background groups

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by TeachnRox, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jun 30, 2008

    Hey out there,
    I just went to a great workshop for guided reading- No More Interruptions. I do use GR, but am trying to work out some quirks- one of them is interruptions. I was wondering if anyone has a 'background' group during guided reading? I really liked everything this workshop had to offer, this was a suggestion on how to keep the kids from interrupting during your GR group. A background group is basically a group that is close to the teacher working on independent reading, such as sightwords, class lists, or various other things. It basically cuts down on the amount of kids working in workstations/centers/seat work. Anyone out there implement this with success, any feedback appreciated!
     
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  3. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    Hmmmm...

    During session one, Group A works on individual work at their desk and Group B splits up and goes to their centers. I call out people from Group B for my small groups.

    I usually have 24-26 students in my class and only like 2 per center.

    During session two, I call out people from Group A for my small groups and leave Group B to their independent work.

    This sounds like your background workers' thing, but I haven't been to a seminar on it.

    This works out great for me! I spend the first month of school practicing the routine with the kiddos. By month two we are on a roll. Bottom line, they cannot talk to me when I am with a group. I take 5 between each reading group. Students may come up then for any questions.

    Independent workers have a must do and a may do list. If there is something they are having trouble with they may ask a neighbor or put it aside for take 5 time and move on to their next must do. If they finish everything and their is still time they move on to their may do list (fun stuff).

    Hope this helps :)
     
  4. mel-bel

    mel-bel Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I love the Take 5 idea. I bet this prevents frustation from kids who really need help! I think I'm going to try that next year.

    How long is your guided reading block? How many reading groups to do you usually get to in one day? Do you alternate who does independent work first? Group A on Monday, Group B on Tuesday?
     
  5. greenapple14

    greenapple14 Rookie

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I haven't started letting my students choose their own centers-although, I know that is what I need to work towards. My students are grouped by color. I have a red group, a blue group, etc. There are five groups. Those students rotate at the ring of a bell. While they are rotating, I work with a group of students.

    When I call a group to my table, I call a number. Each student is assigned a color and a number. The students that come to me are all the same number, but they are all different colors. The number groups are ability groups, and the color groups are mixed-ability.

    I don't know if this is hard to follow, but it has worked very well for me. To deal with interruptions, I wear a green and red clothespin on my shirt. The green pin means that it is okay to come to me with a concern. I usually wear my green pin when I'm walking around the classroom. When I'm with a guided reading group, I wear my red pin on my collar. If a student tries to interrupt, I simply point to the pin and they smile and say "oh yeah" and walk way. Each color group has a leader or "teacher assistant". Leaders are rotated throughout the week. The leader is responsible for dealing with minor problems and for remembering any problems that need to be brought to my attention later after guided reading.

    I hope some of this helps. :)
     
  6. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    Thanks!!!


    Take 5 has REALLY help cut back on interruptions and definitely helps with the frustration level of my students! However, just to give you heads up :)... When I first introduce Take 5 it takes closer to 20 minutes so I'm only getting in 2 groups per session. Once they start becoming more independent and comfortable asking neighbors for help Take 5 only takes about 5-7 minutes and I usually get all 3 groups in per session.

    I have a total of 6 reading groups (90% of the time). Sometimes, if I have 1-2 kiddos way above the rest or 1-2 way below the rest I will meet with them as a 7th reading group. My groups change every month or two.

    I try to get to all my groups each day, but it doesn't always work out. I do get to all my groups at least 3 times per week.

    My GR block is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Each session is about 45 mintues long. Last year I was able to do my entire GR block in the morning with recess in the middle. It worked out GREAT! I'm crossing my fingers for this year!

    For simplicity, I alternate who gets center time first each week. Group A one week then Group B the next. I have found that it's easier for my kiddos to remember.

    :2up:
     
  7. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I still pick my students' centers as well. I keep thinking I'll try letting them do it, but it's just so much easier if I do it. Maybe this year... :D
     
  8. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    Interruptions and Teacher helper

    I wear a blinking red light, and when it is blinking it means for the students to ask for help from another student. I was wearing a lay, but the blinking really gets their attention! When I make the flashing stop with the click of a button, they know they can come to me. My interruption problem is noise level, I have the kids do seat work, and then they can choose one of 3 centers. Three is a privilege, I have taken it down to one center, and they have to work it back up to 3 center choices.

    I like your "teacher assistant" idea! That would help with one of my other quirks, is when a student needs help they go to another student. That student usually gets most of the class asking them questions, which takes away from the helper student being able to enjoy centers/workstations. At the same workshop, the presenter brought up another great idea, give each student a red/green card. At reading workshop time, they take it out. They can only help three people, once they have helped three ppl they turn over the card to red, which means closed, I can't help anyone. The presenter said that some of the students don't like to help and will display the red side from the start, which is their prerogative. I liked this too!

    RugRats, I like the take 5 idea too!

    The background group concept from Patricia Pavelka is found on this article http://web.naesp.org/convNews05/Tues-4-19.htm . Read the article Reading and Writing Strategies You Can Use Tomorrow. I believe it is strategy 5.

    These are some great ideas! Keep them coming! :)
     

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