I am very fortunate to be able to attend a Reading with Meaning workshop next week!!! I am so excited to learn more about comprehension and Debbie Miller!
I just got the list of resources and texts and there are two optional books. Mosaic of Thought and 7 Keys to Comprehension. I don't have either of them and wondering which one you'd recommend? What do you know about these two texts?
You are so LUCKY! I would love to see Debbie Miller, although I can't complain. I am attending Kathy Collins workshop all week. Anyway, my understanding is that 7 keys is more for parents, ( I could be wrong ) I would get Mosiac, especially if it is the new edition. I read the original and it was awesome , I hear the 2nd is fabulous ! Please share what you learn!
The writers of Mosaic actually are Debbie Miller's mentors (In that they first developed the strategies and studied them, she learned along with them) Keene visits Debbi's classroom in Mosaic. At least if you read that one, you know that it's a book that will jigsaw perfectly with what you hear at the Miller workshop-- it will also give you a little background on the genesis of the comprehension movement.
Mosaic is a much better choice. I do like 7 keys, but it is directed towards parents and people who may not know as much about teaching the comprehension strats. If you've read Deb Miller's book and been to seen her, I think you're beyond 7 keys already.
Have a great time at the workshop next week- I too am jealous, but, not to brag, I'll be spending a week at Columbia University with the Reading and Writing Project run by Lucy Calkins in August. So I'l be able to share some great things from that week long immersion into Units of study and writing- look for it!!
luvreading, are you going to the Writing one? I am too. Yes, okay, I should not be jealous about Debbie Miller, but she is the first one to awaken me! Well, mayb the thrid one, i read MOT, then On SOlid Ground, then RWM and I got it !Anyway, I've shared that the reading insitute really is like a visual for me of GR. We have small group instruction (Gradual Release!) and then we have whole group with Kathy Collins and she brings her book to life for me. I am so a visual learner, not a read the book and do it, so for my issues it's really been enlightening. I have been jotting asterisks and reminders in the book. I read in STW that highlighting is not the way to take notes, well I tried it their way and they are right. It is so much better for me to right down what the thinking is for what we are discussing during group. I hope that this all makes sense, I don't really have notes written down in day order, they are just scattered about the book. I will say that everything that we have been covering is in her book. And, as I am finding out, she brings the stories in the book to life by telling you about them. If anyone has any specific question let me know and I will try to answer it.
I also had that same question... Timing: I've kinda got it laid out so I have 5 Bends in the Road and figuring 1 week per Bend??? So that makes the Unit 5 weeks, then you need a celebration. How long for that? I guess it depends on how long it takes to prepare (I guess I'm thinking that for writing at least you'd need time to publish, but maybe for reading you wouldn't need that long to prepare)??? Then how much lag time between each unit where you're "getting ready"?
Okay I really don't have an answer for how long she takes. However, I have the 2nd grade curriculum calendar and it has a unit a month. I an ask her that tomorrow, however she is very informal and I am thinking that she would probably not have a set time frame. Perhaps a time frame. Another point is that today in small group we discussed planning a unit. Our small group leader picked November's unit, and we pulled our minilessons right from the curricular calendar. She suggested a four week plan.
As far as the writing units, I'll get back to you on that in August when I do that one
I hope that I sound somewhat like I know what I am talking about because I got to tell you, a whole week of institute and my mind is spinning. And, I guess the commuting isn't helping! THe train, then the subway, and the walking. I have to get up as early as when school is in session but I can't get my butt to sleep at night!
Okay, question for you RW Gurus, when do you do GUIDED READING, which I dislike very strongly Yes, I know that I am the one at the Teacher's College for the Reading Institute but I am still unsure. It doesn't help that I strongly dislike GR! But do you do it during RW or at a totally different time and if so do your kids do the DREADED Centers! (they are dreadful to me I know)I spoke to Kathy today and asked her and she said that if I am doing my one on one conferences and my small groups well maybe I could skip... Then Ginny Lockwood spoke at the closing workshop and she kind of made it seem like they are necessary. So what to do, what to do...
I feel like you do about guided reading... question: What did Kathy mean when she said, "if you are doing conferences and small groups"? What exactly is small group if it's not guided reading? Do you mean like strategy groups?
