Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How quick are you?

I just posted my Love Bug Valentine's Math and Literacy Centers. Just in time for February... by a couple of hours. :) Phew! It contains 11 centers to use in your classroom. Go check it out!

How quick are you? Head over to my Facebook page to see if you can be one of the first five to get it for FREE!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Guided Reading Groups? Not here...

Did that get your attention? :) It is true that I am no longer doing guided reading groups. I know, I know, your jaw probably dropped about 2 1/2 feet... BUT I am conferencing with each of my kiddos on their reading. Earlier this year, someone on my team mentioned that she had been reading about it, and research has proven it to be effective, often more effective than reading groups. I was skeptical at first, but I have been doing this approach since October, and I LOVE it!!! 

Here's what I do:

I carry this basket around with me. It has a clipboard to take notes on about each kid's reading, books in it for me to give to them, and other tools I may need such as magnetic letters.

I take notes like these on each student. Funny, I get to know my kids and I think I get to help each of my kids much better than when I did reading groups. I read with each kid 1-2 times a week. At least 3 times if they are struggling.

Each Monday, a reading folder goes home with books I have heard them read and they should be familiar with along with 2-3 new books on their level. The parents have a reading log to fill out where they rate if the book was easy, just right, or too hard. Between the parents notes and mine, I can tell when the child is ready to move on. 

Now, you may be wondering if this really works, and I think it absolutely does! All of my kids have been moving in reading levels just like I would expect if not better. They read at home with their parents and every day in class during read to self time for at least 20 mins most days. That doesn't include the time they spend reading when they read to someone. I am more than happy with the way my reading workshop is going this year. I think it's the best year yet!

My favorite part is that it doesn't affect me at all if my students are all on a different level. No more stretching kids too much or giving them easy books just to have a manageable amount of groups. Yes, it may be less teacher time on paper with each student, but it is MUCH more valuable when you can hear each one read and give them strategies specific to their needs.

Anyway, just wanted to share a different perspective on reading with students. If your principal says it's alright, maybe you could give it a try!

In other news, I am working very hard on my February Math and Literacy Center unit. It has a love bug theme. I'm just loving bugs right now. :) It should be ready no later than Wednesday night!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Look In My Plan Book- 01.30.12

Here are my LINK Math Workshop Plans for this week. Our 100th day of school is on Thursday, so I haven't posted those plans yet. I'll blog about that later!

Click either picture below to download my plans.

LINK Plans

LINK Plans

If you are unfamiliar with my math workshop framework, click the picture below to download the sample and learn more!

LINK Plans

Click the pictures below to link to the freebies and priced products mentioned in my plans.


McDonalds Measuring


Weighing Freebie

Snowman Measuring

Arctic Length

 Enjoy your Sunday!