I've written about some of them before. On Monday and Wednesday, I introduce a new etymology root. I try to scan the reading for the week and choose words that either are used in the passage, or relevant to the characters. On Tuesday, I give them a new spelling rule from Uncovering the Logic of English. On Thursday, I do a lesson in voice/diction (from Discovering Voice), followed by 8 pArts and a short narrative based on a picture. On Friday, they write their etymology paragraph using all their etymology words and words drawn from the spelling rule.
With small group taking up 30 minutes, four times a week, that leaves about 45 minutes a day to plan for. That's enough time in one week for reading/watching/listening to two short stories and doing a writing assignment. As we move into the Anne Frank unit (the district adopted the play version rather than Diary), that will be a scene or two a day.
It's a major help to planning to have well-established routines. It means each week, I need two new roots, a new spelling rule, a mini-lesson on writing, a picture for 8 pArts, a topic/picture prompt for a narrative, and one to two texts. That's a lot, but it's less than the overwhelming amount when you think about starting from nothing. It's also a lot easier to tie it all together and make it feel like a coherent unit that way.
The Friday etymology activity becomes a true assessment of how much they've learned during the week, as well as a measure of their progress in writing. It gives me an opportunity to assess what syntax/grammar skills need to be addressed (apostrophes are next up in the queue) and if any of the content needs to be reviewed.
Today I also threw in an ungraded five question assessment on Cask of Amontillado, focusing on choosing the best evidence to support a claim. I actually asked ChatGPT to write some of the questions, and with some minor alterations, I was happy with the results. Here are the questions, if you're interested. I had them write their answers and score them at their tables. The average score was in the 70-80% range, with a low of 40% and a lot of 100% scores.
I'm still trying to find a balance with feeling like I need to do EVERYTHING and picking the things I can do well and focusing on those. It's hard, as I'm always letting pieces drop. But this is the best I've ever done with planning, and the routines have a big part to play in that.