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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Guided Reading and Centers and Stuff

First of all....I am SOOOOO glad it's a long weekend.  We had a snow delay on Friday (actually, I think it was a cold delay---it was like 5 below with wind chill Friday morning).  Still not enough snow for sledding and snowman building, but hopefully it's a start.  However, it WAS enough to get my firsties all crazy!!  I knew all week there was a storm brewin' or maybe it was the full moon.  I dunno?  But let me tell you friends....I think I gained a headful of gray hair this week.  Friday was just the icing on the cake.  One of my little dudes is on medicine for hyperactivity.  Apparently he didn't take it on Friday and WOWSERS!!  He even tied his shoes together during our read aloud (and he can't even tie his shoes because he's always asking me too....go figure).  Two days out of the week, I could probably have written an ODOR ODE of first grade.  But I survived, and it's halfway quiet here and I needed that!

I thought I'd blog tonight about guided reading.  Everyone does things differently, and we of course always choose what works best for us (and our kiddos) in our classroom.  I've gone to several literacy workshops through the years, and this is what works for me.

I like to read with each reading group (I only have 3) Monday-Thursday.  On Fridays we assess (and we have a CRAZY schedule that messes up every other Friday, but that's a different discussion).  On Mondays, I like to do a picture walk.  I have the students preview the book on their own and then we do a guided walk through the story.  I then play a game called "Rivet".  I'll explain it to those of you who haven't heard of it.  Rivet is sort of like hangman, minus the hanging.  It's a way to "feed" your students the words.  After our picture walk, we all go back to a given page number (whatever page, that has the word I want to give them) For example, if I know my reading group wouldn't be able to get the word creamy, I would tell them turn to page 4.  Then I'd draw 6 lines on my dry erase board.  I'd write the letter c on the first line (making sure there aren't any other 6 letter c words on the page).  Students skim the page looking for that word.  Then they put their thumb up when they find it.  They all (or individually) spell the word to me.  I ask if anyone knows the word, and they always get their mouth ready and take a guess.  Then we look for hunks and chunks within the word.  We've talked about r blends, so they'd recognize the cr blend.  We're just now working on ea (through Phonics Dance) so they'd be learning that chunk.  Then we'd sound out the word (tap out the word).  Rivet is a game to help with phonics.  I record all the Rivet words down for review the next day.

Tuesday-Wednesday we are reading our stories, working on the skills for the week.  I have my higher groups whisper read two pages at a time, and I give them something to "read to find out".  Then I ask comprehension questions to make sure they've all gained the information needed for the story.  We also secretly look for our favorite page, bookmark it with a post-it, and then read it aloud to the group.

Thursdays vary.  Sometimes we do games. Sometimes we write about our story.  Sometimes we do graphic organizers so we can retell our stories at home.  If you use the Treasures Reading Series, here is a sample of what I did this week for the stories that went with Unit 3.4: Smile, Mike.  You can click the top picture to grab them if you'd like.

The students who are not at reading group table are at centers during this time.  My workstations vary. I only do 4 a week, and computers and spelling are always a center.  That means I only put out two new ones a week.  My guided reading groups are only 45 minutes (that's how it's designed in our schedule).  Students are only at their workstation for roughly 30 minutes.  Their morning work needs to be done before going to stations.
Here are a few pictures (forgive the images, I was using my cell phone)

I have 4 computers in my room (plus one for teacher use).  This works out perfectly because rarely do my students need to double up on computers.  I change the website each week.   This week they were playing on Primary Games.

Here is a picture of them working on the sentence sort that's available in my TPT store. I like these sorts because when I give my class dictation sentences, they tend to struggle on remembering their punctuation.                                                                      

My other pictures didn't turn out very well unfortunately.  I have a hard time snapping pictures and being in 21 different places all at one time lol.
I will say that one activity I LOVE and my kids LOVE is Making Words.  I don't do it for centers, though I guess that is a good idea.  I do it whole group.  I do it to practice spelling words as I know that other than classwork, many of my students aren't practicing.  Here's a picture of this week's making words lesson.

I start off by giving them a word.  They build it with their cut apart letters.  Their work is checked and then one student goes up to the board and writes it.  So I started with the word it. Then for the next word, my directions were add one letter to make the word bit.  Then add a letter to make the word bite.  Change a letter to spell the word kite, and so on.  If you like this activity, you can click here to see more like it and grab the recording sheet. 

Okay, hopefully that gives some of you some insight into my classroom world.  This week, we are taking our quarterly assessments, so it's a review week.  I like to do "fluff" on weeks like this.  So here's a peek at what we will be doing.  

It's a science unit on Penguins. It's available in my TPT store. 
But I loved all the sweet comments that I received last week with the other penguin unit, that I'm giving away a few of these too.    Here's my rule The first 10 FOLLOWERS (followers who show up on the side under the follow me) to comment with their email address will have it sent to them :)


  1. I'm a follower and I love your blog! You should be on my blogroll since it updates automatically. ;)


  2. I am almost a bit embarrassed to leave my name after my faux pas last week, but I promise to look at the email v.e.r.y c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y if I get one from you!

    I like your build a word idea...will adapt that for my class.

    Thank you for another great giveaway!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  3. Thanks for the useful guided reading ideas. I like the "Rivet" game. I have so many levels in my classroom this year and it's been a struggle.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I'm a follower! I'm totally using your Rivet idea on Monday!


  6. I NOW follow you and would love to have it:)


  7. I LOVE it! I was looking at earlier today. You really are fabulous!!!

  8. I really like the new hair color. Thank you for sharing your Treasures ideas. This is my first year using the program.

  9. I love your blog!


  10. I'm a follower and would love to have your unit!


  11. I follow your blog and love all your stuff!


  12. Love your ideas! We use Treasures at our school too. I love to hear how others use the program. :)

  13. I love seeing pictures of what other people are doing for reading... thanks!

    Mrs. Bainbridge's Blog

  14. Loved your ideas! I like to do Rivet also! I am following you now!

  15. I love your center ideas! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  16. Could you please tell me what font you use to make the blank handwriting lines? Thank you for all your great ideas!

  17. Its been pretty important for the students to regard about all those technical details as have been highlighted here and this will give them more confidence for the upcoming future. statement of purpose review


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