I prefer to think about guided reading as strategy groups, and whether or not I'm doing GR or SG or something in between, it makes me feel like the groups are more necessary and useful. I see GR as more helpful during the beginning of first, but after that, SG seem much more purposeful.
Anyways-- I do those groups during reader's workshop, but because I find it easier and more informative to do conferences, they get pushed out of the way so easily. My plan for this year: To post which one group I'm going to work with that day by putting up magnets with all kids that I feel could use that strategy (so there will be no "groups") Also-- group time first, then conferences. I figure then I might be less likely to skip them.
I'd like to develop a list of group strategies/teaching points for 2nd graders. Care to join in?
I totally agree! Yes Kathy meant strategy groups. Well, we went over that today in small group. The way that she taught us to pull our groups is from our conferences. She said that each week we should focus on one of our things from conferences. For example your conference notes would be Compliment, Teaching Point, Next, well this week you should pull your groups from your teaching points and not from next. So that way you won't get to crazy. The sheet she shared with us, was columns, Name, Comp., TP., Next. So she said choose one focus for the week. Okay here I go repeating myself. If I do not make sense let me know and I will try to clarify.
BTW Bookmuncher, number one how I wish that you had been there this week, so that you coulod tell me if I am making sense! Also, when you go, you will receive a 2nd grade curricular calendar and the small group instructor will show you how to pull your minilessons from it. It was awesome. Did I already say this?
You guys are SOOOO lucky--actually getting to work with Kathy and Debbie! Glad you are sharing with those of us who can't attend. By the time you are in the August workshops we'll be back at the REAL school.
It's interesting to hear that I am feeling the same stress of deciding whether to use guided reading groups, strategy groups, conferences, etc. I think I'll try what Bookmuncher suggests--guided reading groups at first and then phase them out about the beginning of the second semester. Of course--it will probably be based on my students. Last year I could have phased them out even sooner (which I actually did).
Thanks for the idea of how to write the plans for RW. I've gotten some good ideas already on that one from Bookmuncher's plans she attached earlier this month (or was it last month)?
that I am no alone on my strong dislike of GR. Last years class was reading at such high levels, that GR was a waste of time. I fazed it out. Thank you Bookmuncher I like that idea!
Oh, someone asked where abouts I live, I am NJ, Kathy is in NY at Columbia presenting at the summer institute and I am very lucky to be attending. Now if I could get Debbie Miller in the area...
Are you saying that on your conference forms there is a space for TP and Next (meaning where that student should head next?) and one week, you would pull all the kids that have the same TP-- meaning you already touched on it once with them at conferences? And another week you might pull all the kids that have the same thing written under "next?"
I think I'm starting to know myself enough to know that I just am NO GOOD at keeping those kinds of notes and using them that way. It's a sad state of affairs, but I'm woman enough to admit it. I know I'll never keep up with that.
I think I'm more likely to do what I usually do: reflect on my kids on Sundays and think about groups that I could make. usually, there is something that I see my higher kids could use, medium and so on. Sometimes, there are goals that do mix the reading levels- like certain comprehension goals.
I should reflect on it-- like a mirror-- and see if I can maybe come up with something that's in between my randomness and her order.
then why change it? What you just stated is exactly what she said. But she also said to keep records the way you feel comfy I am very disorganized so I am going to try this way. The reason she said not to go though each thing was so that you don't make your life crazy. So this week maybe you choose TP, next week you look at the N column. The way that I saw it the strategy groups could be mixed levels, because you are focusing on a strategy or skill. Hope this makes sense. Again, do what works for you. I have nothing so I am fresh and open for ideas. You have a way that works for you. I better go to sleep now. I need to make the train and it is early!
Bookmuncher: I will be teaching second next year and I'd be interested in brainstorming teaching points/strategies with you! I'll watch for your blog...
LizHill: Thank you for your description about the paper to mark down compliment/teaching point/next step. I was trying to figure out a way to keep all this information straight. I have always felt that my GR groups weren't very beneficial. I never felt like I was TRULY meeting the kids needs.
