Friday, February 8, 2013

Guided Reading: Fitting It All In

Welcome to Day 3 of Guided Reading Boot Camp!  The age old question...how do I fit it all in? Well, I may not have a magic answer, but I hope how I organize my time will give you some ideas.

I have 5 groups of readers.
I am a general ed teacher in a special education collaborative classroom. My collab teacher takes 3 of the kids who are the lowest and works with them. I don't meet with them for guided reading.
So now I have 4 groups of readers who I see 4 times a week. How?

Blue group - lowest group below level
Red Group - on level group
Yellow Group- slightly above level group
Green Group- really high group

(yeah, I am not very creative in the group naming department - colors are easy)

I have 3 round each about 20-25 minutes. What? But I have 4 groups.

Monday
Round 1: I meet with Green Group- introduce their phonics skill with an activity, intro the leveled book for the week, and then review the independent work they will do the remainder of the week
Round 2: Meet with Blue Group
Round 3: Meet with Red Group

Tuesday-Thursday
Round 1: Meet with Blue Group. 
Round 1 (on carpet next to teacher table): Green Group reading book and works on assignment for the day. While Blue group rereads for fluency, I take this time to get Green group going and to answer questions about the day's assignment.
Round 2: Meet with Red Group
Round 3: Meet with Yellow Group

Friday
Round 1: Meet with Yellow Group
Round 2: Meet with Green Group- review their phonics skill, review their work from the week and discuss the story, take a running record on 2 students
Round 3: HFW tests

If I didn't have the collab teacher, I would be rotating the red and yellow groups and meeting with blue and group 5 every day.  So Tuesday & Thursday I would meet with Red while Yellow is working independently on the floor on activity from previous guided reading book. On Wednesday & Friday, Yellow would meet with me while Red was on the floor working independently. 

The key to making the floor groups work is proximity to the teaching table and accountability for the day's work.

Hope this helps.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Classroom Management: Quick Pick & Sticker Sticks

Every year, I create two sets of sticks - quick picks & sticker sticks.  I use jumbo craft sticks to create these.
Quick Picks are sticks with numbers of the students in my class. (Each child has a number.) I use these to call on students to answer questions or anytime I need to pick a student for something.

Sticker Sticks - I get stickers to match my theme. I get stickers that have a matching pair. For example, two sticks will have a green robot, two will have a red robot, etc.  I do this for 11 pairs (a total of 22 students).  I use these whenever I need to have students work in groups.  They each draw a stick, then find their matching pair.  If I need larger groups of 4, then I have them pair up with another group. If I have an odd number of students then the odd man out gets to pick the group he joins to make a triad.

Cheap and easy. Hope this helps.

Guided Reading: Lessons

Welcome to day 2 of my Guided Reading boot camp!

Today we will talk lessons.  Now each box in the long range planner is a week in guided reading lessons.  A lesson for me runs 4 days as such:

Fluency: Students begin by rereading previous guided reading books and high frequency word lightning pages from their book bags while I get myself set up for the group.

After this, each day brings a different plan

Day 1:
Phonics: introduce the phonics skill for the week - a says /a/ like in apple, read short a CVC & high frequency word cards, use 2 cubes that I made 1 has different short a word families (at, ap, etc.) and the other has consonants and consonant blends (b, r, t, etc.).The kids roll the cubes and say the words.  They say if they are real or nonsense and play moves to the next reader.
Reading: Introduce the book, build background, bookwalk, frontload words, make predictions, then let kids read independently listening and cueing as necessary.
Responding: Elkonkin boxes - write short a CVC words

Day 2:
Phonics: review short a sound, read short a CVC & HFW cards, word sort as a group some CVC words
Reading: start by having kids ask a question about the book, students reread independently while teacher listens and cues as necessary. I take a running record on 1-2 kids on 1-2 pages at this point.
Responding: writing sort - this time you say the word and they decide where to put the word and have to spell it. Can do this is word family books.

Day 3:
Phonics: review short a sound, read short a CVC & HFW cards, making words  - teacher directed (short a words of course)
Reading: read a decodable short a book, Review the guided reading story with the genre's comprehension organizer, students reread book to find or prove answers as necessary. I take a running record on 1-2 kids on 1-2 pages at this point.
Responding: sight word fluency writing: write the sight words as many times as they can in -- seconds/minutes.

Day 4:
Phonics: review short a sound, read short a CVC & HFW cards, word sort on their own this time
Reading: read a decodable short a book, I take a running record on 1-2 kids on 1-2 pages at this point.
Responding: writing response related to the book such as draw a picture of a time you __ and write about it. If you have leveled readers provided to you with plans as the Journeys program provides, you can use the Writing response page.

Tune into tomorrow for how to fit in all your groups.

Hope this helps.