Be sure to visit us on our new blog! Teacher's Open House!
Showing posts with label guided reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guided reading. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2013

New to teaching reading?

Here are some resources that helped me when I was first converting from traditional reading groups to guided reading groups.  I've also been fortunate to meet Pat Pavelka and sit in on one of the professional developments that she lead in my county.  

All of these book covers are linked to Amazon so that you can read more about them!!

My guided reading mangement is full of sticky notes, group meeting plans, and notes filled with is very well used.

The Making Connections book was a HUGE help to me and helped me to realize that I really wasn't putting enough wait on getting my students to make connections with what they were reading.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.

                       (Amazon does not currently have this book in stock.)

During the 2nd semester I give the question prompt book to my literature circle group and let them use it to come up with questions to ask each other.  It is great for self directed learners!!

The Create Independent Learners book is new to me and I haven't read it, but if it is like all of the other Pat Pavelka books, it is highly worth purchasing!

If you are knew to differentiated learning and how it can shape your centers, this little book is great, too!

Good luck with reading this year.  If I can help in any way or if you have questions that I can possibly answer, I am here, or just an email away!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Timed To Get Organized!

Hey everyone! It's Heather - better known as HoJo - from HoJo's Teaching AdventuresToday I want to talk to you a bit about classroom organization. There are so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest, but a few more can never hurt - right?

The first suggestion is organizational labels. When I first started in my Kindergarten room, I had a wonderful shelf FULL of materials. But they were all scattered all over the place and students had no way of putting them away in the correct space. That sort of thing drives me crazy, so I had to get organized! Click on the picture below to get your 20+ labels for FREE!

Every year I have good intentions of keeping my reading conference well run and organized. And each year I used to fail. But then I created this FREE conference sheet. It helps me track meetings with individual students. I am able to take notes about the book/page they are on, the date we last met, and what was discussed. I can meet with students individually or in small groups. To get your free copy, click on the picture below.

One thing I feel I'm fairly good at is parent communication. Aside from the weekly newsletters that my school requires, I try to send out a monthly e-mail to all parents and call them at least once a quarter. I keep track of all this through my Family Communication Log. You can get your free copy by clicking on the picture below.

Last spring I made the decision to get rid of my teacher desk. So one of the things I've been busy doing this summer is finding room for all of my "stuff". I saw the neatest idea on Pinterest (via Tattling to the Teacher) to use an old over-the-door shoe organizer in the classroom. Needless to say, I love it! I don't have a picture quite yet, but just follow me on my blog to see when I share it later this summer. 

I'm also in the process of updating my classroom library. I'm sorting books by genre, and each will also have the book level and AR level right on the inside. It's a work in progress, but here's one photo of the progress I've made so far... I just need to find the time to make labels for each bin and ensure each book is labeled to so it returns to the right home. Again, follow my blog so you can see my progress on this as the summer continues.

{Wow - poor quality pic! I'll blame my phone for that!}

Finally, I want to share my Classroom Organization Pinterest Board with you. With over 100 pins, you are sure to find something that would work in your classroom!

What organization tools are a must for you? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below or over at my blog!

A huge thank you to Jennifer for letting me stop by today. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reading Without Limits Book Study--Week 4

Hi friends!  We are now on week 4 so we will be going over Chapters 3 and 4 and looking at questions for Chapters 5 and 6!! Sorry that this post is going out so late, I plan to post these on Wednesday and tonight, it is getting posted around 11:30 EST.  I got it on here by the hair of my chinny chin chin!  Please let me know what your thoughts are about the book by answering in the comment area. Last week there were only 2 comments.  =(  <sniff, sniff>

Feel Free to Pin This!

If you haven't purchased the book you can still find it at Amazon!  Just click on the link below and you can go straight to the book to purchase it.  This book has made on to my list of favorite professional reads!!  And, it is pretty close to the number 1 spot and very well may be number 1 by the end of the summer!!

Just click here to purchase!

And are some answers for Chapters 3 and 4.

1.  What makes an expert reader an expert?

Practice because practice makes perfect!

2.  What does stamina look like?

Stamina 'looks like' students doing what is expected of them for longer periods of time each time the behavior is practiced.

3.  What is a break book?

A 'break book' is a book that a student might read that may be on a lower level or on a topic that is not being studied at the moment.

4.  Why is choice so important in independent reading?

Choice puts the student 'in charge' and validates their learning.  <Jenn here:  There  are different ways to create 'episodes' of choice in your classroom.  There is 'controlled choice' where the student chooses out of a bucket filled with appropriate levels and then there is 'free choice' where the students are free to look through the classroom library. I suggest 'controlled choice' at the beginning of the year and scaffolding and modeling how to make good reading choices as the year goes on.>

5.  What does it mean to read in a state of flow?

Reading in a ‘state of flow’ means that the students are so engrossed in reading that they don’t realize how long they have read and do not want to stop!  I call this ‘high stamina’!

