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this room is NOT dead, right?
Old 08-16-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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Just checking!! I know we're all super busy right now, and we 've already talked about a lot of beginning of the year/ procedural stuff.

Is everyone up for keeping this conversation going as we implement reader's workshop and teach the strategies throughout the year?



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Old 08-16-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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I'm still up for it!!! I had the darnedest time trying to find this board again!

I'm just working on organizing my books in my classroom library, and freaking out a little bit about what I was thinking when I decided to return to the classroom after 6 years of remedial reading instruction. Can I really do this??? I'm feeling overwhelmed and like I don't really have ideas to contribute. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for my organizational library plan. I made labels for book baskets and matching labels for the books. I have some bins for favorite authors (Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, Kevin Henkes, etc.) and others for themes/topics. Each label has a picture too (the author bins have pictures of the authors, my fairy tale bin has a castle picture on it, etc.).

I read your blog Bookmuncher, and I have some of the same struggles you're having over guided reading time. I wish I had some great words of wisdom, but don't. So...I'm more than willing to keep the conversation going throughout the year (I'll certainly need people to bounce ideas off of, and people to "borrow" ideas from also ). The kids start on September 5th here in WI. Good luck with getting your classroom together!
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guided reading
Old 08-20-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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I'm really glad to hear that you're having the same problem, annie! That actually makes me feel better!!

You know how sometimes you don't know enough to know? That's how I always was before, and now that I'm reading all these books, I KNOW, but I don't know what to DO about it! School starts the same day for us... I'll let you know what I figure out, but right now, I'm deinately not leaning towards giving it its own time. We'll see though!
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Old 08-20-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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At this point, I HAVE to do guided reading (because it's "the law" in the district). The good news is that, as a district, we really only schedule language arts and math! Our math curriculum includes science-related themes, and we have many nonfiction books with social studies topics. So...I do have about an hour in my schedule for guided reading groups, but also have 70 minutes daily for reader's workshop. I'm hoping it will be the "best of both worlds."
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wow
Old 08-20-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Wow!! that's really nice! I wish that our school district would wake up and realize that we don't need an hour for science/ social studies. (I break the rules anyways, but STILL!)

Sounds like you really do have the best of both worlds!


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GR/reading workshops/Basals
Old 08-21-2006, 04:56 AM
 
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I am very interested in this room remaining active. I am moving from Y5 to 2nd grade in a Reading First school using Scott-Foresman and I am currently working on my master's degree in reading. I am really have a hard time envisioning how to integrate good practice with the requirements of our grant and the use of the Basal. I am getting a little more clear headed every day. But I am concerned about starting school because I don't want to be butting heads with the Reading coach and our principal expects our grade levels to be consistent. For example: I want to do a reading log and my reading coach said I have to speak with everyone at grade level and see if they're interested and we have to have the same expectations.

So I am concerned about what degree of flexibilty I will have for reader's workshop and our school is expecting all the grade levels to be moving towards centers during guided reading.

I am hoping as school begins (september 5th) things will become less muddled. And I will be returning to this room often!

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Yes let's keep it going.
Old 08-21-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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I'm up for it. I'm so glad to hear that you guys are feeling about the same as me. I'm also taking a literacy class here at our school. My head feels like it is just toooooo full of ideas and I am having trouble "getting my ducks in a row". I'm taking Debbie home with me tonight to study. (We are in our second week of school this week.) I'm still resorting my books and working on my classroom! Overwhelmed????? Just a bit.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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I'm still here too! Just been busy setting up my classroom.

Rebecca, I am having the same struggle as you. My school used to be a balanced literacy only school - so there was a lot of choice on how to teach things. Now we have also adopted the Scott-Foresman and there are way too many workbooks and scripted things for my teaching style. I will still do it, but I'm keeping it to a minimum compared to the other more meaningful things I want to implement. It will be a challenge to figure out how to balance both, especially because I'm trying to get my National Boards this year in literacy (and they definitely do NOT want to see basal teaching!)

