Hahaha. I am such a complainer. I was begging for spring weather for so long, but now I am mad that Ohio decided to skip the 60-70 temperature range and went straight to the 80s!! I didn't ask for summer!
Actually, it really isn't that bad. It's great to finally see the flowers blooming and to have the bright sunshine. The nice weather has made my break extra enjoyable. My mom and I have been taking walks every day and went canoeing with my dad. It's great to be able to be outside in short sleeves. I just would prefer for the temp to be a few degrees cooler.
Today, I indulged in some nice, cool froyo at Menchie's. It's by far the BEST froyo place. Believe me, I've tried a ton of them and I have a very strict grading policy. Menchie's always comes out on top. It has the best flavors and TONS of different fun and delicious toppings. My grandma, grandpa, mom, and I always get a little crazy as we add tons and tons of chocolatey goodness to our yogurt.
Anyhoo, enough about my 400,000 calorie yogurt treat, it's time for another wonderful Workshop Wednesday with Jivey.
This week's theme is organization. As a second year teacher, I am still have plenty to tweak and am excited to hear how everyone else runs their workshops. However, I do feel like some things are working well, so I am going to share them with you all.
To start off, I base my reading group members on the students' DRA levels. I start guided reading after we do our initial assessment in October. Then, I form my groups based on the students' instructional levels AND the areas I highlighted in Focus for Instruction. My groups end up being composed of students at about the same level with similar needs.
As the year continues, I adjust my groups as necessary based on informal running records and observation/notes. Then, each time we do the DRA again, I make additional switches if necessary.
For actual reading group instruction, I use this lesson plan. Click the picture to download it for free.
I developed the plan this year after not finding anything else I liked. Here's how the plan works. It's pretty straightforward.
As you can see, I write the name of the group at the top. My groups are the Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Pears, and Grapes. Then, I write down the book and the levels. While we use the DRA for grading purposes, our leveled readers are from Scholastic and use the GRL lettering system, so I end up putting both levels down.
Each time I choose books, I think about what my kiddos need and make sure that the books can be used to meet those needs. Then, at some point before I read with a group, I circle which area(s) I want to focus on and make note of which specific skills or strategies, I will emphasize/teach e.g. Reading Strategy: Chunky Monkey-use chunks to decode.
In the before reading section, I jot down what I want to do to preview the book and/or to intro/review the lesson. During reading, I write down what I observe and/or talk about with each kid as he/she reads. I try to listen in on each student individually during each group.
After reading, I make notes as the kids share what strategies they used and/or we discuss the book for comprehension purposes. I put a different date section by after reading in case I don't get to finish the group that day. This usually only happens with my highest groups since their books are longer.
The continued discussion/next steps section is for if I want to re-use the book for something else later or to help me plan what I want/need the group to do in their next book.
So far, this plan has been super useful for me. I love having a record of what books I use, how I use them, my observations of my kids etc.
I look forward to hearing what helps you organize your reading workshop. Be sure to visit Ideas by Jivey to link up!