LizHill: Is there any way you could post the reading curriculum calendar you got? Or is it on the web somewhere? I know the writing workshop ones are located here: http://www.unitsofstudy.com/affiliation.asp#calendars but are the reading ones somewhere? I'd love to peek at them...
You said that you were going to do strategy groups first this next year. So does this mean that you will do partner reading during strategy groups and then do independent reading while you are conferencing? Just trying to get it all straight in my head!
One more question...how many strategy groups do you do a day? Do you see all the children everyday? Thinking out loud...what if a student fits into more than one strategy group?
Hey Jenn! In 2nd grade, I don't know if I'm going to do quite as much partnership as in first. I still have to work that out in my head... it seems like if they are reading longer books, I would be interuppting them to read shorter ones. On the other hand, there's a lot of good things to talk about in shorter picture books, so maybe I should interupt them.
ANyways-- if I was doing first, I would do the strategy group during partner reading and the conferences during private reading. I've learned that I really can only get to one strategy gruop per day, and it's plenty. I do try to see each child once a week-- and many kids (usually the same ones, but not always) fit into more than one strategy group. Those are probably the ones that need to be seen more than once a week anyways.
I would love to talk about RW in second grade! I teach second language learners, so I find that partnerships are key in my children's journey as readers. Even if I taught children in their first language, I think that I would still have reading partnerships. I might make them more mini-book clubs however, with 2 children reading the same book and then coming back to talk about it. As an adult, the most meaningful way that I interact with books is to talk about them with someone else.
OK girls - you all talked so much about Kathy Collins that I finally bought the book - I can't wait until it comes in. Reading this board gets me excited that school starts in a little over a month. I am going to have to devour this book quickly and get some plans made before school starts. I really feel like I have yet to get the whole RW going the way I want. I love the hope of a new year!!
If anyone happens to create a form to use based on Kathy Collin's note-taking ideas (compliment, teaching point, next), would they mind posting it? I would love to see how this might work in my classroom. Thanks everyone for sharing your insight!
I'm attaching my one from last year-- I hardly used it. Just too much for me, even though it wasn't that much!
I'm also attaching the one I made for this year. My goal is primarily to keep track of the teaching points and if a future teaching point comes to me, I'll write it down. But for me- the less, the better!
If you could possibly get a first grade curriculum calendar and post it for us first grade teachers. If thats not too much to ask I would greatly appreciate it and I'm sure many others would echo my request. Thanks and enjoy your workshops, keep us posted.
I would so love to be able to do that . However I am not even there anymore! And, I was in the 2nd grade section. I keep checking the first hand website to see if it gets there like the writing curriculum. Actually, maybe there is a 1st grade teacher on PT that attended and would do it.
I was ready to cut apart composition notebooks (found them for 50 cents at WalMart) to use for my conferencing. Now, I'm so uncertain. I see great value in recording my conferences on one master sheet that would have each child listed. That would insure that I really do meet with everyone each week. Last year when I conferenced in reading and writing, that sheet helped me see at a glance where my class was. BUT, I also like the idea of the kids having their own booklet of our conferences. That would be so useful for parents/administrators and kids to see progress and next learning steps. AHHH!
Bookmuncher, please tell me the name of your new blog. I think I understand that you will start fresh. Is that right?
Actually- I'm just continuing on the same blog. I deliniated by font . Anything with this font, was first grade and anything with this font is 2nd.
BTW: I decided that I'm going to give writing down my teaching points for myself ONE MORE SHOT. So my kids will have their own book. That's the one I'll write in in front of them. But either between conferences or after RW or just very quickly, I'll also jot down the teaching point on a sheet that I have for each child. So I'll keep track of who I conferenced with my keeping the papers in a folder-- those on the left side I didn't hit yet and they move over when I meet with them. I feel I need to do this so that I can better plan when I'm at home.
My mind is going towards doing both also. What I think you are saying is that you'll have a folder with one sheet per student. When you conference, you'll record the important details of that sheet and move it over to the other side of the folder. The children will also have a conference log of their own. Will you let the kids hold onto their personal teacher/student conference book? I still think I need another sheet to jot down my thoughts to help me build my invitational groups. I'm old and don't trust my memory as well as I could before.
