Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jan Richardson .The Next Step in Guided Reading. *BOOK TALK* Chapter. 2 Assessment and Grouping

Chapter 2:  Assessment and Grouping

So I am not a fan or testing, testing, testing.  This is not fun for me and it is definitely NOT what the kids want to do either.  However, these are necessary to figure out where our students are coming from and where they are moving to.  These assessments will help you gather information and group students accordingly.  Early readers will need more variety of assessments than more fluent readers.   Some of the Early Reader Assessments can be found below:
This gem is from Julie at Make, Take and Teach.  Her post on Sight Word and Progress Monitoring Sight Words can be found here

Sentence Dictation Paper with Rubric  Dictated Sentence Score Sheet
Dictated Sentences that are useful to see what a child can do without any help.  The benefit to this is to understand how the child processes sounds with words they come to that they do not understand.  The on the left is from Kimberly Savage and can be found here. The one on the right is from Teacher Mermaid and it can be found here

Writing Samples are helpful for four main reasons:
  •  Oral Language and Vocabulary - how broad is their understanding of vocabulary words, and is it interesting?
  • Visual Memory - Sight Words are they spelled correctly?
  • Phonemic Awareness - Is the student hearing words correctly?
  • Concepts of Print - Did the student write left to right?
Another important tool used for assessment in Guided Reading are Running Records.  My district uses Reading A-Z, which has an excellent tool for Running Records, and that teamed with our PALS website there isn't much work to be done, but if you don't have these things at your disposal than you need to first determine the Accuracy Level (the number of words read accurately-which includes errors corrected-by the total number of words in the passage) Next, you need to Analyze the Errors, in which you look at meaning, structure and visual cues. Then, you are going to Analyze Strategies does the student self-monitor, cross check, and self-correct?  The next step with Running Records is to Assess Fluency. Here is a fluency chart below. Which can also be found here
The fifth step in implementing Running Records is to Assess Comprehension.  This is important to see if the student understands the text.  You should not expect 100% comprehension but between 75 - 80% is considered that the student sufficiently understood the passage. 

So - now that you have all of this information at your fingertips "Now What?"  Look to see where the student has a weakness and target your instruction there.  

I am loving this chapter because there are so many tools included in the chapter that helps determine a students' comprehension and other Assessment tools for older students as well.  Probably the best section of all the chapters is a "Question Section" at the back of the chapter.  So while I've read through this chapter, the majority of the questions I've had throughout the chapter is all answered right there!  

Have a Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 28, 2014

First Made it Monday ever! .7.28.14

Yay!  My first time completing a Monday Made It!  I was able to find Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  So here are a couple things that I've been up to.  Not much, but its a start!

I made this chalkboard with a super easy DIY tutorial.  Which you can find here.  This quote is from a song, 10,000 reasons by Matt Redman.  Here is the song if you want to take a listen: 

This was a DIY headband holder.  I even spray painted the little clips, so it would match the oh so sweet nursery decor!  
Ok - this was so much fun!  My son and I made some super cute stationary for him!  He picked what he wanted his thumbprints to be and then he tasked me with making them look like how he wanted them to be.  He was scared to "mess them up"  What have I done to him, I seriously need to figure out how to get him out of that mindset! 

I think I am almost done with these!  Student Data Folders.  All sheets are in page protectors, easy for students to enter in their own information!  Some of the files are found here.  

Also - Started on some of these gems to help me stay better organized this coming year (fingers crossed) 
Aren't they cute!  I think the next ones I will run the paper all the way down the clothespin! 

Now I have to go figure out our current HOME PROJECT!  YIKES.  We have done so much with the back room of our house, but in the process we had to take out part of our deck and now we are left with "what to do next" Alot to think about.  Here  is what I am looking at now scratching my head thinking what should I do now!

