background groups

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeachnRox, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jun 30, 2008

    I posted this on the first grade board, but thought I would put this out to more viewers...

    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.

    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.

    Anyone out there implement this with success, any feedback appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
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  3. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2008

    Oooo I would love to hear some feedback on this. I can't stand all the background noise. I get distracted very easily.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 30, 2008

    I don't have a "background group"...but I always have one reading group with me, one working on journal writing, and one in centers. If the journal writers finish early, they must do independent reading. This way, I only have 6-7 children at a time in centers or workstations. I can't stand the noise otherwise. Even if they are being quiet, there is just a certain amount of noise that comes from workstations.
     
  5. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I do guided reading and do have the other children in Literacy centers during the process. If you you really practice this routine they do get it that they have to be quiet in the centers. I tell my kids that my reading table has a force filed around it and that they cannot disturb me unless someone is bleeding or vomiting :( In the beginning of the year they are still trying but as the year moves on they seem to get it. I also make sure they my centers are not just worksheets. I give them hands-on things to do and that seems to hold their interest.
     
  6. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 1, 2008

    I really need to work on cutting down interruptions during guided reading next year...this year, one of the things that helped was having only 2-3 children in each center...I had to create more centers, but there was very minimal arguing and since I paired a "high" with a "low" student almost every time, so usually at least one student knew what to do.
    I have heard that you can have a "Question Chair" and if students have a question, they sit in the chair until you have a minute...and if someone is in the chair, no one else is allowed to sit there and they must continue to work. Personally, I don't think this would work for my kindergarteners, but I would love to know if someone has made this work!
     
  7. TeachnRox

    TeachnRox Companion

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    Jul 1, 2008

    Patricia Pavelka

    The question chair, I know I would have a line! :lol:
    One of my other problems was when students needed help and they couldn't come to me. They would ask someone else, which is great but most of the time I found that the students all went to the same one. Therefore, she/he didn't get to enjoy their workstation because they were being interrupted. Pat Pavelka recommended giving each student a red/green card. The rule is they can ONLY help 3 ppl, once they have helped three they turn it to red and that means I am closed. If students don't want to be bothered/interrupted then they can just turn their card to red. Green means open, and willing to help!

    I totally recommend Patricia Pavelka's Workshop on Guided Reading Management. This was the one that I attended, and learned about the background group. It was one day, but would have been great for 2 days.

    One of my problems/issues what ever, is regarding centers/workstation activities. I am horrible at restocking, and changing things and her centers remain the same with minimal changes, I love this and best of all they are and can be differentiated! So, your high kids can extend, while the lower children can work at their pace and not feel frustrated!

    I added a link to my first post about Pat Pavelka's methods.

    I love everyone's ideas, this is great! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008

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