Whether you use a reading workshop approach or not, guided reading is a component of literacy that many K-5 teachers use in their classroom. I want our sessions to have a comfortable feeling where students can ask questions, try new strategies, and work together to become more strategic readers. Setting up this environment takes some work and planning, which is why our class didn't begin meeting until the fourth week of school. I'd like to share some of the fundamentals of getting guided reading off the ground at the beginning of the year.
Until recently I was jealous of the music resources available to lower grade teachers. It seemed like the market was limited to this age bracket, and it just seemed unfair. However, now the tables have turned! An abundance of resources can be found, purchased, and downloaded for the upper grade crowds. And, to top it off, the music really caters to the tastes of older kids. If you haven't found some of these resources yet, I'd like to share some of my finds with you. Integrating music into lesson plans has never been easier!
If I had to decide what moments I am most effective in the classroom, I'd have to say that it is when I am on the floor conferring with individual students about their reading and writing. This also happens to be the area of teaching that I have refined the most, always looking for new ways to make use of our conference time together. So much time has been dedicated to this, in fact, that I am declaring myself a reading/writing physician! This week I'd like to share with you how we now blend our reading and writing conferences to create a stronger impact.
Last year I opened up my home/backyard for a weekend cookout. It was the second time that I had a get-together at my house with a class, and both occasions were really fun. So fun, in fact, I decided to start the year off with a get together at my house. This elaborate ice-breaker of sorts was not only fun for students but allowed parents to meet and greet each other in a relaxed setting. Learn how ours came to fruition and why I am making this a teaching tradition from now on. While the weather is still warm, you might consider a get together with your class as well.