Weekly Routines: Classroom Jobs, Home reading, Spelling, Journal
1. Classroom jobs
The classroom jobs were jobs that students had during the week- there would be a chart to keep track on who had done which job, so that it was made sure that everyone got to do the various jobs. I announced the jobs for the week on the Monday morning- it would be an added routine for Monday during our daily routine.
- Teacher Assistant: responsible for handing out stickers in all students' agendas and other important documents/letters etc.
- Messenger: responsible for delivering attendance folder to the office and any notices going to the office or other classrooms
- Snack Monitor: 2 students responsible for picking up the snack bins in the staffroom and returning it when snack time is done
- Garbage Monitor: responsible for picking up trash and keeping the floor clean and emptying the recycle bin
- Board eraser: responsible for erasing the board
- Locker Monitor: responsible for making sure that the hallways are clean and organized- no jackets or backpacks on the floor
- Sweeper Monitor: responsible for sweeping
The children loved having the jobs and I believe it truly contributed to them feeling part of the classroom community. They had the same system in the French classroom.
2. Home reading
Students always had the homework of reading 10 minutes whether they were in Grade 1 or 2. These were sight word books.
Every Monday the books were changed- again, the class lists and book numbers were used to record which book a student had read and not read.
Depending on the student's reading ability we also changed the type of book he/she brought home- we had one very advanced reader so for him we chose more complex books.
I completely concur with my CT's belief that reading is crucial- reading skill is so beneficial in all other academic subjects. We were careful to choose books that students felt success with: where they could independently and confidently read it.
Spelling was mainly part of grade 2's routine. They were given a list of 12 words every Monday- the morning lesson would go over the words and they would also be given an activity to go with the words for that week.
This is an example of one week's spelling: we would go over what the word means, and do interactive activities- finding words that rhyme, finding words within the words... etc
Their homework for the week would be to practice these words for the Spelling test on Fridays.
Every Tuesday, the morning lesson included Journal. This was to ensure regular writing time- something I found very valuable. I saw an immense difference from comparing students' journal entries in the beginning of September and in December.
The topic would be something quite open-ended and something everyone could relate to. We would always also start with reading a story. Then as a class we brainstormed the topic, to make sure that students had the support (key words they could use in the entry etc) needed before starting to write. Many of my students lacked the self-confidence and language ability such as vocabulary to be able to just write based just on the given topic.
This journal lesson was based on the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
This is an example of an journal entry: for this one, students discussed Remembrance Day: what we do, what we see etc.