Sunday, June 24, 2012

Guiding Readers Book Study Ch. 1

While doing my daily Blog "Research" (my fancy word for stalking) this morning I read Beth at Thinking About Teaching 's post about the book study she is doing with Misty at Think, Wonder, Teach

Check out this super cute button they have!
(Yes, I am distracted by pretty things. And shiny things...ooh look, Glitter! Ha ha, just kidding. No, seriously, is there glitter somewhere?)

Here is a quickie background on my reading deal-io. We have a mandated 90 minute reading block. During that time we teach everything LA related. We also have a 30 minute writing block for more formal writing instruction. We do a lot of writing in our literacy, though.

Now, things will be a little different for me this coming year than in years past, because I am bumping from 1st up to 4th. I assume, though, that the intensity will be the same in our instruction.

In first, I met with 2-3 GR groups a day. We did progress monitoring on all students 4 times a year, and on our struggling readers every 4-6 weeks. We use DRA for K and 1, but F&P for 2-5. 

We also have a mandated intervention block that makes up part of our 90 minutes called Target Time. We plan with our grade levels teams to see who needs the extra instruction time. Depending on the need, we use one of three different intervention processes/programs. 

My thoughts about GR:
  • I have never known teaching without it, but the format has changed some for me over the years.
  • Flexibility has always been a key component to my GR groups, so that I am giving the students what they need instead to take them to the next level.
  • I am terribly conflicted about GR and conferring, which I prefer. There is not enough time to do both, and conferring has usually taken the hit. I find it much more meaningful to work with a kiddo 1-on-1 for 5 minutes for goal setting.

What I liked about what I read:
  • GR can be flexible, not following a specific formula or guide depending on the childrens' needs. 
  • "Students still have the opportunity to make sweet music with books through the other components of the literacy block."
  • "Maybe the independent learning component of the reading program should be student directed, not teacher directed. 
On to Chapter 2!

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