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LiteracyRawks LiteracyRawks is offline
Joined: Jul 2019
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Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
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Unique Experience, advice needed!
Old 07-31-2019, 09:12 PM
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Hi! I'm not sure this scenario really fits in this group, but I'm also not sure where it would fit more appropriately. I'm hoping that those with experience co-teaching may have some ideas we can build from, or modify, for our specific situation. Let me explain...

I teach 1st grade on a team with 5 other teachers. Until now, we each had our own homeroom, but we teach pod-style, so our classes are in the corners of a giant, open pod. I thought I would hate it. I absolutely LOVE it! I've been blessed to have an amazing team, which does make all the difference!

This year, our administration is moving us to the 21st century teaching model. This means we will share all 100+ kids, and will sort of departmentalize, so that we are all teaching at once. For example, where I used to teach my ELA block with a mini-lesson, guided reading, writing and tiered support, that will now be dispersed among five teachers: 2 guided reading, writing, mini-lessons, and tiered support. We will be doing our math lessons the same way. One whole group, one problem solving group, one application group, one tiered support and one will be a science rotation.

Our students will NOT rotate by class, but will instead be ability grouped for most of their rotations, allowing us to target their skill level specifically. We feel like this will have our students engaged with a teacher at every point of their day, rather than on their own or doing unmonitored independent work as in the station rotation model, while we each pull students for guided reading, tiered support, etc.

This new style is presenting some challenges that we are tackling now, in terms of how to resolve them. So, I would value input from anyone who has been in a similar situation, or who may even just have a creative solution to offer. Here are a few of our challenges:

1) Classroom management tracking: Our students each have a color coded tub that holds folders, pencil boxes and journals, and will use that as they move around from teacher to teacher. We are trying to figure out a low-maintenance, easy to transport, easy to update way of communicating behaviors not only from teacher to teacher, but from school to home in the evening. Our thought is a behavior sheet that is in their folder, that is then used to color a daily calendar at the end of the day. This sounds simple, but we will now have 100+ of those to look at over the course of the day. How would you handle this situation? (We would LOVE to be able to rely on Class Dojo to solve all of our behavior management needs, but unfortunately in our building, that is not an option.)

2) During both ELA and Math, we have one rotation where we will have a "whole group" lesson of 17-20 children. Our guided reading tables will have a maximum of 6 at the table at a time, and 6 working on listening/word work at a table while waiting their turn. So, that's 12 students assigned to each guided reading teacher, and there are 2 of those teachers. Tiered support will pull students 1-2 at a time at the most. Our writing teacher will have about 6 at a time. The other students will be either with push-in specialists, at a technology workstation in the room, or doing accountable independent projects. we navigate rotating this model?

Oh, we have so many other challenges on our plate right now, but those are two great starting points! Our administration understands we are piloting this, and that we will have growing pains, adjustments, and maybe a little chaos along the way while we figure it all out! Ultimately, I'm thrilled at the prospect of having a teacher at each rotation who is focused/specialized in that ONE aspect of their day, giving them the BEST they can offer.

I truly appreciate any thoughts, questions, advice...the name of a good spa with relaxing music and massage chairs!

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