Thursday, June 27, 2019

Next Step Forward in Guided Reading: Essentials

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 1: Guided Reading Essentials
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 focus on Chapter 1: Guided Reading Essentials.
**Shared Reading is the whole class mini lesson, JR suggests limiting this time to 10-15 minutes. Traditionally our shared reading block is usually 30 minutes long. Until I can see my master schedule, I'm not sure how I will structure this time yet. 
**She has a timeline for teaching routines and procedures for reading workshop that spans 6 weeks. 
Week 1- students work in small groups for 10 minutes a day on easy independent "tub activities." These can include books, puzzles, journals, Legos, coloring books. These tubs will eventually be replaced by literacy activities as you teach students to be independent learners.  
Week 2- introduce a literacy activity to each of the groups, while other groups are in tubs 
Week 3- introduce a 2nd literacy activity to each of the groups, lengthen time to 15 minutes
Week 4- introduce a 3rd literacy activity to each group, lengthen time to 20 minutes
Week 5- introduce a 4th literacy activity to each group, students should be able to work 30-45 minutes without direct supervision
Week 6- all students should be working independently with purposeful literacy experiences, tubs should no longer be required At my former school, teachers were required to be in guided reading groups by the second week of school and my biggest complaint has been that students could not work independently and I spent more time correcting behavior than instructing. While I'm not sure I'll take 6 entire weeks, I will be taking several weeks to build stamina. I usually have a list of Daily Literacy Tasks on the board for students to complete while I met with guided reading groups, on Fridays the students completed READ (Read to Self, Engage, At Seat, Daily Writing) Rotations while I pulled reading skill groups. Engage consisted of reading puzzles and games, At Seat consisted of literacy menus. 

**Book Boxes/Bags (as a literacy activity), JR recommends students have a personal box or bag that contains a variety of books for independent reading. She says to include books students have read during guided reading and other easy books they can read without support. This allows them to develop fluency and practice strategies on easy, familiar texts. This past year we sent the previous weeks' guided reading book home with the students, with the expectation that they were reading it at home... they weren't and I stopped sending home books the 4th quarter. I like this idea much better, that way I know students are rereading the books. 

**Other Literacy Activity Suggestions: buddy reading, writing, readers theater, poems and songs, word study and spelling, word wall, listening to recorded stories, oral retelling, computer, research. I'll probably do something similar to what I did last year. Using the READS acronym, Read to Self, Engage, At Seat, Daily Writing, Skill Practice and embed some of these options into those stations. 

What literacy activities do your students complete while you're working with guided reading groups?

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Plum Paper and Erin Condren Products

So I'm Plum Paper's newest fan! I purchased my teacher planner from them and then decided to order a Notebook too. I loved the idea of a Parent Teacher Conference book, so I ordered a 7x9 (8.5x11 is available too) personalized notebook. Instead of lined pages, I clicked on the Lifestyle format and chose Meeting Notebook. 
This book has 49 pages (f/b) of meeting pages. You could easily use this for team meetings, PLC meetings or any other meeting you might have. I'm choosing to use it strictly for parent conferences. With that many meeting pages, it could last 2-3 school years.
I also snagged a few things from Erin Condren as well. I told you in my last post that the EC interchangeable covers also fit my PP planner, I saw this one and knew I had to have it too!

I purchased these colorful circles to mark important dates on my yearly spread.  
I purchased these to snap into my planner on the current week. 

I purchased a set of personalized stationary. I chose to get the Happy Birthday set. It came with 20 folded (flat is also an option) cards with my name already inside them. I could have personalized a message in all of them but chose not to. I got to pick the color envelopes I wanted and it also came with envelope seals. I thought these would be perfect to give to my colleagues during the school year.

What are your favorite Plum Paper and Erin Condren products? 

National Donut Day

National Donut Day was Friday, June 7th and I knew I wanted to celebrate with my students. I decided to take the awards I usually give on the last day of school, redesign them. 
Then we had an awards ceremony that morning. After I gave out the awards, the students at donuts and worked on the following activities. 
The students had a blast, this is something I definitely want to do next year!
Hallway Display

Classroom Door

Table Decor from Hobby Lobby