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    Building Blocks
    By Jackie

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    I'm in Baltimore, Maryland and our county is using the Building Blocks program in conjunction with a phonics program (by Open Court). Both are new this year. I really like the Building Blocks program, especially the predictable charts. My kids love to be sentence builders! But because we have this very structured phonics program, we really struggle with fitting everything into a day. Typically, our day is something like this:
    8:30 Arrival, breakfast, announcements
    9:00 Opening (calendar, music and movement, read alouds, games, news, morning message)
    9:30 Phonics (a lot of these activities focus on phonemic awareness, though there's also letter recognition and formation and high frequency words)
    9:45 Predictable chart/shared reading )Because our schedule is so full, we have to alternate each week.)
    10:05 Literacy centers (writing, literature circle/guided reading, art, phonics)
    10:35 Recess
    11:00 Special
    11:50 Focus poetry (Much like shared reading. We work on one short poem for a week. We talk about the meaning, vocabulary, print concepts, rhyming words, letters and sight words we know, then on day 4 we act it our or move to it and on day 5 they illustrate a copy of the poem and add it to their poetry pages.)
    12:20 Lunch
    1:00 Quiet time
    1:30 Math
    2:00 Free choice centers/snack
    2:30 Review the day, journal entry
    3:05 Dismissal
    At the beginning of the year, I did the Getting-to-Know-You activities and the kids responded really well to them.

    The only part of the program I'm not too sure about is the writing area. We always have our kids start journals in the fall, though Building Blocks recommends waiting until January. I feel like the children aren't getting enough opportunity for writing.

    Anyway, hope this was helpful!



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