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New Member
I currently teach Reading Recovery 1/2 a day and writing (4th and 5th grade) 1/2 a day. Next year I will be teaching 3rd grade in a self-contained class and want to implement the 4 blocks framework. It has been 3 years since I have been in the 'regular' classroom and was wondering how you all get your grades? Do you do 'regular' tests from the basals or make up your own to go with the books you read in guided reading? How do you test for language and spelling?


Senior Member

I'll tell you what I do, but you must remember that 4 Blocks is a framework. You can use it however you see fit. That's my favorite part of it all!

I use the basal. I actually like weekly tests since my kids can practice going back into the text to find their answers. (I think this is harder in a novel with so many pages.) As a 3rd-grade teacher myself, I find this skill critical to my kids' success on the state standardized test (which is ultra-important in Florida since they are retained automatically if they don't pass.) I LOVE whole-group guided reading. There is no wasted time if I'm instructing everyone all the time.

As for grammar, our basal has theme tests which grade their language skills. I've tweaked most word work activities to make them more grammar related for me.

I give the spelling test that is with our basal since I actually like it (we use Harcourt Trophies.) The 15 words all surround a theme (last week it was suffixes -ly, -er, and -able.) Truth be told, I rarely do any spelling instruction per say. I give Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe as homework with various activities we've been practicing such as synonyms, definitions, syllablization, sentences, etc. I've found this is the one area my parents feel comfortable helping their child. I use the five word wall words of the week as bonus words on Friday's test.