HELP-is it bad if i dont do small group reading?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ShanaNicole, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2011

    I'm trying to figure out my day and I just can't figure this out. I have an am and a pm class so I only have my students for half a day, I have to teach everything that normally takes a full day in that time. I don't have leveled readers or any leveling assessments BC a work at a private school with little money, its a non-profit religious school. It doesn't say in my contract that I must teach small group but coming from a public school background, I feel like I'm a bad teacher if I don't do small groups. Advice, please!
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Hey - so I'm remembering you also posted about starting small reading groups a few days ago, if I remember right? Anyway, from my experience, yes - it would be a mistake. Especially with 1st graders, most other components of reading instruction would be less important than guided reading groups. It definitely is unfortunate that your school can't provide more resources, though - I mentioned a few free/low cost resources in my response to your thread about how to create guided reading groups, I think.

    Unfortunately, sometimes educators aren't given the tools they need, but I think that's one reason why I respect teachers so much - they often do so much with so little.
     
  4. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Yes. It is just that important. You can do guided reading with basal texts if you have to. You need to figure this out and you will. You know it is that important or you would not be asking...

    Two words... Donor's Choose. Write a grant. I have had two funded. Good luck!
     
  5. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    She teaches at a private school. Private schools can't use Donor's Choose, at least from what I've heard.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Search on-line for "free leveled books" or "free emergent readers"--you will find quite a bit that can get you going.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Does your school have a library that students can check books out of? Can you use the public library for books?
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    A reading a to z subscription might really be a life saver for you!
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Small Group Instruction (aka Guided Reading) are imperative in first grade!
     
  10. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I would say Guided Reading is the most important part of first grade and find a way to do it.
     
  11. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I agree with the above posters. Small group instruction is EXTREMELY important in all grades, but particularly in grade one when they are learning to read. Can you make your own simple books. Look on Carl's Corner. I believe she has books that you can print or make on your own.
     
  12. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Mopar, I do have access to the library and my school has a library as well though its completely disorganized and has no form of organization to it. I have the Houghton mifflin texts which is what I tried to do when I came at the end of last year but it was unsuccessful. I'm going to do some research for grants and free materials. I did think it was important, but I can't lie... I don't want to seem like a bad teacher but I have no curriculum and I'm having a really hard time figuring this out. I spend hours on end trying to create an outline for my curriculum and I've been successful with everything except language arts, I'm extremely overwhelmed, I really just want to do well and benefit my students. Anyhow, now I'm rambling. Thank you all for your assistance, it's much appreciated!
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    There are even a lot of little poems or reader's theater scripts online (for free) that you could use for fluency practice with a group. I agree A-Z readers would be worth the investment if you have nothing leveled to work with.

    The kids are all working on different skills in reading-if you don't target those in small group-they won't advance nearly as much as they have the potential to.
     
  14. Gracie44

    Gracie44 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2011

    Small group instruction is pretty key. Have you considered doing small group instruction 3 days a week and whole class instruction twice a week for reading? You could also set up learning centers for the kids to rotate through.
     
  15. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    agreed! And why are you having half day 1st grade?? Am I missing something??
     
  16. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2011

    Also, take a look at the Daily 5 and Cafe both may help you implement a solid reading block.
     
  17. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Put the word out to parents of the school that you are looking for donations of early reader books. Lots of times their kids have outgrown books and parents are happy to donate.

    Contact local children's libraries and let them know your situation. They also often get donations they can't use. Meantime scour thrift stores for "just right" books for your kids. If anyone money comes available, start building your "just right" library.

    It took me a couple years to build my library, then some wonderful parents who were teachers came in and leveled my free books! Awesome.

    If money is really tight and all you have are basals to use w/guided reading, work with what you have and gradually build your class library. I mostly collected books that could be leveled, but I also found great books at adult levels on eagles, wolves, Grand Canyon, etc. The kids love to look through these grown up books with the great pictures.
     
  18. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    You don't have to. I don't. I have a small class and read 1:1 with every child every couple days. I do whole class guided reading. My kids are great readers. I do the Daily 5. Instead of meeting with small groups I meet with individuals.
     
  19. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Skittleroo, I teach at a private school. Half their day is with me and half is Judaic studies.

    I'm taking all of your suggestions and I'm going to find a way to teach my kiddies. They deserve the best first grade education and I will give it to them.
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Good for you, and you'll make it work :). There are a lot of resources out there, and it sounds like you are the kind of person who will do everything you can to give your kids the best.
     
  21. ShanaNicole

    ShanaNicole Rookie

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    Update: I convinced my principal to purchase these awesome, and fairly cheap, readers. I'm so excited! You guys are awesome!
     
  22. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Way to go! I am so excited for you and your students :)
     
  23. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Way to go!
     
  24. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    OP, I had a very similar teaching situation last year! I taught half day second grade and had so much to squeeze into the morning! I was also at a private school with very little money. I second looking at Daily 5/CAFE. I love it because you don't have to have a lot of special materials, just plenty of good quality trade books.
     
  25. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Wow I can't imagine trying to fit everything they need to learn in first grade into half a day. I'm assuming they went to kindergarten? What are you doing for whole group instruction? Are you working on phonological awareness pieces? I would be doing that in small group for those that are behind. Then start later in the year with actually guided reading.
     
  26. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    And keep Reader's Theater and poetry in mind. You can find these sorts of resources for free on the internet. I especially like poems for lower-level readers - they are usually only one page, so they aren't as intimidating, and if they rhyme, they are somewhat predictable. And poems really lend themselves to phonemic awareness activities, too.

    This may not be a popular opinion, but if I had only a half a day with first graders, I'd spend the bulk of it in reading, and a pretty good amount of it in math....and science and social studies IF I could fit them in. Reading is just the most important part of education at this age, and small groups are the way to go
     
  27. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    :yeahthat:
     

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