We had about 35 teachers and administrators from Hawaii, Oregon, Georgia and Pennsylvania visiting Chets Creek today. I had the honor of escorting a group to Maria Mallon and Cheryl Dillard's first grade classroom to watch their Skills Block. They begin just like they do every morning, with the Class Promise, led by one of their students.
Next comes the morning message which is a review of the skills that the children have been learning including vocabulary, punctuation/ capitals, misspellings, and contractions. Maria holds up each child's name as they silently get in line to make a correction to the morning message. As the correction is made, each child turns and tells the class the rule that he is using to make the change. This ritual and routine is well embedded. The children are on a timer and after 10 minutes, Maria finishes showing the children the corrections. While the children find many of the mistakes, Maria identifies 4 more that they have not found. She then turns that into a number sentence of 100-4=___. Each day the children try to beat their score from the day before!
The final game is a review of ur, er, ir using Jeopardy. The Jeopardy game is set up beside a chart of words that the children have been studying using the specified letter combinations. A child's name is called and he gets to decide on the category, such as "er for 20". Cheryl then reads a clue to help the children decide on one of the words. Each child writes the word on his white board and holds it up. Cheryl then pulls the yellow cover off the chart to show the class the word. If it is spelled correctly, the child gets the points. Each child keeps a tally of his own score. The children really seem to love this game and can't wait to tell the teacher their scores!