Hope you have a Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jan Richardson .The Next Step in Guided Reading. *BOOK TALK*

So back in March I was given the opportunity to go to the Virginia Reading Conference.  What an AMAZING experience!  I was able to sit in on Jan Richardson's seminar and was quite impressed.  I was able to get her book right from the conference.  I am just a little ashamed I am just now opening it to really get into the meat of it.  So I figured I would go through Chapter by Chapter.  If I get through 2 chapters a week I will be right on track for back to school time!  Everything wrote below are my own thoughts and some resources that I have found, I have linked back to everything possible as well as given credit.  I did not go into detail with this chapter, but kind of outlined Guided Reading as we know it just highlighting some of my favorite parts of the whole process.  So here goes!

Chapter 1:  Preparing for Guided Reading

Sometimes there are just so many resources and things that we do have at our fingertips, Guided Reading seems a little overwhelming of what should be used and when it should be able to "fix" a students' problem.  Guided Reading can be daunting!  This chapter is an overview that gives suggestions on how to implement a balanced reading program in the most effective way.

In order to start Guided Reading you must have an established classroom community that knows how to do the following:

  • how to work with others
  • solve problems without asking for help
  • how to use work stations or centers
  • know and understand rules and routines
Once these things are implemented in the classroom you can start with the Balanced Reading Approach which most of us have heard of: read-aloud, shared reading, and independent reading.  The Read-Aloud portion can either be classic or interactive where students are engaged and discuss what they've listened to.   Shared Reading is usually done whole group where the teacher instructs students with specifics skills and or focus on fluency.  Independent reading is important and has to be taught so that students have quality reading material that they want to read and can understand.  

The book goes on to talk about different schedules to help you implement Guided Reading in the first couple weeks of school.  Also it talks about different literacy workstations.  These are some of my favorites. 

Writing (I hope I linked everything back correctly to their correct home)
Beautiful Writing Center
Class Writing Journals from Teach-A-Roo

Word Study - I use Words Their Way in my classroom, but there are lots of ways to use Word Study in your classroom, I find this very helpful to teach word patterns as opposed to having students memorize spelling words. 

A Teacher's Guide to Words Their Way
Second Story Window does an amazing job giving a thorough walk-through for Words-Their Way
Level Skill Focus Sound Sorts Magnetic letters/White boards Sound Boxes Writing Guide

This is from Jan Richardson's site, and is linked back to the full document, that goes through Skill Focus and what should be done. 

Read the Room
Super Cute resources from Really Roper!  

Aren't these adorbs!  I love what Totally Terrific in Texas did for the Computer Choice cards.  And, its a freebie!
Some great sites for on-line learning!  Can't find the link for this though

Basically whatever works for you - USE IT!  Maybe start with just a couple things and build on it when you get more comfortable!  However, you should always encourage independent reading.  Have a nice library and help your students find books that they will enjoy!  It is recommended that there be a Reading Workshop Contract
I will be using these along with my Daily 5 choice cards. Students can check off each Daily they go to in order to keep track each week. The clipar...

There should also be use of an Independent Reading Record.  Students should be able to take notice of the title, author and genre of the book read.  So if students come to you not understanding Genre's that is something that needs to be taught right away and you should probably have something for students to refer back to either in your library or in their Reading Notebook.   Here's an example for older students/grade levels.
Reading Log for Chapter Books
Students should also be made at least once a week to write an Independent Reading Response.  These will help keep students accountable. Depending on your students' ability you can make this as easy as drawing a picture of their favorite party and writing a few sentences or having them construct a letter to you while critically thinking about situations that happened throughout the book. There are other things instructed to include in their Reading Notebook but the thing to remember is that it is basically a working document for the year to show what students know and understand.  Where students are practicing skills taught during shared reading those particular items should not be graded. 

