The Benefits of DAILY PRACTICE & REVIEW (And how to implement it in your daily routine.)

Hi Friends, 
Today in Second Grade we reviewed and practiced in ELA and MATH. I actually do this EVERYDAY. Daily practice and review is how I get my kiddies to improve in reading and number sense. It's how I ensure that all my students acquire those important base skills that help them with grade level work in ELA and MATH.

I usually try to set aside 30-45 minutes (in ELA) and 15-20 minutes (in MATH) a day for this. It may seem like a lot of time to devote to practice/review, but without basic skills students will have difficulties grasping grade level content. Just like taking time at the beginning of the year to teach behavior expectations and routine will pay off and save time later on, so will practicing and reviewing phonics, sight words, and number sense.

You might be wondering how I manage to reach all levels during practice/review. There is a lot of differentiated instruction going on during these blocks. Although, I have many students who NEED phonics practice, I also have quite a few who are beyond that and need a different challenge. This is when my attendant or parent volunteers are so important. I make sure to have appropriate activities prepared for all students and usually ask the other adult in the room to sit with a group and guide them. Sometimes, I'm alone so I make sure that the work is easy for the group to complete ON THEIR OWN. I want all students to get what they need during practice/review time. 


In ELA, my main focus during this block is usually reading. Many students are still struggling with phonics, CVC words, sight words, etc... We work on these skills in a specific order and move along as quickly or slowly as we need to. I begin with a short group lesson on the interactive whiteboard and then the students work individually on digital games or printable worksheets. While they work, I pull students aside for quick phonics or sight word checks and even a little guided reading. You wouldn't imagine the great information I get from these blocks and one-on-one time with students. 







 My advanced readers complete novel study activities and enriched vocabulary activities. They love the challenge. I also make time to meet with them individually and do some guided reading too (we don't meet for GR as often but I make it a point to read with them as well). 

At least twice a week, I devote some of our practice/review time to journal writing for ALL students. There are no rules. They are expected to write about anything and everything. The other day a student showed me her journal entry for the day and it was simply a list of ways to say hello in different languages. It was so precious. My colleague recently gave me the idea to allow students to ask me questions in their journal. When I look through them I can answer them. I'm very excited to implement this, I think the students will be even more excited about journal writing than they already are! Journal writing, is another great time to meet with kids in small groups or one-on-one. 

I also devote 5-10 minutes to songs (not every time but when we can). Singing is such a great way to practice fluency and help students gain confidence in reading (the repeated activity allows them to be able to read the lyrics and feel great about it). I share the lyrics with the students and they even bring them home. I usually print a few songs for each theme and hand them out at the beginning of the month. We sing them all month long and it's so much fun!


Our math practice/review often happens in the first 10-15 minutes of our regular math block for the day. It almost always includes all students together. I begin by playing a lot of 100 chart games. Learning to understand that each row has ten numbers and that each column is ten more. We learn to count by 10s and 1s. You can check out my blogpost on number sense HERE. We also sing a lot of songs. Even though certain skills like addition and subtraction strategies are only taught in January, we begin right at the beginning of the year. We learn to add doubles, count on, skip count, ect... They get so good and comfortable with it that I begin asking questions like: "What's 225 + 225?" and  "What's 300 more than 600?" or "What's the skip counting rule for 310, 320, 330?" They love when they can transfer their learning to BIG NUMBERS!

We also subtitize! A LOT! This skill is so important and really helps students better understand numbers and just be quicker with math. Once again, all this practice really has great benefits. After a few weeks I can already see improvement and better understanding of math concepts. They just pick up new learning so much quicker and easier with this practice.  

Some math blocks are just devoted to practice and review. After a short whole group lesson consisting of some (never all) of the activities mentioned above, I ask students to complete digital math games or printables to practice number sense on their own. Once again, this is a great time for me to meet in small guided math groups and go over anything that students are struggling with during the week. 



These practice/review sessions are not only beneficial to help students improve in ELA and MATH , but also give me lots of opportunities to meet with students. Meeting with students in small groups and one-on-one is SO important. I know it can be hard (trust me I've had years where it was near impossible) but we must find the opportunities to do so even if it's just for a few minutes. The information we get from meeting with students is GOLD. You can then use it to guide your teaching and make sure you are reaching every student and meeting all of their needs. 

Until next time...

No comments

Back to Top