I have 34 students-help me w/ guided reading/centers!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Sunny Teacher, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Sunny Teacher

    Sunny Teacher Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2009

    I have 34 students until we hire another teacher. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to run centers/guided reading? Is meeting with a group a couple times a week enough? How soon into the year do you start guided reading and centers? Also, this is my first year teaching...how should I introduce centers, and what does your reading curriculum look like (in the beginning and then once you get the system down)?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2009

    My first thought was to suggest you stay away from all alcohol so you don't turn to drinking to handle 34 first graders! Yikes!! LOL
    I hope they hire a teacher soon. What's their hold up or do they just like leaving you twitching in the wind?
     
  4. ms. yi

    ms. yi Comrade

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    Aug 15, 2009

    I usually don't start guided reading into about a month in. The first month is for assessing, assessing, assessing! Hopefully by that time the other teacher will be hired.

    I like to meet with my lowest group every day and rotate the others so that I see them a couple of times a week. When you introduce your centers, really take the time to practice the procedures for participating in them and rotating - if you rotate in the same day.

    I'm going to try the stamina building practice mentioned in the Daily 5 but I'll apply it to centers instead of independent reading. Start with 10 minutes the first day and keep increasing the time as they get accustomed to working quietly in them. You'll have to definitely walk around and monitor a lot at first but as they are building their stamina, you should wean them off of your support until they can be completely independent in them.

    Good luck :)
     
  5. Sunny Teacher

    Sunny Teacher Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2009

    I had 34 on my list but they didn't think all 34 students would show up. Well, all 34 did show up! They have to wait a certain amount of days to make sure the numbers stay the same and then they will hire a new teacher. I'm not holding my breath that it'll happen before Oct. This coming up week will be week three of school.
     
  6. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Aug 15, 2009

    A 1st grade teacher from my school wrote an excellent article about how to introduce literacy centers. I often refer new teachers to it, and I managed to find it online: http://www.lcequity.com/cgi/infoview.cgi?4

    Under the heading Creating Instructional Contexts for ELL's and Culturally Diverse Learners click on the link to "Making Time for Small Group Instruction" PDF.

    Even if you're not teaching ELL kids, it's still great advice. Don't feel pressured to start guided reading right away. It's more important to get the expectations in place first. Jessica's article provides a step-by-step guide with timeframes.

    Hope it helps!
     
  7. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Aug 15, 2009

    Holy Moly! I have my centers AT THEIR SEATS for the first week at least. We just rotate the materials. That may be one way to do centers and not lose your mind until they find another teacher. The first week, the only center they get up for is the reading center. The second week I add the computer center. Good luck! Hang in there and let us know if you need more suggestions.
     
  8. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2009

    I love the idea of rotating the work and not the children.
     
  9. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2009

    I feel you...I had 34 kids a few years ago - for the whole year, no other teacher was hired (the other 1st grade had 33). No aide, by the way. :) Anyway, I agree with most everyone else. You'll need to meet with your lowest group(s) daily and check in with the others on a rotating basis. Plan to spend a few days introducing centers and practicing rotation. I usually start the end of the second week, but you may have to start later with so many. You'll need to spend a lot of time on routines and rituals with that many kids! Good luck - it's possible! I'm living proof!
     
  10. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Aug 26, 2009

    Wow 34 and I thought my 19 was a lot. I am not starting gudied reading or centers until after we do our first TPRI, plus I am doing more assessments on my own. Especially some reading levels. I will introduce some of the reading centers next week and then some more after that.
     
  11. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Aug 27, 2009

    We are finishing week 2. I have started whole group reading, writing block, and centers. They are now going to the computer and Reading Centers during the rotation. I will let them get up and go to a table for 2 more centers next week, in addition to the first two. We are still rotating materials.
    I am assessing them while the others do centers. I will start small groups as soon as assessment is done. It may be another week or so.
    Sunny - do you have another teacher yet?
     
  12. tchnzfun

    tchnzfun Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2009

    I teach one station per day and we all practice that station as a class. Then we spend a day practicing rotating to different stations. Then we spend another couple days actually doing centers in groups, but I am monitoring and observing the entire time. I share positive things I saw and good model student examples at the end of centers. Once they are in the swing of things, I pull them out for assessments and continue to monitor. After that, they pretty much function on their own. But that's with 24 kids and they are 2nd graders.
     
  13. usfchick24

    usfchick24 New Member

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    Feb 25, 2010

    Oh man! I had 28 last year... Not quite as many but my groups were 9, 9, 10... I have three stations. Seatwork (work changes daily) , guided reading center with me, and then centers. Each child has a star color (tells which group they are in) and a number that tells which center they go to each day.

    I have two charts. The rotation chart looks like this:

    Green stars: reading, seatwork, centers
    Red stars: centers, reading, seatwork
    Blue stars: seatwork, centers, reading

    They learn this rotation pretty quicky and it never changes.

    Then the second chart is which center they go to each day and takes a little while longer to learn but again it never changes.
    ex.
    MONDAY
    Art - #'s 1 and 2
    Computer - #'s 3 and 4
    Writing - #'s 5 and 6
    Choice - #'s 7 and 8
    Listening - #'s 9 and 10

    TUESDAY
    Art - #s 9 and 10
    Computer-#s 1 and 2
    Writing- #s 3 and 4
    Choice- #s 5 and 6
    Listening- #s 7 and 8

    Hope this helps. Sounds confusing but works REALLY WELL. I only have to think of an activity for choice and art centers. Writing center builds as the year goes on. Now we have just created our first story illustrated and about 6 pages. Listening is usually the story we read together for the week. I usually have them draw and write about their favorite part of the story (which could be an early in the year writing center)....
    ,
     
  14. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

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    Feb 28, 2010

    OMG!!! You poor thing!

    I started using ideas from a book called The Daily 5. I only have 22 kids and it has made such a difference! I've modified it a little to meet my needs. Each day after we finish whole group instruction, the kids can choose one of our "Daily 5 Choices" to do while I pull small groups. Here's an overview:

    Read to Self Each child has his/her own bookbag of "good fit" books (my kids have 3 books in their bags). They can get a cushion and sit anywhere they want and read by themselves.

    Read to Someone They can read books with a classmate.

    Work on Writing They can sit at their desk or use a lap desk and write about a topic of their choice. I also allow them to write a story with a partner.

    Listen to Reading If you have a listening center, they can go there. I use my computers and let them go on StorylineOnline.com, Speakaboos.com, Starfall.com, or take AR tests on the books in their bookbags.

    Word Work I have bags that have all sorts of manipulatives for them to use and practice Spelling, Sight, or Word Wall words.

    You have to go through several weeks of modeling and teaching of procedures. If you invest that time though, you have a program that teaches children to love books and requires little prep time on your part. Good luck! :)
     

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