Within this chapter Jan did an amazing job to give pointers at the end to help manage things that seem to really pluck certain teacher's nerves, ie too much noise, how to get everything done, and how to stop interruptions.  There were also lots of different resources for readers response!  The next chapter is all about Assessment so I am excited about figuring out the Jan Plan!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

While Beauty Slept Book Review

Good Reads Synopsis:
The Truth is No Fairy Tale.
I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told. Those of humble birth suffer their heartbreaks and celebrate their triumphs unnoticed by the bards, leaving no trace in the fables of their time....
And so begins Elise Dalriss's story
When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a tale about a beautiful princess awakened by a handsome prince, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has long kept locked. For Elise was the companion to the real princess who slumbered - and she is the only one left who knows the truth of what happened so many years ago.
As the memories start to unfold, Elise is plunged back in to the magnificent world behind the opulent palace walls. Fleeing a hardscrabble existence and personal tragedy, she builds a new life for herself as a servant to the royal family and quickly rises within the castle hierarchy. As Elise proves herself a loyal confidante, she is drawn into the lives of an extraordinary cast of women: a beautiful queen who wakes each morning with tears on her pillow, an elderly spinster who in heartache shuts herself away, a princess who yearns to be free, and the ambitious and frightening sister who cannot accept the fact that she will never rule. Elise has guarded their secrets - and her own - for a lifetime.While Beauty Sleeps is her story.
In this rich and compelling novel of love and terror, friendship and fate, we are introduced to a heroine of extraordinary determination - the true heart of a legend - who reveals what it really takes to reach happily ever after.
My Feelings on While Beauty Slept:
I really liked this book pretty much all throughout, I just felt a little let down for it to end the way it did.  Perhaps it is all the hype for Sleeping Beauty since Maleficent just came out. 
Maybe I liked it so much and just wanted more at the end.  I enjoy all fairy tales and find their message and writing very peaceful and enjoyable, this was no exception.  I found Elise, the main character, very full as the story revolved around her.  I love that Elise did make so many revolutions throughout the book.  Since she started out out the farm, and then raised in ranks very quickly to find herself in the good graces with the Queen and the Royalty of the house.  I found this a very believable outtake on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty.  However I gave it 4 stars, because I was still reaching for more towards the end of the book.  
Find me on Goodreads:  Rachele Hirsch-Brooks

Five for Friday {Linky Party.. July 25th}

Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party where you post five random things from today or this past week and on your blog. Then, you come back and link your blog post up at the bottom of this post in the linky tool.Grab the button above and link back to this post on your blog.

Divider 1
This week I was able to attend a Whole Brain Teaching Conference with Coach B!  What an amazing experience!  Which spurred me to complete an Average Google Spreadsheet for when I start off with this program this coming school year.
Divider 2
 So - since I was on this high of Whole Brain this and teaching this - I decided to start on my students' data notebooks.  This took a little bit of time, but I think it is about how I want it, so I put it on TeachersPayTeachers.  I am hoping to get the majority of the things that I have made throughout the year up there.  It is not as well made as blogs that I frequently visit, but I figured you can't get anywhere if you don't first try.  So try I will, and here is my first item on TeachersPayTeachers that actually has a Title Page!  

Divider 3
So as I am just gearing up with my School Preparations I had a little set back and then almost with in the same time, I felt it as a blessing, that I am going to move classrooms again.  I had a break last year, but I moved the year before.  I am moving to the classroom next door to where I am at, but instead of the one window I currently have, I will now have TWO.  I am so STOKED about having more natural light.  I have missed that these past two years.  I have also figured out what my classroom theme is as well.  WESTERN.  Here are some of the things I am planning on doing!Perfect for my western theme---but too expensive right now :( Western-Themed Super Improvers Wall (Whole Brain Teaching) They used CTP's Western Hats 6" Designer Cut-Outs! Great classroom idea! Second Grade Rodeo | 31 Incredible Bulletin Boards For Back To School
Aren't these so cute!  I cannot wait to get going with this and make this happen!
Divider 4
So, as I said I have to move rooms, and I've done a little to get things going this past week, but I also started with my lists :(  YIKES I seem to be a Queen of Lists around this time of year.  This is only a small amount.  
I am just happy my district is putting on a District Pinterest Party this coming month.  Maybe I can get all of my centers and stuff ready to go, so that will be one last thing that I have to worry about when I have to move classrooms.

Divider 5
My new guilty pleasure!  I do love summer television (most of the times) especially when I get something like this.  I love these types of shows.  Something both my husband and myself can really get into together!

How was your week?