Help from creative teachers!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BarnyardCats, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. BarnyardCats

    BarnyardCats Rookie

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    Sep 7, 2007

    Oh my; I'm in a pickle now. I literally have NO TIME in this ridiculous schedule this year. It's a good and not so good thing. It is forcing me to be more creative in my teaching and take some risks. The deal is we have reading groups (switch classes) for 50 minutes but we don't take grades so therefore, we still must have reading also in our homerooms. Which is fine, but with this schedule, that leaves only 45 minutes to do reading, language, and writing. Clearly, there's no way. That's like 15 minutes for each subject- that's impossible. I am thinking about doing a story for two weeks. First week, 80% reading, 20% writing, 2nd week 80% writing, 20% reading. But then, I want to get away from the basal and have them do graphic organizers and test independently on their own books at their level. But, is that 3rd grade curriculum if some are reading on a 1st grade level?? And, how does one do spelling if they are all reading different books?? I thought teaching was supposed to get easier but I'm getting more confused each year, esp. with reading. I don't know what to do?? Basal, own independent books, class lit. sets, one group per day, all groups every day, what??? And, how would you assign comprehension tests if they are all reading their own books? I don't use AR to grade or else I know some would have a 0!! I have one student reading on a 7th grade level, and one barely on 1st, but yet I'm having them read the same story in the same basal? This makes no sense. Who has a good, sound method to teaching reading that they can share with me?? I just hope I don't sound totally incompetant. :blush:
     
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  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Sep 8, 2007

    No, you don't sound incompetent. I would not have all reading groups every day - brain drain!

    I am biased as a first grade teacher. I believe that kids should have the chance to experience success, that success is the great motivator to do even better. I would definitely recommend having the bulk of the time with kids reading at their own level, and try to be subtle about it so they are not embarassed. There are books designed for older kids who are on lower levels.

    I recommend having a nightly reading system where the kids read at their own levels - you would have to choose the books. Are you set up for this? Do you have access to books at different levels? I agree with you - having everyone read the same book all the time doesn't sound super effective. Mix it up. That way, everyone gets challenged and everyone gets to experience success.

    I have spelling groups just like reading groups and everyone has a spelling list they can be successful with - not an easy list, a little challenging but I try to set them up for success. I usually end up with one group below level, and use a Scholastic speller for that group on their level. Then usually 2 groups in mid-range, and one at a high level. I guess you could have them all in a speller at their level. Testing is ok - the groups all choose a name for themselves, and at test time, I call out "Lions" and give them #1, then "Rock STars" #1, etc. then get around to # 2 for everyone. They get used to it and it goes pretty smoothly.

    Can you work with 2-3 groups each day while the other kids do seat work or centers?
     
  4. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Sep 8, 2007

    PS Do you have a reading specialist who could work with your below level readers to give them extra support?
     

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