What does your literacy block look like?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by LMichele, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2014

    We have 90 minutes in our literacy block. (Writing is taught at a different time in the day)

    Last year, we were told to see as many guided reading groups as we could in that time frame, and have the students rotate through different centers. This seemed to work really well for the primary grades where centers were easy to implement because they needed so much literacy work-sight words, letter sounds, writing letters, CVC words, etc.

    At the upper grades, it kind of fell apart. While the teacher was meeting with a group, "centers" consisted of independent reading for 90 minutes, completing SS work on their own, working on their writing piece without any teacher guidance (use Lucy Calkins which requires minilessons) As you can imagine, halfway through students were up out of their seats talking, switching books,etc. and the upper teachers hated this model.

    Because we all had to do as much guided reading as we could, there wasn't anytime for whole class lessons in reading.

    I'm moving to 3rd grade this year and have been reading Fountas & Pinnell's "Guiding Readers and Writers". Their model is basically:
    -5 min. individual student share of what they will be doing during literacy
    -5-10 min. minilesson
    -30-35 min. individual reading while teacher circulates and holds conferences with each student. Then students write a brief response to what they read in their journals.
    -15-20 min. guided reading (2 groups if possible)
    -15-20 min. literacy study (2 groups if possible)
    -student share of what they did

    I'd obviously have to adjust the times to fit it within the 90 minutes, but I really like this model and find it more beneficial than our current model. I might not get to every group every day, but I would still be conferencing and listening to them read that way, as well as by checking their reading response journals.

    I'm hoping to present this to my director this summer.
     
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  3. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2014

    This seems really stressful for the teacher. I understand your school wants to get guided reading groups in each block but to do as many as you can in one block seems to be unfair to you, the teacher. Are you planning to read/grade/comment on these response journals too? Has your school ever tried Daily 5? It really allows a more fluid approach to literacy and management is much easier. Students have choices and are therefore more likely to stay engaged in learning while the teacher is able to meet with flexible groups.
     
  4. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2014

    The model I posted I think would be less stressful. I'd only be meeting with 1 or 2 groups a day, the rest of the time would be individual conferences. Yes, I would be commenting on the response journals.

    We're pretty heavily invested into Fountas & Pinnell, so Daily 5 I think is out of the question.
     
  5. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2014

    Yikes, so you don't do a traditional balanced literacy block like read alouds, shared reading, etc.? There's no reason why you can't have literacy stations while you meet with your guided reading groups. You can have read to self, buddy read, computer, writing station, etc.
     
  6. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2014

    Would there be any accountability on students for all this independent reading besides the response writing?
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 25, 2014

    This is my goal for the upcoming school year:

    1:40 Snack/Mini-lesson: Comprehension/Shared reading

    1:55 Daily 5 Round 1 (meet with 1 guided reading group)

    2:15 Mini-lesson: Phonics & Sight words
    -Monday: Introduce phonics pattern
    -Tuesday: Red Words
    -Wednesday: Review phonics pattern
    -Thursday: Review Red Words
    -Friday: Review phonics pattern

    2:25 Daily 5 Round 2 (meet with 1 guided reading group)

    2:45 Mini-lesson:
    -Grammar
    -Fluency
    -Vocabulary

    2:55 Daily 5 Round 3 (meet with 1 guided reading group)

    I would like to try to confer with a few kids each day, too. So much to fit in, so little time. :(
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2014

    Our literacy block (also 90 minutes without writing) is pretty much the one you outlined. However this year we were permitted to lengthen our mini-lesson to as much as 30 minutes. This allowed for some really, really great discussions.

    30 minutes- mini-lesson
    35 minutes- independent reading (definitely had to build up to this in 3rd grade) during that time we had conferences and did guided reading.
    15 minutes- response to literature (students writing based on what they read, usually tied to the mini lesson, could be used to assess)
    10 minutes- share/discussion
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2014

    You can make reader's workshop very engaging too. Like I said, we had to build up to the 35 minutes of independent reading but it worked out fine.
     
  10. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2014

    So you pulled guided reading groups as the rest of the class was doing independent reading, instead of making it two separate parts of the block?
     
  11. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Otherwise what would I be doing while the kids are independently reading? The school wants the kids reading for prolonged periods of time so they have enough stamina to take the tests. Also, few of them actually spend time independently reading at home. It really wouldn't work another way for us.
     
  12. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Building up reading stamina for the tests makes sense. The F&P book I referenced early has teachers circling the room to conference briefly with individual students about the book they are reading, which can include listening to them read a page, having a comprehension conversation, or following up with the minilesson or individual teaching point for the student.
     

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