6.  What are book series that you recommend for the classroom and what grade level?

I teach 2nd grade so I would recommend the Magic Tree House books, Flat Stanley, and Junie B. Jones.

7.  If you were going to create a 'play list', what books would be in it?

For me:  Amelia Bedelia, books by Kevin Henkes and Tomie de Paola, and fairy tales!

8.  Why does Maddie suggest that you have a partner book library?  How is it     organized?

A partner book library has books organized so that multiple copies are bundled and easy for students to grab and go buddy read together!

9.  How would you use/organize a read-a-thon in your classroom?

At the end of the school year when I was trying to get all of my running records done and end of the year testing completed, I had a read-a-thon in my classroom.  I challenged students to read a book, write a 2 sentence summary, and then move on to the next book.  I even had a prize for the student that read the most books and had really good summaries!

10.  What is a book talk?  How can a book talk be used in a classroom?

A book talk can be used to promote a book that others might want to read.  It is often used by librarians or classroom teachers to get students excited about a book.  I often read a snippet of the first chapter or the book jacket to motivate students.

11.  What would a recommendation basket do in your classroom?  How would you set one up?

A recommendation basket would bring lots of excitement to my kids.  They always want to read what I am reading or what I pull out to wow them with next!  I would probably set up a basket with my favorites from up above.

By the way have you seen the book hospitals?  These are great also!

12.  Explain this:  I do.  We do.  You do.

See this link!  It is an excellent explanation!!

13.  What are 'double entry journals' and what are their purpose?

Here is a template for a double entry journal and it even has an explanation!  Go grab this freebie!

14.  What can you learn from the table on pg 105?

I learned how to use symbols to help students link their thinking to reading skills.  Can you imagine having a poster like this?  It would make a great anchor chart!

Chapter 4

15.  How often/how long should shared reading be scheduled in the classroom?  What does it look like/sound like/include?

Maddie recommends scheduling 4 blocks of shared reading each week.  Each block should last at least 30 minutes.  Shared reading can be used to spiral skills that have previously been talked, model new strategies, and plug on ahead with ‘think alouds’.   Don’t forget Close reading!  This information can be found on pages 118-130.

16.  What is 'accountible talk'?

Accountable talk is discussions between the class or partners and often involve using sentence starters.

Jenn here—We often prod student thinking by giving ‘private think time’ after giving a sentence starter so that students have time to gather their thoughts and can be direct with their conversation.

17.  What is assigned reading? Why should we assign reading? At what grade  should assigned reading begin?

Assigned reading is when the teacher says, “Read pages ______. You will need to be done by ______.  Let’s get started!”  Maddie says that assigned reading should be used in the classroom because helps students prepare for deadlines in the real world.  I know that 2nd graders aren’t ready for assigned reading, as their reading levels differ so greatly.  However, if used in a group by group basis and not in whole group, it might just work!

18.  Steps to Say Something pg 139--paraphrase this!

Students must decide which partner will speak.  Students choose from a list of skills that are used to discuss what was read.  If the students can’t answer any questions or discuss the book, then they reread.

Now, here are the questions for Chapter 5 and Chapter 6!!

Chap 5

1.  Why should a teacher follow the same procedures every time a group meets?

2.  Why do students need to read out loud?

3.  Pages 147-152 have the procedures for a guided reading group. List them in the
order they are prescribed.

4.  What does Maddie recommend on pg 155 as far as grouping?

5.  Look at table 5.1. Pick out your grade level and summarize what needs to be

Chap 6

6.  What kind of seating is important for your classroom?

7.  What does Maddie mean when she says, ‘Make college visible’?

8.  How is your classroom set up?

9.  What does it mean to ‘market’ your books?

Here are guided reading sheets that I use with my groups.  Just click here!

Here is a list of books that Maddie recommends for these chapters.  Just click on the pic of the book to go to Amazon and read about it!

Here is a button for you to use on your blog if you would like to incorporate your thoughts into a post:

Remember we have this WONDERFUL BLOG that we can  explore.  You can get lost in it and best of goes with the book!  Also, here is the website for the book and the Facebook page that goes with it, too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reading Without Limits Book Study, Week 2

Hi, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by to participate in this GREAT book study again today!  

I want to again point out  the schedule we are going to be following.  

                                    Feel Free to Pin This!

If you haven't purchased the book you can find it at Amazon!  Just click on the link below and you can go straight to the book to purchase it.

