Upper Elementary Literacy Block Schedule

My literacy block is a piece of work...not in a bad way ....just a work in progress.  I've been inspired by numerous other experience bloggers and teachers and since I'm the only 4th grade teacher at my school, I'd love some input and will try to clarify what I'm doing this year for your sake (and so I can wrap my head around it as well)

Here's what my typical schedule:  (Yes it will slightly change depending on pull outs and last minute changes but roughly)

I'm pretty lucky to get uninterrupted 2 hours in the morning which I love!  We use this time for our literacy block.  As you can see, I have a separate time for writing, and I do my read aloud right before grammar so it's even a little shorter.  My students do get SSR/DEAR/silent uninterrupted reading while another teacher pulls out Title 1 kids and I can't do any content they would miss.  I usually am using that time to confer with any left in my room that need help in math since it is tested

Below you can find a schedule that I plan to use this year and WILL FOLLOW!  I've tried to combine many other blog ideas I've seen and Book Talks/Shares that are popping up everywhere from teachers that have gone to a Reading Summit (I'm so jealous!)

Literacy for Big Kids 
...are just some of my favs!!
you can click to download - you'll have to change fonts and all but if you want a sample!

I give homework pack once a week because I expect my kids to be reading.  I purchased them from TPT and they are fantastic!  They contain a short story and comprehension questions along with a skill sheet and require other practice as well.  These work so well and are easy for me to copy and keep up with.  I kept them in order so I know exactly what I'm pulling out each week. 
I do occasionally assign other work during the week in small groups or big reading projects that would be in part completed at home depending on timing.

Common Core Weekly Reading Homework: 3rd-4th-5th Grade {Co

I want them to just be READING - they know from the beginning that is my focus for them!

Small Group Rotations
I plan to use these sheets for my students to be held accountable during Daily 5 time.  Yes I do keep it semi-structured and for me as a teacher this is what has worked so far.  They work their way down and know what they have to do each week.  I plan to have in sheet protectors and they can use dry erase to mark off so I don't have to make weekly copies. 

click the picture for a copy

1.  All work from me must be completed first! Either assignment from small group, part of our weekly story, etc...

2.  During the week at some point they must complete 2 spelling and 1 grammar/english activity. These they just cross off.  For spelling we use the Monthly Spelling Menus which work fantastic!  My grammar center is just FREE activities on TPT that I searched for our concepts or DOL if we don't have any.  It is always review for a concept we have already covered so it can be completed without assistance.  I feel that my grammar is sometimes cut short and this can help reinforce those skills especially closer to testing time.

Spelling Contracts for the Entire Year

3.  Read by themselves - we do AR at our school so they can buddy read if they both have completed their quarter goals otherwise they read by themselves around the room.

4.  On the bottom is their "Status of the Class" where they write what they are reading and what page each day -that is what I look at when I conference with them along with their Reading Response.

Book Shares
I've seen so many post about these and I knew I wanted to incorporate them to make my class better readers after hearing recommendations and modeling them myself.  I put in my plans an easy format for them that I read about a little while ago on social media (and cannot remember who!!! so help me out if you know so I can give credit)  We'll start with title/author, 1 word about the book and why they chose it, then either 1 connection they had or an award they would give that book and why. 
I know these probably  aren't suppose to be scripted but my incoming 4th graders are horrible at a SHORT summary (not every character and every event! especially not the ending) so I'm starting the year with this and we'll move into more candid discussion and recommendations for other books hopefully toward winter - at least that's the goal.

My Shoestring life also mentioned that book shares are perfect for Speaking and Listening Standards!! How perfect - I'm planning to get to each student once a month (fingers crossed) and maybe assessed on this a couple times a year just with a checklist of some sort - anybody got any good ones?

 Whole Group

This will contain mini lesson on our focus skill and I'll use our basal series for stories along with picture books to model.  I don't have access to a whole lot of books so I'm semi limited. 


I always have standards on board but need to work on referring to them more often :)

Exit Slips

Life in Fifth grade uses her essential questions as an exit slip and she had the genius idea to do them on Post-its then glancing over them stick the ones on your desk that are wrong or you need to meet with them!  Brilliant and super easy!

I put those on for every day but I'm hoping to get 1-2 in a week focusing on the skill we are working on. 

My one goal would be to incorporate more vocab work especially after all the Word Nerds book studies I've seen happening but this is what I'm going to commit to this year.

I'm sharing because I know how helpful it was when I saw blog posts of others and how they set up their reading block, I'd love to hear any questions/comments you have or anything you do that works great in your room- I'm always open to new ideas!!

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