Sunday, October 13, 2019

Moving Forward with Comprehension

After reflecting on my first year back in 2nd grade, I realized that my guided reading instruction needs improvement. This past school year I focused on guided math and I'm feeling pretty confident about that so now is the perfect time to take a look at reading. 

I'll be sharing my takeaways from the following chapters from Jan Richardson's Next Step Forward in Guided Reading:
Chapter 7: Moving Forward with Comprehension Instruction 

This post will share my take aways from Chapter 7: Moving Forward with Comprehension.

This chapter focuses the comprehension aspect of reading instruction. The Top 12 Comprehension Strategies are shared along with 29 modules to address them. 

  1. Comprehension Monitoring
  2. Retelling
  3. Developing Vocabulary
  4. Asking and Answering Questions
  5. Main Idea and Details
  6. Analyzing Characters
  7. Analyzing  Relationships
  8. Inferring
  9. Summarizing
  10. Evaluating
  11. Using Text Features
  12. Understanding Text Structure

If you haven't visited http://www.janrichardsonguidedreading.com/resources-1, you should, she has many free resources to support her books. I also love the Reading Strategies Book from Jennifer Serravallo for comprehension instruction as well.   

I recently started reading groups and quickly realized that I didn't have enough time to do all the parts of Jan Richardson's lesson plan so I had to do some tweaking. Now I'm knee deep in running records to determine each child's instructional reading level. Once that's complete, I hope to jump back into reading groups. 

What resources do you use to teach reading comprehension?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Google Keep... the Gamechanger!


Screenshot of Google Keep on my Computer
When I was going through my Google Certification I remember doing a module on Google Keep. However, at the time, I didn't see the value in the application. 

Then I ran across a Tweet on Twitter where someone was sharing about it. I decided right then, I needed this Google Application in my life! Opening this new school has been an absolute whirlwind! When I tell you I was NOT READY... I was NOT READY! So this came a time when I desperately needed to "get my life togetha". 

A teammate commented that I seem "to be on top of things." I told her it was definitely an illusion cause I most certainly am not, but, I am much more organized with this app. 

I love the fact that I can have it on my phone and on my computer and it updates in real time. When ever I think of something I'm either near my computer or phone so it works out, I add it to a list and keep it moving. I review my lists daily to see what I can check off and what I need to check off. 

Now... I chose to purchase these cute little Google Keep Headers from "a small world called kindergarten" however she has a free set that you could use as well. With the paid set she gives a template to create your own and that's what I did with my Weekly Tasks. I have it "pinned" at the top and each week I check off my weekly tasks as I complete them and then over the weekend, I uncheck them and start all over. 
So if you're looking to get your life organized, I totally recommend this Google App. Do you need the cute little headers? No. But they make me happy when I see them so it was worth it for me!

Classroom Tour 19-20

Back to School Night
Name Bunting in the Hallway (lowkey mad I don't have a bulletin board or strips!)
At Open House I provided parents with the Parent Flipbook I make every year and I gave my students my favorite treats, Cheryl's Cookies! I also provided a communication folder for my students again this year. 
At Back to School Night I provided parents a handbook outlining the policies and procedures of our classroom as well as a learning handbook with study guides I created for all of our standards. 
View from the door. 


Just a few of our anchor charts from the beginning of the year. 
This Promethean Panel is the coolest, I went from having only a projector at my last school to this!

SWAG Tags (Brag Tags)
Small Group Area
View from Small Group Area

We read The Bad Seed and talked about Growth Mindset
Super Improver Wall and Swag Tag Necklaces
Books with a Common Theme
I love the fact that my class is 1:1
Picture Book Baskets, Word Wall

It's taken me a few weeks but I was finally able to take photos of my classroom. I totally underestimated the physical toll opening this new school would have on my body. I've learn to live and manage my chronic pain condition however I can say that every day for the last 19 days I've been in my school... have been filled with pain. Whether it's pain related to my condition or just my feet, legs, lower back pain. I feel like I never sit down and my new school is HUGE teachers are clocking 15,000-18,000 steps a day. I'm hoping things will begin to settle down soon until then, I'm hanging in there!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Next Step in Guided Reading: Transitional Readers

After reflecting on my first year back in 2nd grade, I realized that my guided reading instruction needs improvement. This past school year I focused on guided math and I'm feeling pretty confident about that so now is the perfect time to take a look at reading. 

