reading lesson (with some, if necessary, assistance from my collaborating teacher and/or the reading content coach). I currently plan and teach my own guided reading group for enrichment students and I help out with the Phonics and High-Frequency Words sections of our ELA block.
For this first week, I decided to plan and teach a Phonics lesson. I chose this topic because I want to gain more practice in this area because I understand phonics but do not fully understand how to teach it. What I mean is that I can sound out words, chunk words, and figure out the sounds that each letter makes; however, I need more practice teaching students how to do these things. These actions come so naturally to me that I notice I have to stop and think about what and how I can and should teach my students. To do this, I have been helping my collaborating teacher through some assistance as well as co-teaching phonics. For this week, my collaborating teacher and I created general plans for a phonics lesson and I added my own thoughts and details into the five page lesson format. Then I taught the lesson and my collaborating teacher provided assistance when she deemed it necessary. I always appreciate her help with these lessons because I want to make sure my students successfully learn and understand the content. I really appreciate it that she is always ready to step in to reword a question or address misconceptions if I have not already done so.
For the next week, I will be planning and co-teaching a shared reading lesson with the reading content coach. I will be co-teaching a lesson on poetry in which the students learn to pick out sensory words (i.e. imagery) in a poem. In the following week, I would like to plan a shared reading lesson with some assistance from the reading content coach/my collaborating teacher. I also hope to teach the lesson by myself with some assistance from these individuals.
For this Phonics lesson, I worked with students on short “o” sounds and “l” blends. I met FEAP 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level or rigor” by designing this lesson to meet the following standards. Please note that this lesson meets the highlighted portions of the standards and that the other parts will be addressed in future lessons.
LAFS.1.RF.2.2 – Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
- Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
- Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
- Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
- Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
LAFS.1.RF.3.3 – Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
- Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
- Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
- Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
- Use knowledge that every syllable must have a vowel sound to determine the number of syllables in a printed word.
- Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.
- Read words with inflectional endings.
- Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words
In this lesson, I modeled and demonstrated using the chunking strategy to read words using the “l” blends and word families. For the word “black” students should recognize the word family (-ack) and read these sounds as one unit. The students should read the blend (“bl”) as one unit. When decoding this word the students should say “bl-ack” to determine that the word is “black.” The reason why this lesson is taught is so students can learn to break words into parts instead of saying every single letter sound. In CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words such as “bat” this strategy works well because there are only 3 sounds. In a word like “flowers” there are almost twice as many sounds so by the time students have said the letters sounds for the entire word, they have probably forgotten the first sounds in the word.
After performing this lesson, the reading content coach suggested that I differentiate my Phonics lessons to meet the needs of all of my students. My collaborating teacher and I believe it is important to discuss these phonics strategies in a whole group setting so students learn the process and can receive additional help during guided reading, which is already differentiated by ability level. Students who need additional help also receive extra assistance during Response to Intervention (RTI) time through small group practice. The reading content coach will still provide me with some examples of tools that I could use to determine how to differentiate my groups to help benefit me in the future for my own classroom.
I am excited for my upcoming reading lessons because I will gain even more experience with the new ELA content and state standards. I hope that these content coaching cycle will continue to provide me with the skills necessary to take the lead on planning and teaching the various subject areas. Both my PRT and my collaborating teacher agreed that my work from the science content cycle showed my ability to design and implement science lessons in the classroom so I took the lead on planning and teaching science over this past week. I of course still receive assistance from my collaborating teacher when I plan and teach but I really appreciate the content cycles by providing me with a clear path to these opportunities in the classroom. I am excited to continue to watch my teaching grow and change as I learn and do more in the classroom.