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Monday, October 20, 2014

Guided Reading, Reader’s Workshop and Building Stamina? How does it all fit in?

guided reading

So I thought I would share with you how we make our small groups work during Reader’s Workshop Time and how it all fits together.Slide5

We start our Reader’s Workshop Time with our 10 minute mini lesson. The mini lesson follows a very specific framework.

  1. Connect “Remember yesterday when we…” This is where I remind the kids what we learned yesterday.
  2. Teach “Today I am going to show you how…” This is where I state the new standard and model what it looks like.
  3. Active Engagement “Now it’s your turn.” Here is where the kids take their turn to practice the new teach.
  4. Link “So remember boys and girls, today and everyday, good readers…” This is where I restate the standard. Then, the kids turn and tell it to their partner on the carpet.

After the mini lesson we move onto independent reading.

  1. Each child has a set of “good fit” self selected books.
  2. These are books that are at their independent reading level (95% accuracy), high interest books they have selected, books that have been previously read in guided reading groups.
  3. The bag should have at least 6 books, but it can have as many as 10-12!


Independent and Partner Reading:

  • Each child settles into their “reading spot” and reads independently.
  • We establish the beginning stamina by watching the child we think will lose interest first.
  • As soon as he is off task, we stop.
  • Then, that is where we set the stamina.
  • We add 15 seconds to the time each day, slowing building their stamina.
  • In the second month of school, we introduce reading with a partner.
  • This person is someone who is at or close to the same level.
  • They read with their partner for 1/2 as long as they read independently. 


Now it is time to get ready for guided reading.

  • We group our kids according to their instructional level (90% accuracy.)
  • On the Group divider page, we use post it notes to identify which children are in each group.
  • Our groups are constantly changing so using a post it note makes it easy to move children around.


Planning for Small Group:

  • This is the page we use to write our guided reading plans.
  • We write our plans as we are finishing up with a group while it is still fresh on our minds where we want to go next with them.
  • We use this 100 box form to make running records a breeze.


Here’s what happens in a small group lesson.

  • First, we take a picture walk and build background information.
  • Then, we practice any new sight words that are used in our text.


Then, we practice a strategy. Here, we are seeing just how many words we know really fast and how that helps us be better readers.

Finally, everyone reads while I “listen in” or take running records.


We use a variety of text for our small groups. I especially love anything by Rigby. Our kids are REALLY successful and feel so confident!


We are also loving our new non-fiction units. I made one for October and just posted November.


Here’s how they work…

  • We take five non-fiction topics that we know we need to cover that month in our science or social studies.
  • For each topic, I wrote a book. The great part is, we have the text at 3 different levels! That way we can use good fit text, and still expose our kids to the same content.
  • Also, we made it where we could teach the same non-fiction feature, practice a writing standard, practice sight words, and select from 2 options for phonics or phonemic awareness practice depending on which is the best fit.

The November unit is on sale today for 20% off!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peek at My Week-Week 11 Apples and Pumpkins

We are moving right along! This weeks finds us working on small moments during Writer’s Workshop and working on reading strategies in Reader’s Workshop.
Just a little note about reading groups….I am showing a few resources that I am using for guided reading that are available. But, we are meeting with groups everyday, it is just that some of the resources are 6 packs from our leveled library. I get asked, “Which are your favorite leveled library resources?” Well, I love the Rigby books. I have found my kids to be very successful and gain a great amount of confidence using them.Slide2
I recently updated the Apples and Pumpkins Math Game Pack, The Apples and Pumpkins Literacy Game Pack, The Fall Math Game Pack, The Fall Literacy Game Pack, and the Pumpkin Glyph.
Be sure and hop over to my friend Deedee’s blog to take a peek at her week.
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Peek at my Week---Down on the Farm

Slide1This week we are moving onto “What is a Setting?” in Reader’s Workshop.  Just a heads up….here’s what we have planned…In our 8th month of school, nearly at the end of the year, we come back to characters and settings. That is when the learning gets even deeper! This month we are just laying story foundation with characters and settings.
In Writer’s Workshop we are moving onto small moments. This week we are modeling how to come up with 3 small moments from the same big idea. So just what does that mean? Well, if you go to the farm, that is the big idea. The small moments might be feeding the cows, riding the tractor, eating watermelon…While we are teaching kinders, small moments is a writing genre that will serve them well as they develop as writers. This is where they become more descriptive in their writing. It is where the writer is able to make you feel like you, as the reader, are right in that moment.
We are finishing up our short vowel sorts in Sound Off. Next week we are moving onto the long vowels.
So we are in our 10th week. And I have to say that Megan’s kids are “killin’ it”! They are so independent in their centers. We have introduced a variety of types of centers and a variety of  skills so now the centers are very familiar to them. So now it’s time for fluency practice.
In our science time we are going to talk about the life cycles of chicks, the different coverings of animals, and the difference between wild and tame animals. 
Our kids are lovin’ our Science Experiment Fridays. These experiments are simple and easy to prep. They really aren’t rocket science! Just simple experiments where the kids can experience the scientific process and have exposure to non fiction text.
This week we are finishing up Unit 2: Counting in our small groups. Megan told me the other night, that ALL of her kids were proficient on these skills. Why? Well, we think it is that repeated practice. Seeing  the same standard cluster over a period of time, practicing it in different formats, moving from concrete to abstract, having time to develop deeper understanding. Whatever it is….we are thrilled with their progress.
On the other hand, our centers aren’t teaching anything new. Instead they allow for repeated practice of already mastered standards. It is a time to develop that fluency---automaticity with mental image.
Now head on over to Deedee’s blog to take a peek at her week!peek at my week button
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TX, AZ and IN-Here I Come! November Conference Schedule