I'll be sharing my takeaways from the following chapters from Jan Richardson's Next Step Forward in Guided Reading:
Chapter 5: Transitional Readers Level J-P (DRA Levels 18-38)
Chapter 7: Moving Forward with Comprehension Instruction 

This post will share my take aways from Chapter 5: The Transitional Readers (Levels J-P, DRA Levels 18-38).  
  • As with early readers, complete a word knowledge inventory and a reading conference with each child.
  • You want no more than four to five guided reading groups so you can meet with them three to five times a week. 
  • Guided Reading Materials (pg. 171)
    • leveled books
    • dry erase boards, markers, erasers
    • 6-8 sets of magnetic letters on individual trays or sorted in a box
    • analogy chart
    • guided writing journals
    • personal word wall for guided writing
    • timer
  • 3 Day Lesson Plan, 20 minutes (pg. 172)
    • Day 1- introduce new book, read book with prompting, discuss and teach
    • Day 2- read book with prompting, discuss and teach, word study activity
    • Day 3- guided writing
  • Guided writing is coached, it is not independent or assigned writing. Students complete the response at the table with your support. 
  • One question that was answered in this section was "Should I sometimes use nonfiction text with my transitional readers?" JR suggests that when you choose a nonfiction book, choose one that is at least one level below the groups current reading level due to advanced vocabulary. 
Next up, Moving Forward with Comprehension!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Next Step in Guided Reading: Early Readers

After reflecting on my first year back in 2nd grade, I realized that my guided reading instruction needs improvement. This past school year I focused on guided math and I'm feeling pretty confident about that so now is the perfect time to take a look at reading. 

I'll be sharing my takeaways from the following chapters from Jan Richardson's Next Step Forward in Guided Reading:
Chapter 4: Early Readers Levels D-I (DRA Levels 6-16)
Chapter 5: Transitional Readers Level J-P (DRA Levels 18-38)
Chapter 7: Moving Forward with Comprehension Instruction 

This post will share my take aways from Chapter 4: The Early Readers (Levels D-I, DRA Levels 6-16). 
  • There are 2 essential assessments for teaching early readers: a reading conference and a spelling assessment (pg. 107-109). My last school administered the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) and the DSA (Developmental Spelling Assessment). We analyzed data from these assessments to form reading groups and word study groups. JR says that the number of errors is not as important as determining why the student made those errors and deciding what strategic actions will accelerate the child. All errors aren't equal. You should be asking yourself "what kid of action does the child take at difficulty? did the student monitor using visual information? is there a pattern in the child's errors?"
  • Consider a "range" of instructional levels (pg. 110). Choose a lower level if you want to focus on oral reading fluency and a higher level if you want to practice decoding strategies. 
  • Once you've analyzed the assessment results, form groups (pg. 115). JR suggests 5 groups max with 4 kids max per group. I can understand the logic of having smaller groups while students are at this level however I know it may not be feasible with 22-28 students in our classrooms. 
  • For "early readers" it is wise to delay teaching comprehension strategies until students are independent word solvers (pg. 115) While this makes perfect sense, this may be unrealistic due to district standards. Our 2nd graders start the 3rd week with taking cold read assessments, and then take them every 3 weeks. My DRA ranges last year were from level 4-28 at the beginning of the year. JR says, "when choosing a strategy focus for this level, always consider self monitoring for meaning, work on monitoring for visual information word solving strategies and fluency. Once those are strong, choose retelling as a focus." 
  • Guided Reading Materials (pg. 116)
    • dry erase boards, markers, erasers
    • 6-8 sets of magnetic letters on individual trays or sorted in a box
    • sight word chart
    • pictures for sorting sounds
    • sound box and analogy chart templates in plastic sheet protectors
    • guided writing journals
    • leveled books
    • timer
  • 2 Day Lesson Plan, 20 minutes (pg. 117)
    • Day 1- sight word review, introduce new book, read book with prompting, discuss and teach, teach a new sight word, word study activity
    • Day 2- sight word review, read book with prompting, discuss and teach, reteach sight word, guided writing
Now that it's the last week of summer school I hope to jump into Chapter 5!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Cactus Themed Brag Tags


So I'm a self proclaimed "Clip Art Addict!" I could easily have 1,000 sets of clip art on my computer right now. As I was making brag tags for my second grade classroom next year I ran across these cute cactus graphics I own from Creative Clips. I knew immediately that I wanted to use these! 

If you're looking to add some to your collection, they are available for download in the Brag Tags folder of the Resource section @ the Teaching Oasis!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Smiley Themed Brag Tags

Yesterday was my "blogaversary", I've had this blog for 8 whole years now! It also happened to be my mother's birthday so my husband and I spent the day with her... shopping and eating at her favorite restaurant. I even bought a new dress, did you know that Loft gives a 15% discount to teachers with your badge? I never knew! 

I snagged some new graphics from Creative Clips and decided so make some new brag tags. I've been implementing them in my classroom for 3 years and I'm looking forward to using them next school year as well. Be on the lookout for new brag tag designs this summer, I've got an entire to do list!

If you're looking to add some to your collection, they are available for download in the Brag Tags folder of the Resource section @ the Teaching Oasis!