Bookmuncher: Why were you going to use individual sheets for each child?
I was thinking about using the notebook idea for the kids and then another sheet for me.... Only this sheet was going to have all of the children on one... So, if I need to pull a strategy group I can see it very easily on one sheet of paper. So the first column would have all the kids names, second column their compliment, third column their tp (or something to that effect).
Would you be using your sheets for any other purpose? What would the benefit be to having one for each individual child? What was your thinking?
When you say it your way, that makes a lot of sense too!
I always liked on one page because I liked being able to have the child's "journey" in front of me when I'm conferencing with them. I like to see if I had asked them to do anything last time or if they are having the same tp over and over again.
Also, I like the sheets for conferences and for the ability to sort them into groups on my living room floor (I don't always want to do it that way, but sometimes, I want instant groups for a week, and I need everyone to be in one)
I have ANOTHER sheet (it will be a miracle if I can stick with this) that has a space for four strategy groups-- there's a pile of this paper copied in my notebook. My idea is that when I notice that one or two children need the same thing, I'll turn to that page and "open" a group. I'll label the group with the need, and start filling the student portion with names. There is a date section where I can record all the dates we met. Even if we only meet once, once I feel that that group does not need to meet on that topic again, I'll "close" it by slashing through the box.
So- that's my thinking. But every time I hear someone else's, I feel like changing my mind.
I like that set-up for the strategy groups a bunch. But, I'm like you, Bookmuncher, I will probably start all these great things at the beginning of the year and by christmas I will have cut back a TON! But, it's worth a shot, right?
PS- I always love all your fun fonts...do you have a CD of fonts or do you get them online? They make the simplist things look so darn cute!
You keep my brain thinking and challenged!!!! I think it would be scary if we worked at the same school..... We'd never get anything done in our classrooms, we'd spend the whole time talking about our teaching!!!
I mean that in the most flattering way!!! I've been learning a lot from you and with you!!!
OK-- but don't say I didn't warn you!! Visit these two websites for the coolest fonts. (You'll probably want to check out the 2nd one first b/c it has so many great kid ones. Then there'll be a few repeats on the font garden)
Here's how you get and keep a certain font (provided you're working on a PC, not a MAC):
First, go to your START menu, to your control panel and open the FONTS folder. You should be able to see all the fonts you have on Word right now.
Leave that window minimized or open off to the side. Your control panel fonts have to always be open.
Next, click on the font you want on the webpage.
Now you have to unzip the file, so click EXTRACT ALL FILES (over on the left)
Click Next, next, next-- until you get to FINISH. Click FINISH.
See the file that has the name of your font under it (and usually, but not always, the icon has a TT)? That's the font. You need to drag it into your open control panel fonts, and that's it! You'll see it in there with your other ones.
Sometimes, along with that font file, you'll see other files that might say READ ME or SECRET or other things-- you don't need those. You just need the font. After you have gotten the font, you can leave the control panel open, but close the other two little windows.
Sometimes, a font has two files- one for capitals and one for lowercase. Or one for plain and one for sparkly. In those cases, you can drag both.
sisters (authors of the Daily 5) was how to establish strategy groups. Their process is similar. They have a simple form with six large boxes. As they hold individual conferences or observe kids in a group setting, they identify needs (strategies/skills), label a box and begin to list kids needing the support in that particular area. I also can't rely on my memory and this is such a simple solution.
As mentioned before, my kids use response notebooks and have a page in the front where I write individual goals for kids. I document my conferences using the file folder with a labeled index card taped inside for each student. I jot simple notes using my own shorthand. I also make tallies at the bottom of each card so I can see at a glance who I need to meet with. I like having all the previous notes for each child available so I can check up to see if they are making progress towards mastering previous teaching points. The file folder means I always have everyone's notes with me. If a card gets filled, I file it in my assessment notebook. I also have detailed conference forms that I sometimes use for more formal conferences but I find I use them less and less in RW (more during WW).
Just let me know!
Hey, I don't see the yawn smiley!
Okay guys, now I am not sure what I will ue for conferencing! I need to keep it simple because I am Queen of the Disorganized! I am s ot kidding! So I need to say this, I love BookMuncher's idea of the conference log for the kids, but I will need somthing like the sheet that I described before Name, Compliment, Teaching Point, Next. Anybody??