November brings two conferences  in AZ and IN and two seminars in TX!
At these conference events, there will be several presenters ready to share ideas. Want to know who else will be there? You can register or see the brochure for IN (here) and for AZ (here).
Here are some of the ideas that I will be sharing at the conferences:
At the games galore session I will be sharing tons of games that you kids will love. One of the favorites---Roll, Say, Keep!
I love to talk about writing. In this session I will share the framework of the Writer’s Workshop and how you can use that framework to teach non-fiction writing.
Who doesn’t want to get a little more organized? In this session I will share ideas on how to organize the things in your classroom to optimize teaching. I will share how I use “carpet bags” to make the most of our time on the carpet.
For the interventions session I will share ideas on sight words, abc, counting, numeral recognition, and other basic skills. I will also share ideas on how to develop “anchors” for the kids who need a little more support. You can find a freebee on my facebook page for abc and sight word support. And, in my tpt store you can find a free tool for those early basic skills.
In this session we will make some simple math manipulatives that kids can use to make sense of number. We will make rekenreks, tens frames, and dot plates while learning a variety of activities for each.
This fun little snake is made from a pencil box and is a great way to stretch out those sounds. It is a fun activity for Jack Hartmann’s song Stretchy the Word Snake.
During this session on words, we will talk about how to tackle unknown words as well as ideas for teaching sight words, word families, and vocabulary all with the mini lesson framework. My boys love this anchor chart for reading strategies!
In this session I will share some simple ideas for formative assessments and how to use those to form groups for both working and teaching! This session is one that can really change the way you do things in your room.
The other two training sessions for November are both in TX.  Now these events are a little different from a conference. You will spend your two days of training with me. I love both conferences and seminars. They each have things that make them exciting. At conferences you get to hear a little taste from several different presenters. At a seminar you get to see the big picture from one presenter and how all the pieces work together. You can register or see the brochure (here) for both of the seminar events.
So what will I share? First writing….
  • Ideas on how to develop a writing program based on the workshop model of teaching.
  • How to fit that into your schedule.
  • How to use this framework to teach non-fiction writing.
  • Other writing activities that you can use throughout your day to teach non-fiction writing.
  • Video clips to see what it looks like!
Then reading…
  • How to develop a reading workshop program.
  • How to get it started at the beginning to ensure productive reading time.
And to end the first day, foundational skills through games:
  • sight words
  • abc
  • cvc words
  • nonsense words
  • syllables
  • word ladders
  • and more
There are also a few small make and takes during this first day to help give you an idea to take back with you ready to use!
The second day we will start off with:
  • formative assessments that are easy, peasy!
  • how to use those assessments to plan instruction
Then, we will talk about how to organize an effective center time:
  • literacy centers
  • math centers
  • flexible and fixed grouping
Then we will move to math:
  • What are some of those basic concepts and terms?
  • Games and Activities to teach number concepts.
We will end the day with a little make and take of some basic math tools.
  • We will make rekenreks, dot plates, and tens frames.
  • Experience some activities you can use with your kids the next day using these tools.
I hope to see some of my “social media” friends as well as some teachers I know from other conferences. And, I can’t wait to meet some new teachers for the first time! See you soon….I hope! Smile
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Down on the Farm/Christopher Columbus Week 9 Peek at My Week

New Unit for Reader’s Workshop this week! Now, we are going to get deep! We spent the first two months really working on the who, what, where, when and how of reader’s workshop, and now everything is running smoothly and we are ready to start Digging Deeper!
In Writer’s Workshop we are giving all the things we have learned so far a name….Personal Narratives. Next week we will introduce the rubric and have the children evaluate their own writing! Crazy, right?
Most of our centers this week are around either Farm (which we will be doing next week as well) or Christopher Columbus.
I added Deedee’s Listening Unit to our centers this week. Love these!
I took advantage of two long plane trips this week to do a little revision…I totally revised the literacy game pack. If you already have it, go to your my purchases and you can get the update there.  I did add 2 editable pages for the sight word game so that you could pick your own words.
I also revised the Farm Math Game pack and added another game. Again, if you already have it, you can get that new game by going to your my purchases section and downloading the updated version.
Here is some of our Christopher Columbus fun from last year…Making the Sphere Circle Map out of our globes.
This is the unit where I do our sink and float standards. Coke Floats!!! A big hit!
They loved making their Christopher Columbus’. We made the dolls in one of our centers. Then, in small group I worked on the labeling in their non fiction books. I grabbed the bubble map from someone’s blog. I can’t believe I forgot to note who’s blog. Is it yours?
Now head on over to Deedee’s blog and see what other teachers are doing this week.
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