Just click here to purchase!



Personally, I hope to gain some new techniques to use and possibly refine some of my old techniques so that I can be more effective!

Remember we have this WONDERFUL BLOG that we can  explore.  You can get lost in it and best of goes with the book!  Also, here is the website for the book and the Facebook page that goes with it, too!


Here are some questions to think about and to respond to in the comments section later on:

Now to get started looking at 
Chapter 1--Finding Students Reading Levels

You can see that there are 4 focus points for chapter 1 <they are found on pg 25 of the book>:  Figure out the best levels for students by using running records, do group inventories to save time, match students with their correct reading level, and increase peer support.

Page 27 and 28 refers to Vygostsky, and I have to tell you that all I could remember about him before opening this book was that he was an atheist.  I had never connected him to the Zone of Proximal Development or differentiation in the classroom.  I have to admit to a tiny bit of an increase in admiration for him now!  

1.  How would you define the "Zone of Proximal Development"?

2.  Have you ever given a running record?  What is your experience with them?  

3.  What is the difference between a self-correction and a miscue?

4.  Why are tiered questions and retellings so important?

5.  Using the table on page 34, what correlations do you see?

6.  What is a QRI-5 and how can it be used as a group inventory?

7.  What is the difference in the type of texts that are used for choice reading, guided reading, and shared reading?  Where might we put Independent reading?  <CHALLENGE:  The first person that emails me a graphic of a table explaining this visually so that I can post it next week can go to my Teacher's Pay Teacher's store and choose an item that will be emailed to him or her as a thank you!>

8.  Read page 43.  Here is that Mild, Medium, and Spicy thing again!!!  <Create an example of an Anchor Chart that could be used in the classroom in graphic form or take a picture of it and email it in for us to look at next week.  The first person to email an example in will also get to choose an item from my store!>

Chapter 2--Teaching Students to Understand What They Read

You can see that there are 4 focus points for chapter 1 <they are found on pg 25 of the book>:  the importance of read alouds and think alouds, checking for understanding, avoiding pitfalls, choosing a 'just right' text for a think aloud, strategies like 'figuring it out' and paraphrasing, teaching strategies that cultivate lifelong readers.

9.  Pg. 52:  Who is James Lee and what did he figure out?

10.  What is strategic reading and why is it important?  How does it work?  What does it look like?  <Hint:  Look for a video to leave in the comment section that shows what strategic reading looks like>

11.  What does a dependent reader look like/sound like/work like?  <In the comment section tell us about a dependent reader you had and what you did to help him/her>

12.  What is paraphrasing?  How does it work?

13.  Page 57:  What is the gradual release of responsibility?  What would it look like in your classroom?

14.  What does it mean to 'check for understanding'?

15.  What are some strategies that can be used to move passive learners into becoming direct learners? <Hint:  Choose 2 strategies and describe them in the comment never know if I might choose someone to win something.  =)>

16.  Just for fun--what is a rotten tomato???

17.  What is a good think aloud made of?  How do you choose a think aloud?  

18.  Highlight, tag, dog-ear, paper clip <or sumpin'> pages 68-78.  How can you go wrong with these pages???  These are the BEST PAGES EVER!!!


An example of a Five Finger Test Poster by my friend Lyndsey Kuster...she has some of the cutest stuff!!!

Here is a button for you to use on your blog if you would like to incorporate your thoughts into a post:

Friday, October 26, 2012

90 Instructional Strategies--Solving RTI Woes!

If you are like me, you have a hard time balancing your schedule....and not just your classroom schedule either.  You have to find time to plan, fill out paperwork, make your centers, etc.  Well, I am SO THERE!!  So....I went looking for something to help me and I found this:

This is a good book for both rookies and the seasoned <I don't like using the word old, but one of my kids told me that I am an old teacher as opposed to the new, young kindergarten teacher that just started working in our building!> professional.  It explains the 3 tiers of reading, contains a screening assessment that can be used to see who may need RTI, and then it has 90 different instructional tools/practices that you can use during RTI and ALL OF THEM are scientifically based.  This book would even be good for a rookie guided reading teacher that is trying to figure out how to implement book circles or if you need an extension from guided reading.

