Am I nuts? Nothing like 2 weeks off to make me rethink how I do things! Background: I teach first grade. Class size: 25. About 8 are reading way above grade level (level M+). About 12 are at level I (what is expected for END of first grade). The other 5 hover at or just below grade level for this time of year. This is how my literacy block looks now: Handwriting (entry task--15 min) Morning meeting (20 min) Phonics (20 min): mini lesson and short worksheet Reading mini lesson (whole group)--15 min. Literacy rotations (60 min total): Students are broken into 4 groups of 6. We rotate stations every 15 minutes. Stations are: leveled guided reading group with me --> reading response journals (written response to what we just read in small group) ---> literacy centers (phonics games/listen to books/computers/etc. ----> read to self (silent reading books of choice). Teacher read aloud (10-15 min.) Writing mini lesson (15 min) Independent writing/conferencing (25 min) Share/debrief (5 min) So ... it all goes fine, but I don't feel like they're getting enough "read to self" time (15 min.) And since I'm with the guided reading group during the rotations, I'm not available to help students with their reading response journals. Independent workers do a great job, but struggling learners are, well, struggling with that piece. I'm also not there to supervise with the literacy centers. The kids usually do fine with it, but I'm wondering if there's a better way. What if the literacy block looked like this instead? Handwriting entry task (15 min.) Morning meeting (20 min) Reading mini lesson (15 min.) Status of the class (5 min)--what are you reading today?/distribute leveled books Read to self (30 min). Students read self-selected good-fit books as well as leveled books assigned to them. Meanwhile, I bop around to 4 or 5 students each day to hear them read/check comprehension/reinforce strategies. I keep anecdotal notes on each child and do running records, as needed. Read aloud 10 min.(model/think aloud about today's reading strategy or focus) Model writing a reading response in my journal based on the book we just read aloud (5-10 min.) Students write in reading response journals based on book they read during read to self time (15-20 min.) Share reading response journal with a partner, then buddy read from our poetry notebooks (includes poems, songs, reading passages/short stories) 10 min. Phonics mini lesson (10 min.) Literacy centers/phonics practice (15 min.) Writer's workshop (40 min) -mini lesson -independent writing -share Anyone still with me? Does anyone NOT do guided reading groups? I think if I don't, my high readers can really stretch themselves with more challenging, self-selected books. And I can spend more one-on-one time with my struggling readers. In addition to conferencing with them a couple times a week during read to self time, I would gravitate toward them during the buddy reading time and reading response journal time. What am I not thinking through here? Thanks!!