What can we do with 100 minutes during our language block. With so much to do and so many expectations to cover how can we fit it all in? Magic? yes perhaps sometimes. However I also believe that solid planning is the key to success. (and perhaps a timer to keep you on track…)
Planning your language block starts with your room layout
1. Have A Meeting Place
Have a place in your room where all of your students can gather together to learn. I use a carpet. This is an expectation that all my students regardless of how cool they think they are sit together on the carpet for instruction. I like having zones in the room. Desks are for working and a carpet is for instruction.
2. Have a Anchor Spot:
Find a place in the classroom that can be seen easily. I am fortunate enough to have a wall covered with bulletin board space. I use this as my language board. I post my learning goals, success criteria, anchor charts, student goals, bump it up wall, etc. Students have one place to look for language and we review this frequently.
3. Classroom Library
Students need books to read and a selection of different types of books too. I have collected many books over the years and bought some as well to keep the students excited about reading. I also have recommended books out on display. I strongly feel that any reading is reading and encourage not only novels, but also support graphic novels, magazines, e reading, fiction and non fiction. In fact some of the most popular books in my room last year was my collection of classic Tin Tin books. Keep your books together, well labeled and sorted.
4. The Stuff
Ikea Cardboard book boxes
3 books per student in book box
5. Guided Reading / Conference Spot
It is important to have a space to meet with students. I have a horseshoe table that works great for this purpose. Although any table that seats 6 people would work.