Anyone used Guiding Readers and Writers???

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MrsB2B, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. MrsB2B

    MrsB2B Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Ok...so I am still "internalizing" this process and I think I figured it out, but need an opinion.

    I am working in 2 man teams. I teach Reading and SS. Therefore, I have my HR for 90minutes and then my teammates HR for 90 minutes. Guiding Readers and Writers suggests an hour each day for both Writer's workshop and Reader's workshop.

    For those that are implementing this would it be horrible if I did Reader's workshop M/W/F and Writer's workshop T/Th? Still covering Word Study for the first 30 minutes everyday.

    Does anyone have any better ideas? I would love to be teaching self contained but at this point that's out of the question.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Personally, I think the students need to be reading everyday. You could do something like this:
    MWF: word study-30 minutes
    readers'-60 minutes
    TR: readers-45 minutes
    writers'-45 minutes
     
  4. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2008

    personally I would teach reader's workshop for an hour and then writer's workshop for thirty minutes everday if I only had 90 minutes. Like the poster before said reading everyday is very important. You could also alternate time such as an hour of writing and thirty minutes of reading....in my room 30 min for word study is alot of time. I alternate that with days as well...
     
  5. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 17, 2008

    I agree 100%. I just made my suggestion based on the 30 mins of word study because I thought that may be a school policy or something. My word study is only about 10 minutes a day.
     
  6. MrsB2B

    MrsB2B Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Ok....I have some ideas now. What types of things are you doing in word study if it isn't taking long? Where are you teaching the skills (cause/effect, compare contrast, main idea, summarizing, etc)??
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 17, 2008

    I use Words Their Way for word study. Each list of words follows a pattern and the goal is to teach that pattern to the students. During our word study time they are sorting the words into categories, adding words to the list that follow the same pattern, using the words in sentences, and things like that.

    The reading skills you mentioned would be taught during readers' workshop. Those would be some of the topics of your minilessons and then the students would be applying those things to their independent reading and possibly be responding about it in their readers' notebooks.
     
  8. MrsB2B

    MrsB2B Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Ok...starting to get clearer. Thank you for your insight and guidance. One more question...is your classroom library huge? I am a second year teacher and would say that I have a substantial amount of books for a 2nd year, but this program seems like it will take a lot of books. I have thought about using social studies leveled readers for guided reading time, putting crates on student tables of about 5 or 6 books, and checking out a cart of books (if possible), plus getting some of the school purchased novel sets for literature study. The kids will also go to the library once a week which should help.

    Does this seem enough to make it work?

    Thanks again....I see light at the end of my tunnel!
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Ideally, you should have a huge library, but it's not necessary to start off with. My classroom library was pretty minimal last year and it worked ok. I had maybe 10-20 books at each level that my students were reading at (L-V). It worked out ok because my students continually progressed through the levels, so even if I only had 10 books at that level, by the time they finished 2 or 3 books, they were moving on to a new level. This year I got a decent sized book order in so I'll be better off, but I'll still keep ordering books.
     
  10. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 17, 2008

    Here are pics of my library this year. Still not huge! :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. MrsB2B

    MrsB2B Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2008

    Ok guys....bringing this up again! I am really struggling with a couple of things. What am I grading?? I feel like they are reading and responding, but I am not grading anything. The other is...how do I fit in those skills (cause/effect, compare/contrast, main idea, point of view)??? I can see myself doing mini lessons, but how do I know they are getting it. Isn't everyone reading different stuff (besides my guided reading group)?

    Thanks again...this book is so overwhelming. I get the overview, but I am in planning mode and not sure what to do. Especially since NC has the end of grade tests to worry about!! Thanks!!!
     
  12. Becky123abc

    Becky123abc Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    Oh my, I know what you mean by being overwhelmed by the book! I almost cried when I got it in the mail...I thought, "I'll never get all this in my head!" :):woot:

    I'm glad I have it, but I also really enjoyed The Daily 5 -- Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elelmentary Grades by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. It's only about 125 pages!
     
  13. matchstickgirl

    matchstickgirl Companion

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    Sep 10, 2008

    Ok, so I'm hoping to resurrect this thread because I've been reading the book and want someone to talk about it with!! :) I feel like I have so many questions about things! If there's anyone who's read it or is reading it, or can just plain help, I'd love ideas!