LizHill and all,
Last year when I taught second grade I had my kids make choices from a menu board I created and tried to change every week or two depending on how much the kids finished. I modeled my workstations after Debbie Diller's Literacy Workstations. By about mid October, I was able to start pulling two guided reading groups a day. I did the workstations for about 45 min. while I was seeing my groups. I did not set timers, but told the kids they should make 2-4 choices a day....some were shorter to complete than others. Each day they colored in the cirlce in front of their selection to show me what they had completed. We picked a different color for everyday. The kids loved this time and asked for it daily! It is a wonderful way for the children to practice what they have learned in a fun way sometimes with a friend and sometimes by themselves. It reminds me of all the extra practice we all got when we went home from school only to play school! I am attaching a copy of one menu.
On the 29th post down on this thread, I posted two of those forms you speak of... the first one is the one that I ditched this year, and the other one (the PDF) is the one I'll ditch this year. Hopefully, I won't ditch it; as you can see, it's way simpler. I decided to only put what I absolutely needed for my own information.
and I saved them, along with some others. But that seems to be my problem, I have too much of them. and, then I get nuts and then I don't do anything. Yeah, I know sounds like I need some kind of therapy! Well, the form, at this moment, isn't my problem. My concern is that I like the conference log book for the kids, but I am AFRAID! I know that I am a scatter brain, and won't be able to do all the managing! Okay, and I know that I have ADHD, diagnosed by me . I was in the middle of writing that sentence and I looked over at the smilies and noticed the yawn smilie! I am not sleepy but I am going to use it.
Okay back to my problem, BookMuncher now do you see what I mean. I need help. Any suggestions on my probelm?
I know what you mean about the distractability thing...
The only thing I can say about the books-- because I am the exact same way-- is that if you start them, the kids won't let you forget about them, even if you want them to. You might drop the other things, but they'll always bug you about writing in their books. Try to ingrain them in the first couple months, and I'llbet you won't have a problem.
right now (subject to change at any moment) is to do the individual conference books for the kids. I think I'll let them keep them in their chair pocket along with their just right books and Talk Balk Journals. When I conference with a child, I'll write detailed notes in their personal book and record a teacher shorthand of the conference some place else so I have a whole class record of my conferences that week. Last year I made a one page table on Word with a box for each child. That will give me a good visual of who I have met and a brief summary of what we conferenced about. I'll also have a page under that one that I'll use to build invitational strategy groups. I really like the forms that have columns with compliment, teaching point & next, but I think I'll put a sticker with the format my conferences should have in the front of each child's book. Then, maybe I'll learn my requirements for a conference and follow them as I learn and do.
Okay you have given me the boost that I need! I almost forgot about how pesky those little buggers can be about stuff like that! I will "have at it" I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
I will write in their book and keep a sheet for me, as suggested by Curious Cat.
I read some comments on ProT regarding this book. I browsed through it at B and N tonight. Just wondered if there are any more feelings on the positives/negatives of buying it. It was a little pricey for me since vacation is on the horizon. Should I buy or not????
1stgradenew... that is SOOOO exciting! I can't WAIT to hear what you learn! I'm going to the teacher's institute at the end of Aug., but I have a feeling Collins won't be there, b/c it's a week for institute "first-timers" and I didn't see her name on the list. Maybe she'll be with you!!
I don't know... I've browsed it a number of times, but other books always ended up winning out. I felt like What really matters to struggling readers was the research part of it that I needed and Classrooms... was the "how" part... it did have lots of good ideas, but with so many books out there, I guess that for me, it wasn't #1!
Thanks so much for telling me about Kathy Collins, I just registered yesterday and I can't wait to go!! Since it is so cheap I was thinking about going to the Guided Reading workshop the day before. The info says that it is about how guided reading works inside a readers workshop model. Just wondering if you know anything more about it?
I think this book won out for me! I checked on Amazon and I can get it for under $10. Actually one of the vendors is about 10 miles from my city--I'm checking to see if I can actually pick it up and save the shipping. If I can do that--it can become my beach read!