I give this book 2 thumbs up!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fountas and Pinnell Update Guided Reading Levels

I get updates from Heinemann Publishing because we are great friends....actually, most of you know that I am addicted to professional books and all, so I get updates on new books so that I can send them my money.  Anyway, I got an update today letting me know that Fountas and Pinnell have issued a new 'standard' for the guided reading levels in comparison to grade levels.  You can read the article yourself HERE. The change came about in order to make sure that reading and comprehension are DEEPER, just like the expectations of common core.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Don't throw tomatoes! Sight Word Picture Phrases

Normally, I don't upload a blog post that consists of just some of my 'stuff', but this one is too hard to hang on to!  I want to go ahead and share it with you.  So, don't through tomatoes at your screen!!  hehe

I just found an activity that I can't wait to use with my 7 year old since he is struggling in reading.  One of my core beliefs is that children learn sight words best in phrases in which a mental picture can be attached.  The mental image helps develop sight word schema!!   So...Wooo Hoooo!  I think success might just be around the corner for my little guy.  I am also excited about developing my next set.  Until then, go check this out!

I also want to encourage you to sign up on my blog through the email feed!  I did a little bit of research and found out that as much as 80% of the people that reach you blog do so through emails sent  from the blog host.  I have to confess that with all of the blogs I am a member of, those that I TRULY love, come straight to my inbox in my email.  So...if you are here by chance or through Google Reader or something, take the time to sign up through email, too!  Show me some email love!!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Continuum of Literacy for Prek-8th grade

The Continuum of Literacy for Prek-8th grade
 One goal I have is to share the resources I have found over the years that have helped me bring best practices into my classroom.  I have bought hundreds of dollars worth of books over the years <don’t tell my husband>.  Most of them are now sitting on the shelf, collecting dust.  However, there are a few that are among my most prized ‘teaching possessions’.  This book is one of them.

     The authors, Fountas and Pinnell, are among the forefront of education, and have been for the last 15 years at least.  They are among the movers and shakers that caused the education world to leave whole language and really begin to understand how to differentiate reading groups….thus, guided reading was born!

     I bought my copy of the book about 7 years ago.  My copy is worn, tattered, has notes stuck all through it, and looks very used!  This year, my school system ordered every teacher a copy of the newest version <there is not that much difference> and we are conducting professional development with it.   So, now, I leave my broken down copy at home for a quick reference when needed, and leave my new copy at school to use in meetings or conferences with parents! 

     The book has several sections of the book such as:  writing products using the 6 traits and writing about reading, reading aloud, shared reading, communication and technology, word work, and guided reading.

I highly recommend this book, also, because it tells you what expectations you should have for each level in guided reading, correlates necessary comprehensions skills as well as reading strategies, and even has a skill-based curriculum map to show how the skills correlate across the grade levels starting in Pre-Kindergarten and ending in 8th grade.

     There is much to be learned from this book as it categorizes teaching literacy into skills, products for students to create, lessons for ‘Within the Text’, ‘Beyond the Text, and ‘About the text’.  This has helped me rise to a much higher level of teaching in order to challenge my students thinking about literacy.  In fact, I planned my 3rd quarter literacy focus calendar using these categories and linked them to my state’s standards. 

Here is a snippet below:

Within the Text:  Self-correction of intonation, phrasing, and pausing while reading aloud
Beyond the Text:  Infer a character’s feelings or motivations as preparation for reading in the character’s voice
About the Text:  Recognize when texts are realistic, fantasy, or true informational texts and read them differently as appropriate
Comprehension:  Story Elements Map
Identify base words and suffixes (re, un)
Reading Strategy:  Model reading with intonation, phrasing, and pauses
Word Work:  Review Syllables (Center), short 3, long e (ee, ea)  <see Sort 27>

      If you live in a state that has moved to the ‘drop in evaluations’, this book is indispensible.  As long as you are using these categories and areas to plan and reflect on your teaching, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t do well.   So, as my students say in school, “We give this book a 2 thumbs up and 5 out of 5 stars!" 

     If you decide to order a book, or you already have one, leave a comment below and let me know what you think about it and how you use it! 

You may also want to take a look at these books by the same authors:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Revised Sight Word Phrases with Games

Just wanted to add an update:

The sight word phrase cards discussed in an earlier post have been revised and games have been added!  I am using these with my guided reading groups and they are helping with sight word identification and phrase fluency. I am ecstatic!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hats Off to Guided Reading

This past week has been a great one in my classroom, all because of hats.  I have a collection of wacky hats and headbands in my classroom (bought from various pharmacies, Claire's, and Cracker Barrell).  I wear these during guided reading.  My hats are a reminder to my students that I am teaching a small group and should not be bothered unless they are experiencing one of the "4 B's"--that is, that they are bleeding, broken, bruised, or barfing!!!  Anything else can wait, or they are more than welcome to write me a note which I can respond to without stopping my discussions with my students.  They also no that once my hat comes off, I am fair game and can answer questions.  It sounds silly I know.....but it works!

Remember....please follow my blog while you are here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover