I am moving to fifth grade after three years in third and I couldn’t be more excited! However, it does require some extra preparation this summer. It’s nothing that I haven’t done already: My district adopted LC Units of Study for Writing the summer before my first year as a classroom teacher and I spent that summer reading the third grade units.
Since I know I’m not the only one needing to prepare for a new grade level, I thought I would share how I approach the Units of Study for a new grade level.
1. I read each Unit of Study book, taking notes on each session.
Yes, I know Lucy is wordy and goes on and on. The very first unit I read, I read EVERYTHING, which I would recommend if you have never used them before. However, after that it isn’t really necessary to read each word on each page. Within each session, the main points are in bold, it isn’t necessary to read all of the dialogue/text after that unless you don’t understand what is being said.
When I take notes, I try not to put my own thoughts or take out what I know won’t work. I try my best to keep it as it is. These notes come in so useful because I can copy, paste, and adjust into my plans during the school year. This has really been a time saver in the long run. Plus, I am a big picture person and I am more effective if I know what is coming.
2. I read in the genre, looking for mentor texts appropriate for the grade level.
The units name some mentor texts, but there are so many more out there. I read as much as I can, after all I need to be ready to write with the kids!
A few additional thoughts…
- During the year, as I am teaching a unit, I read the dialogue that LC includes for each session before I teach it.
- I put in a lot of my own lessons into the LC units, more each year as I get to know the kids, standards, and units better.
- I’m finding that the fifth grade writing units, especially the Memoir one I am working through now, is more “fluffy” than the third grade ones. Anyone else?
- Don’t be scared of LC or the Units of Study!
- My dog snores…