scheduling, grading, workshop, aarrrgghh!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by pwhatley, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I'm so dense... I'm still trying to get my head around readers workshop and using my (required) basal series, storytown. When working in workshop format, when do you do phonics and phonemic awareness instruction? Grammar? Does the entire class read the "assigned" story? Tell me about your assessments. We have to give standard grades (on a 10-point scale) in our district. I don't really see running records playing into an "A, B, C" scenario. What about curriculum assessments, like the basal tests? Please, oh, please help - my head is spinning!:dizzy:
     
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  3. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2010

    If you haven't read Debbie Dillers' Making the Most of Small Groups it will help. She talks about needing whole group instruction. She talks about students needing that grade level experience.

    I do a whole group lesson each day. I use the story from my basal. We spend 4 days with the same story.
    Monday--Echo or Choral read the story
    Tuesday--Partner read the story
    Wednesday--Read the story individually
    Thursday--Comprehension Activity extended from the story
    My whole group lesson takes about 20 minutes. By the end of the year and the stories get longer it may take about 30 minutes. On the 5th day I use the assessment from the basal about that story to assess them. Until Christmas the assessments are word and sentence reading. Then after Christmas it is the word and sentence reading assesment and it has a comprehension assessment over the story. This is the only grade I take for reading until the students start reading independently. Then I use AR to take another score.

    Then, I do my small group reading. I don't do reading workshop, but I do guided reading groups. I also use Daily 5 during this time.

    I don't know if I answered your question or not. I hope this helps.
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I don't do the whole basal thing. You do the basal reading where others would do guided reading, right? Sorry - I have no idea how the basal program works.
    Reading workshop is one part of the literacy block. Reading Workshop is mainly when they're reading independently and I'm conferring with the readers.
    We do word study whole group. Then of course they go and practice with hands-on activities (usually involving magnetic letters) independently or with a partner.
    Guided reading is also just one component of the literacy block.
    We also have other components.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 18, 2010

    I'm with you PW ! :unsure:

    My plan is not to use reading fluency/running records/high frequency words as a grade in any way. Their grades will come from classwork/assessments based on their objectives that I've taught that week-the phonics skills, compound words-whatever it is. I know for a fact I have kids that really struggle with reading and I find it hard to hold them responsible grade-wise for mastering a skill that is so on-going, you know what I mean.

    I don't use that program (haven't seen our new program yet). However I teach the phonics lesson whole group as part of that 30 minute reading block. Then review those concepts with the kids in small group as a really quick activity before their story for guided reading which is on their level.
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 18, 2010

    Fantastic News - I just got "permission" from our Literacy Coach to plan for readers workshop/Daily 5 this year!!! woohoo! Now the real work begins....

    teach1st - thank you soooo much - your post is very helpful!

    lynn & kinder - I know you are both getting sick of my questions!

    It is hard I think in part because different districts are set up so differently. Even different schools within the same district. My 1st year as a 1st grade teacher was crazy - the administration had no common sense, and it was a horrible experience. Last year was MUCH better, and I actually heard good things about my teaching! This year, I want to take it further. Here are my stumbling blocks:

    The district has mandated certain non-negotiables from our basal program, including the posting of weekly, specified vocabulary, spelling, and high-frequency words, among other things. We also have to use the basal assessments, which don't include a fluency test until about November, but begin with kindergarten review for two weeks, then off with lessons, including comprehension tests, spelling tests, etc. I have been doing guided reading groups (small group rotations, literacy centers, etc.), and would really like to move toward the workshop format. I have been told that, because my kiddos are from VERY low-income, urban, poor, ethnic, unstable, broken, etc., homes, they won't be able to handle the autonomy (and it was not a racial slur). I have little or no guidance here, so I often look to AtoZ for help. Therefore, y'all have become my mentors! LOL
     
  7. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 18, 2010

     
  8. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2010

  9. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2010

    PWhatley let me get this straight. Now you have permission to not do the basal anymore? I'm asking because I want to do guided reading groups too but we do Imagine It basal series. Which houses our spelling, grammar, vocabulary, story of the week, spelling/comprehension test every Friday, and phonics/fluency. I need a solution too! I have 9-9:30 for Imagine It and 9:30-10:15 for Workshop/reading groups.
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 19, 2010

    Passionateacher, unfortunately, no - I still have to do the basal, but I can format the lessons into a workshop format. It's not going to be easy, but I do think it will benefit my students! I have from 8:30 - 11:00 for reading (at least I did last year), except when we have to go to the computer lab, it is 8:30 - 10:30.
     
  11. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2010

    We have to use a basal too, but we are using Daily Five/Workstations this year, because: last year we received training in both theories and our students test scores jumped from 10 to 20 points per child on the end of theme(basal) tests. This was just in 2 months! Almost all of our students are ELL and very low income.
    I'm going to use the basal for my mini lessons, and then work stations(based on daily five) while I do my guided reading groups.
     
  12. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 21, 2010

    That's pretty much what I'm going to end up doing, jteachette. I was just "shut down" on the idea of leveling my students (using running records, etc.), so now I've got to rethink everything.....
     

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