    Here are a few of my questions:

    In reading the section about word study (Chapter 3) they talked about keeping word-study notebooks. I'm assuming it basically means keeping words in it that they've studied every week. I wasn't too sure on how to organize it or set it up.. so I was hoping that maybe someone who read it would understand?

    In the same chapter it also talked about the Buddy Study Spelling and wasn't sure that there would be a need for Spelling HW anymore with it? Any pros or cons to this? Basically they're doing the studying in school during the word study time. I wasn't sure what I thought about no HW but I'm sure the kids would love it! And if it helps them, then I'm all for it. Just curious on any opinions.

    Another thing I'm still super clueless on is how to incorporate guided reading while still having them do independent reading. They'd have to be reading 2 books at one time, unless during guided reading I did short passages (maybe for lower readers). Does anyone have any problems with their kids reading 2 books at once and still being able to do all of the responding?

    My last question was on reader's notebook explained in the book. I really like the idea of having students write letters once a week about what they are reading and then responding to it. But then I became confused on what to put into the guided reading section of the book. Maybe questions and comments about their reading and maybe an activity?

    Oh man this book is filled with stuff. I'd love anyone who was reading it that wanted to talk mroe in depth about it. Maybe we could email back and forth or IM or something?

    Anyone? :)
     
  14. MrsB2B

    MrsB2B Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2008

    I will try to help!

    Ok...I will try to help. I got the book less than 2 months ago and am using it to teach reading this year. I have had to alter and modify a lot of things due to time. I have 2 90 minute blocks of reading back to back everyday. My biggest concern was that I was not "teaching" enough (like skills and reading strategies).

    Next week, I am starting on Monday by introducing a genre (Legends) and a skill (compare/contrast). I will meet with 1 guided reading group a day starting Tuesday. In those groups, I plan on reading legends with them and focusing on comparing/contrasting them using venn diagrams, etc.

    Students have a chance to "shop" for books on Mondays. They get to keep them in a ziploc baggy and they must have them returned by Friday. They also have library books from the media center. Usually, the kids will have enough to read during independent time for the week. I make sure to make that announcement.

    To get things rolling, I would pick and choose activities from Ch. 9 and the First Twenty Days. I did not use all of them, because some could be combined or made easier by reproducing for kids. My kids have a Reader's Notebook (modeled after Beth Newingham's website), a Writer's Notebook, a reading response folder, and a writing folder. Students know that during independent reading time, they are required to respond to their reading. I stapled guidelines and topics for responses inside of their response folders. The Reader's Notebooks house all information sheets, reading logs, genre definitions, genre tally sheets, letter writing topics, and reading interests sheets (organized using dividers). The Writer's Notebook is for rough drafts, thoughts, and ideas. The writing folder holds all writing reference sheets and final drafts.

    I am using a vocabulary book write now, because I simply could not incorporate everything at once. It is a step by step process, but I do plan to read more on the vocabulary. I do focus on word study stuff though. This week we worked on the long "a" sound in words. Students do have homework, mainly because I have parents that almost get mad when their child does not have homework. I do not think it should be graded, but I do give them a completion grade (9 out of 10 times = 90, etc.)

    When students are "let loose" to their areas, I spend 2 or 3 minutes making sure everyone is settled, and then I meet with my group. I will be differentiating big time in my GR groups. I will read small passages, work on test style questions, and test taking/reading strategies.

    I was very confused at the beginning with this book because it is so all over the place. You simply cannot read it in order. I have always planned around a focus skill and genre and feel that it will still work with this program. Students are still reading a variety of genres, but I am able to introduce something Monday and follow up small group throughout the week. Grading proved to be a challenge at first, but I think I am going to do a NB check bi-weekly, skill assessment weekly, vocab assessment weekly, hw completion grade, and a classwork GR grade. I think it will work out.

    I hope this helps. I do tend to ramble, especially since everything was flying through my head as I typed. If I left out something, let me know, or if you have more questions let me know.

    I hope I helped a little!!
     
  15. matchstickgirl

    matchstickgirl Companion

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    Sep 10, 2008

    Thank you! I hope you don't mind if I PM you more questions from time to time! :)
     
  16. MrsB2B

    MrsB2B Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2008

    not at all! it's hard for me to get on sometimes...i will pm my email address...I would love a person to discuss this book with. I have been so overwhelmed, because I am the only one using it at my school right now. We are starting staff development on it next month, but the school doesn't have a reading program so I thought better now than later!
     

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