Class Sequence – 1

Here’s a nice class sequence for a block class or two regular classes. Note that this first of two suggested class sequences for teachers who are not writing the story in real time as it happens. The second suggested class sequence – posted after this article and labeled Class Sequence – 2 – is for teachers who write the story in real time.

(What am I saying? For me, it’s the best thing since sliced bread and is a menu that keeps my kids well fed and interested all the time, so that classroom management problems don’t exist. It’s an off-the-chart class sequence of the biggest and baddest dogs I have ever seen saunter into my TPRS classroom the big red dogs and their smaller green friends.)

  1. SSR/Read and Tell
  2. Story
  3. FW/Dictée
  4. WCTG
  5. Poem (for declamation as per the recent post on this topic)
  6. (Next day is ROA, since writing up the reading given to us from the story writer requires ten minutes that evening to write it up. I wrote a post entitled “Sunflowers” today to explain how much shorter stories, as little as 15 to 20 minutes long, are where I see my own best CI plan going. If anything of the big dogs in red gets derailed or doesn’t feel right that day, I’ve got the green dogs to come in and sweep the class to a fun ending.)


  1. The strategies in red are the big dogs. The strategies in green are great, but they are not the big dogs. The big dogs are SSR, a story and a free write or dictee, with a reading the next day using ROA. That’s the big dog heavy hitter sequence of all time for me. When I use this sequence, it’s like catching the perfect wave on some beach in Hawaii.
  2. SSR – I see no reason not to start every single class with SSR, either using the three part sequence if the class is all reading the same book or just letting the kids read any book (FVR but not of kids’ storybooks as per a recent post) if there are not enough books to have a class set.  Read and Tell to finish is great for this first part of class.
  3. The poetry declamation piece is just so cool, but eats up too much time so I only do one line a day. This, of course, later on gives the kid something to say in French when Uncle Jim says at the next family gathering, “You’re takin’ French? Say something in French!”
  4. WCTG – the best, the best, the best.
  5. Story – better than WCTG. Every time I do a story I just can’t believe that I don’t do them every day. The power quotient of stories is exponentially higher than anything else we have created here.
  6. FW/Dictee – ending class this way brings a nice switch out of their now-drained brains into the left hemisphere.
  7. Of course, the word wall, which doesn’t change all year is there as well, and necessary for WCTG.



8 thoughts on “Class Sequence – 1”

  1. Thank you so much for clarifying these Ben! Definitely feel like a rookie when I have to ask what all the cool abbreviations mean.

  2. Well we have tended to over-abbreviate in the past, confusing people. But we’re not doing it so much any more. Irrespective of any confusion, due to the nature of our format here, some “digging” around will be required. Many of those who have done that have seen some really cool stuff happen in their classrooms, so I guess it’s up to each one to pull out what they can. Our combined efforts here over the years have produced some really golden activities and strategies.

  3. Saludos,

    I have 95 minute blocks. A third of the days we do FVR. I have more than one thousand books: from Isabel Allende to Froggy, from Junie B. Jones to soccer technical books, …

    We usually read 20 minutes.

    I agree that is a great way to start. I ask them: “Who was your teacher those 20 minutes?”.

  4. Has anyone figured out how to do the Word Chunk game without a word wall? (For us traveling teachers) I’ve tried projecting, but our word list is getting too long.

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