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Monday, September 21, 2015

Guided Reading, Disorganization, and Feeling like it's utter chaos

Yes, guided reading, disorganization and I don't know which way I'm going---BUT, I WILL get there! :)

For those of you who didn't know, I started teaching Title I Reading last year for K-2.  Then it became Title Reading and Math for 1-2, 3rd grade reading, and Kindergarten reading.  Then I was told to stop Kinder reading.  So, this year when school started, I had no clue what I was doing! :)  (And a month in---I still don't, but I just grin and smile and pretend I know what's going on!)

Currently, I'm a 1-2 Reading teacher. I work with 8 teachers, and two groups per teacher.  That means my classes are back to back with 20 minutes each group.  By the time we transition from their room to my room, it is roughly 15 minutes (17 if we walk quickly). Last year my groups were about an hour, so I am trying to find the best way to make their time meaningful with me during that short time frame.  I'm getting there.  I mean I did it within 15-20 minutes as a classroom teacher.  Surely I can figure it out now too.  I do think that you have an advantage as a classroom teacher and running your guided groups because you know the skills/deficits that they are also lacking in the room or on assignments.  I just feel that with the groups I'm working with there are so many deficits that I'm struggling with finding a starting place.  

I will get there, I just needed to get that off my chest that there are struggles..it's always hard to start new groups and have changes.    Perhaps part of my problem is I'm having a hard time with transitioning from group to group.  You see, I'm a bit of a neat freak.  *Though this isn't completely neat right now.  Everything has a place, and moving from group to group (going back and forth from 1st to 2nd grade)  is throwing my room into chaos.  

Here's my room---all organized.  See those baskets.  I used those last year to house the work my kiddos were working on for the week. 

  They are empty as of now.  
And you see this messy table?
This pile drives me crazy, but I can pull from it when my groups switch.
I use some of the same lessons with groups.  

So what does a gal do to make the most of it?
I asked a few people on the FACEBOOK (yes, the facebook is how it is referred) ;)
and they too feel the pain in needing more time to meet with groups. 

For now, here is what we've been up to.
I work 1on 1 with a few students during these group times.
One little guy was struggling to remember his sight words.
It was recommended to begin him on EdMark, but the kit hasn't arrived yet. 
Friends, this little guy is a struggling reader on an IEP.  
I don't feel that I've had the training on how best to teach him in a Tier III setting, but let me tell you...
He is 13 words shy of learning his pre-primer sight words!  He knew just a few when groups started!
I call that success for him!  I am SOOOOO proud of him.
Honestly, I think the 1-1 has benefited him
We have worked on sight word stories that I've created for him like the ones in the 
Super Reader sets and the one you see below.
You can click HERE to see this freebie on my last blog post. 
He has also enjoyed reading the fluency stories from the binder
 We have used Wikki Sticks to ring words, glass beads to cover words, and repeated readings.
He enjoys reading these stories and is so proud of himself when he reads to me! :)
You can find those stories by clicking the image below.
Fluency Reads

One of my other kiddos I work 1-on-1 with is also working on pre-primer words.
He chose 5 words he wanted to work on.
We used the words in sentences.  
The sentences he used I made come to life in a story for him
(Thanks to all my wonderful clipart friends)
He was so proud of himself reading this story to me today.  
I was proud of the sentences he was writing!  WOOT WOOT! :)

Some of my groups are working on cvc words.  We use the Making Words lessons, and due to limited time, I use our Wilsons Fundations magnetic boards for make and breaks with the directions from my making words activities. I am also pulling from some of the packs I have made on TpT.  One group is working on sentences and fragments, and one on nonsense words.  This pack has come in perfect for that! 
Bushels of Fun-First Grade and Fabulous

 Finally, a few of my 1st grade groups are struggling with tracking print.
Last year I did the lesson with letters, words, sentences. 
You can see it HERE 
For tracking print, here is what is working for us.
I used foam counters.  
You could also use color coded stickers, or use the shapes and fill them in on your computer. 
I stuck with using various colors of circles because some of my students don't know all of their shapes.
I placed them on a piece of paper with a dot below them.
Students were to tell me green circle (And touch the dot), red circle (touch the dot as they said it) and so on.
 Then I wanted them to get exposure with letters (knowing that letters are going to make up the words when we are reading).  Students were to place their finger on the dot and just say the name of the letter.
 We then transitioned into seeing words put together to make sentences.  Again, we followed the same format.  Touch the dot and read (echo read) the word.
Will this work with all of my groups?  Probably not. 
Is it the correct way to teach them?  I don't know.
Is it working? Yes. 

To me, if I see gains in my students day to day/weekly, that is what means the world to me.
We are working so hard in class.  
It is such a struggle for them when they are academically below in their classroom.
So while I may not have a clue what I'm doing---they know they are loved, and together we will find what makes THEM successful! :)


  1. I love this post! What a great idea! I love the strips you use to help them track. We need to do that with our letters and sounds and sight words in Kindergarten.

    1. I am seeing progress with this..so it mist be working. :)

  2. DeAnne, you DO know what you are doing! I love reading about all the progress your little ones are making. Title 1 is a whole different ballgame than the regular classroom. I have been in it for several years now and I am still tweaking my groups to optimize the small amount of time I have with them to provide all that I can to strengthen their reading and catch them up on all the skills they are missing.
    You are doing amazing!
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. Thanks so much Lori. It is so hard to accomplish anything in that little block of time. I just feel lost. I think I had a better handle on my teacher life as a classroom teacher, but I do enjoy what I'm doing.

  3. Where can I find the sentence pyramids? Love them.

    1. Thanks. You can find them on TpT..click on the image from the blog post that says Fluency Reads for Beginning Readers. It will take you there.

    2. Thanks. You can find them on TpT..click on the image from the blog post that says Fluency Reads for Beginning Readers. It will take you there.

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