Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deb and I... day 2

Guys... this is major stuff. I'm not sure if I will get out everything I want in one post without you giving up on the reading... so we shall see how this goes.

All of the information can be found in Making the Most of Small Groups by Debbie Diller. (Great book!)

Day 2 of the Debbie Diller conference focused on small groups! Thank you lord above! I already felt like I had a pretty good grasp on workstations after my trial (and errors) last year. So, this year I really wanted to focus on improving my small groups! This is crucial time that I get to spend with my students so I want it to be worth it! 

Debbie's tips for what to include in Guided Reading:
1. Before reading (approximately 5 minutes)

  • Introduce the book to the students (talk and make predictions).  Set the purpose! Be specific on what you are reading to find out/ looking for... students can record their answers on a sticky note! Debbie would include on different pages questions that the students could record their answers! Love it. 
  • Review the focus reading strategies (Tip: every guided reading should include the comprehension) The strategy you choose to focus on should have already been taught in whole group. 
  • Review vocabulary- High frequency words... have students ZOOM in on new words in order to build vocabulary. 
  • Phonemic awareness should not be included in the Guided Reading lesson. (This is where I will need to figure out how best to meet my students who do not have this skill, eek! Stay tuned how that goes)
2. During Reading... your job is to listen in and prompt as needed!
  • Your job is NOT to correct their mistakes... that is the student's job! This is so important to remember. 
  • Do not round robin... did you not HATE that part as a child. You sat their in class plotting out what you had to read, practicing in your head, not even paying attention to what the other's were reading. Enough said. 
  • Once you are comfortable with your small groups THEN you can begin taking notes. Last year I used a binder with the plastic dividers with pockets. I wrote each child's name on a library card. Depending one which group the student was in was where I placed the card. (If a student was in the yellow group they went into the sleeve of the yellow divider. Simple... and easy to keep up with. Once they are full... file them away. These are GREAT tools in order to see where your students are, keep track of progress, and they help you to accommodated your students needs. Tip: You can even store the leveled readers you are using in the pocket or an example shown she attached a cd pocket onto her divider and stored her notes in there!

3. After Reading
  • Part 1: talk about what they read, check for comprehension!
  • Part 2L Strategies: whatever streagies you are focusing on review now and then remind them to use it throughout the day :)
  • Teacher reflection: Debbie believes it is important to jot down a note as the students are leaving the table, something you do not want to forget. 
4. Running Records
  • Use a familiar book to the students, however it cannot be something the child has memorized
  • Debbie did a running record on ONE student before she began her small group lesson.
  • She modified the running record. This means that she did not do a running record to get a Guided Reading Level... she still taught during the running record. However, she used it more as an INSTRUCTIONAL tool. 
** I mentioned early about the post it notes when setting a purpose... they can also be used to mark a page you would like the students to stop on. In her example she had the students read to that post it note and make an inference on that page (the purpose was already set earlier). Be sure to MODEL how students should record their responses (this is a great way to incorporate writing). 

Just remember...Every child learns to read for someone else! 
It is our job's as teachers to help each child accomplish this goal! I wanted read for my dad. 
(He'd kill me if he knew I put a picture of him up, but I love this picture. Typical dad look ha)
He read to me EVERY single night, the classic children's stories. I would memorize the story and I remember how excited he was when I would read the page! *Smiles* There began my obsession reading. I wanted my dad to have that look of being proud on his face, and I loved that time with my dad before I went to bed. I remember when he signed me up for the Dr. Seuss books that came in the mail. I could not wait until we got a new book to read together. Those memories last forever. Who was the person you learned to read for? 

Well, I hope you made it to the end and it was worth the reading!

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  1. Thank you for the update! Wish I could've been there! Your story about your dad was very sweet. Thank you for sharing that!
    First Grade Frame of Mind

  2. This is so well written - I followed to the very end. :) Glad I found your blog! I'm a 2nd grade teacher in Ct. I'll keep reading!