Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Making the Most of Reading Workshop

I hope everyone is having a good week so far.  I am *almost* done with report cards.  
On another note, thank you to the bloggers that nominated me for the Liebster Award.  I am thrilled that other teachers enjoy my blog posts.
Today I want to share tips on how to help build reading stamina and managing your class while working with guided reading groups.
(sorry for the blurry picture)
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In reading workshop, we have been focusing on our stamina.  Although my class loves to read, I explained that stamina is doing something for a period of time without getting tired or giving up.  Each ice cream scoop represents the number of minutes.  The goal is to get the cherry on top.  My class loves this visual!!
To develop this concept even further, graph the number of minutes each day.  Students love to see the progress they make.  I highly recommend this especially for Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers.  Plus, you can work on comparing numbers so you are also hitting some math standards.
Guided Reading groups are fully implemented in the classroom.  I try not to leave the Guided Reading table, but I struggle with not immediately redirecting students.  
Catherine from The Brown Bag Teacher presented an idea that fits my need perfectly.  I use a plastic sleeve from Lakeshore and a dry erase marker.  Then, I draw a plus and delta sign.  When I first presented this idea to my class, a student asked me why I put a triangle instead of a negative sign.  Although he was making a connection, I explained that my job is not to point out negatives.  Instead, I want to discuss what we can improve on.
As I am working with my Guided Reading groups, I take brief notes on what is happening in the classroom. The last few minutes of reading workshop are devoted to reflecting on how to become better readers.  During this time, we celebrate our success and discuss what to work on next time.  When I first implemented this I acknowledged a reader of the day.  Even though all of my students are fabulous readers, I like to praise students who are going above and beyond.  
One smart tip Catherine mentioned: Since the list is sitting on your teacher table where all students can see, make sure you use student initials.  Sometimes I write things down that can be taken care of by giving the student a verbal reminder, but the class doesn't need to know about it.
Thank you Catherine for the fabulous idea.  This has helped me a ton!!

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