When planning, should I have a list of things that I want the students to accomplish? For example, in Word Work, do I give the students several options to choose from and require a certain amount to be completed by the end of the week?
This is really up to you. Some teachers feel the need to have an “exit slip” or another kind of support that students completed specific work, like “copy all the words from the word wall and read to a friend”. Or, “make as many -at words as you can”.
You can leave it open to working with letters to make generalization on their own. I think it depends on the age of your kiddos and the specific needs they have.