Clueless regarding centers/guided reading!! Help!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by 773 Miles Away, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2009

    So I am new to teaching ELA and while I have excellent knowledge in how to help kids improve on their reading and writing... (i.e. content wise I'm very strong). I am having huge issues trying to figure out how to organize the class (i.e. implementation... not so strong....). Obviously, whole group is not the answer.

    My school requires us to do guided reading groups. I have 22 kids. I really only have time for 3 groups to rotate through. So I figured I could break the class into 7 kids/7 kids/8 kids. My problem, and root of all stress, is figuring out what to do with these kids while I am with my small group.

    What I don't want to do is create more work for me. What on earth do the kids do while you're not with them? And whatever they are doing... am I suppose to collect the work they did and go over it? How can I monitor that they are even doing something productive? And how do you deal with the fact that some will finish and some will rotate before they can finish the activity?

    and if you dont do centers.... what do you do??

    Web sites w good info would also be appreciated. 4th grade by the way.
     
  2.  
  3. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 29, 2009

    Fcrr.org has good center activities and talks a little bit about managment.

    Debbie Diller has a book of centers for grades 4-6 and also talks about organization. I think its called PRactice with a Purpose.
     
  4. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 29, 2009

    Your only options are centers, group work, or independent work. The groups that rotate through the centers don't have to be the same as the guided reading groups. I student taught in kindergarten, and the teacher would get the centers going, and then she would call 5-6 kids to do guided reading with her. When they were done, they went back to their groups and picked up at whatever center they were at. The center groups stayed at their center until the timer went off. The center activities were things that could be repeated for 5-10 minutes (a bingo game, a puzzle, building words with blocks, computer activities, journal writing, etc). I imagine you could do the same sort of thing without centers using longer assignments that the students work on individually or with small groups.

    If you have any parent volunteers or aides, guided reading time is great for them to come in and monitor the centers/individual work! In my student teaching classroom, there were always 3-4 adults in the room during this time (the teacher, me, and 1-2 parents or aides).

    You do have to train your class to work this way - don't expect them to do the centers/individual work perfectly without help the first few weeks. Set clear expectations and practice, practice, practice!
     
  5. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 29, 2009

    In my second grade classroom, we spend a total of 40 minutes in groups, and I have 4 groups (10 mins. per group). Here's my rotation-
    Group 1: Group, Reading, Spelling, Computers
    Group 2: Reading, Spelling, Computers, Group
    Group 3: Spelling, Computers, Group, Reading
    Group 4: Computers, Group, Reading, Spelling

    Group is with me; Reading is independent silent reading at their own desks(1 student from each group each day can do the listening center, if desired); Spelling involves a worksheet and a more hands on activity (like using magnetic letters, writing the words and then illustrating them, etc.); For computers, I have a section on my class website that students can access to practice the weekly Spelling words, Language skills, or Reading strategies.

    Students MUST be taught how you expect them to act and you MUST keep an eye out around the room.

    I take up the worksheet they do for Spelling and give a check mark for work done, but don't count it as a grade. I can see the computer screens from where I sit, but I don't assess the work. I can glance around and see if students are reading or working. If not, I address it AFTER or BETWEEN groups unless it's disruptive behavior. You can't give students an inch in this area or they will definitely take a mile!

    I'm sure there are much more creative things you can do, but it's really difficult to provide meaningful practice for students if you allow them to work together in groups with no supervision, especially in 2nd grade! I might attempt something more fun/creative later on in the year :)
     
  6. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2009

    Queenie,

    Your ideas sound wonderful! I do something similar to math.. each group moves from either a working with me, to a math game, to independent desk work. It's very simple and there aren't any flashy materials or fancy stations. Every now and again I would change the desk work to a week long group project but not all that often. It worked and, even though it was so simple, the kids really enjoyed it.

    Perhaps if I can get my classroom library situated, and get more books at their level, I can do 3 rotations. I'm thinking the kids could rotate from working in a group with me, to silent reading, to independent desk work (spelling.. grammer... something). Maybe as we move farther into the year I can alter the desk work to small group work or partner work (to help them build their group work skills).

    Thoughts?

    What's your class website (if you don't mind sharing... or you could pm it to me)? I'd be curious to see the items they use on the computer.
     
  7. lou reed

    lou reed Companion

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 29, 2009

    I highly recommend The Daily Five by Boushey and Moser. It goes through it all, including how to introduce the concepts. The best thing about the 5 is that it's so low maintenance, and waaaay less time consuming than center preparation is. The only modification I made was dropping "listen to reading" (I didn't really have the resources for it) and replaced it with math practice. I set out the math games we've played in class in the previous weeks for the math option. I use Words Their Way in spelling and use the games we've played in class for the word work option. Totally self guided for the kids and no additional prep time!
     
  8. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 30, 2009

    I think that sounds great :) Sometimes I use Spelling, sometimes Grammar, and sometimes Writing...

    Here are some of the links I put on our website for the kids to use during groups (for example):
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/book_buddy/frog_toad/building.html
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/book_buddy/wilson/author.html
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/trophies/rsr/storytime.html
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/trophies/test_tutor/grade2/skill14/wilson.htm
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/trophies/writing_detective/WD_E_2_2.HTM
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activ..._builder/dswmedia/g2_parts_sentence/nadia.htm
    http://www.harcourtschool.com/activ...rgold/content_builder/dswmedia/g2c2/nadia.htm
    http://pbskids.org/readingrainbow/games/silly_sentence.html

    I also use my SpellingCity.com account to let kids practice spelling words and provide a direct link on the website.

    I used webs.com which is free to create my site.

    This site is good for 4th grade:
    http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills-4th-langbuilders.htm
     
  9. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2009

    As far as the guided reading part. Have you tried Reading A-Z.com yet? I was freaking out about guided reading too but accessed this site and it's awesome! It has lessons for each book ... which is really what I need at this moment since I'm new until I can get on my feet!
     
  10. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 30, 2009

    I second the Daily Five!! Quick and easy read, well worth the time to get it running smoothly. It made my life 100x easier. I'm totally free to work with students during reading, and I don't have to worry about if kids are where they should be, or material prep or grading!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kerrberr
Total: 267 (members: 3, guests: 250, robots: 14)
test