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To many ideas?
Old 08-21-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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Do any of you struggle with too many ideas and find it difficult to fuse them with what you must do? I have found another resource that is complimentary to Debbie's book which is helping a bit in visualize and step by step implementation of a plan. I is concise and very helpful. It is called The Daily Five. You can preview it on the Stenhouse publishers site. It is really helping me.
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ideas!
Old 08-22-2006, 04:25 AM
 
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Yes, I definately struggle with that. this summer I've tried concentrate on "boiling" down all of these ideas swirling around until I came up with my non-negotiables: shared reading, read aloud, reader's workshop, guided reading, shared writing, writer's workshop, and phonics. I used to have so much other STUFF-- lessons here and there that didn't cleanly fit into one of those categories. Now, if I want to do something, I'll look at through the lens of one of my core structures. (Ex: basal work- when we have to do it- will fit into the shared reading slot)

I've never read Daily Five, but I've heard lots of great things about it!! The books, Growing Readers (collins) and Reading Essentials (Routman) kind of did the same thing for me that Daily Five did for you. This is why now I"m on the crusade at my school to convince others that they can't just stop with Miller!!


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Old 08-22-2006, 04:46 AM
 
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I am struggling with things like the basal workbook...I am in a Reading First coach who is watching our every moves. I HAVE to use the basal components. I am working on finishing Mosaics of Thought and Strategies that work. Next on my reading list is Reading Essentials it is clearly a must read. It seems that all I have done this summer is read I am anxious to begin implementing. School doesn't start for those of us in Michigan until September 5th. SO I think I will be visiting the University library to get Reading Essentials for Labor day weekend.

My poor DH is sick of my school books...they keep me up ALL night!
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paradox!!
Old 08-22-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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AAARGH!! Your message set off a cord in me... It is SUCH a paradox when you have these people who are supposed reading specialists who have blinders on and don't trust teachers who are bettering themselves by reading and constantly learning. Just because every class is doing the same thing does NOT mean everyone is learning. Schools only choose basals because they don't want to jump into the nitty-gritty, messy work of studying and going on the journey-- because that's TRULY what it is-- of setting out to deliver the most meaningful, authentic reading instruction that we can.

Our school is the exact same way-- in ours it's the reading specialists as well as administration that haven't read the current stuff. I constantly have to do things with my door closed, and I'm SICK OF IT!!

The only things that keep me going are: my students and their amazing abilities to learn and grow and teachers like you who are in there with me not excepting the _______ that we're handed.

It kind of felt good to get that off my back-- I don't know why I decided to vent now... hope you know it's not directed at you or your school. Just big-picture all-over stuff!
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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I completely agree! It's such a frustrating situation to KNOW and RESEARCH what is best for kids, and have someone else who probably hasn't even been in the classroom tell you how you should be doing it by following this, this and this step. I, too, am all about the journey! I have grown as a teacher not by following word for word what others have told me, but by experimenting, challenging myself, reading, researching, etc. And I want my students to do the same. I want them to be authentic readers, not robots. I want them to critically think!
I want myself to critically think!
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yeah!
Old 08-22-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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Right on, sister!
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I am so tired I can hardly...
Old 08-22-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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keep my eyes open but your words could be mine. I am "required" to follow a pacing chart with the basal and be on story X on a specific date. My word wall words are dictated (how does that make sense... they should be the words MY kids need to know), I am supposed to deliver my instruction via reader's workshop format but using the basal and its components... no continuity of instruction (the basal jumps around too much), stories inappropriate for most of the kids (too hard or too easy for independent reading but we are again "required" to have the kids "read" grade level text on their own so they are prepared for standardized testing), lessons anything but mini... I could go on and on.

In addition, I get cryptic messages from our reading TILs that I can fudge with the expectations but have to keep things the same within the grade level which is impossible because the other teacher hasn't been given this ambiguous OK to do what I think is best. Yikes! I, too, close the door, go through the motions on some things and try my best to provide the right program so my kiddos learn.

By the way, thanks for the tips about text formatting. Now I can use colors, too!
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:49 AM
 
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I have just started to visit the meeting rooms which I find to be such a great idea. I work in a large urban school and you would think that I would have plenty of people to talk to, but teaching tends to be a little isolated at times and it will be wonderful to listen and brainstorm with those of you here! What I am really confused about and perhaps someone can enlighten me is the fact that quite a few posters have mentioned the fact that their districts are going back to basals. Is this the new trend? Didn't we do this before and found it to be lacking? Give me good quality literature every time!
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Debbie Miller discussion
Old 09-09-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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I know this is way late, but I too would like to join this discussion
especially specific successful books used to model coomprehension strategies.
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not late
Old 09-10-2006, 03:43 AM
 
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IT's not late, because even though we kind of started in the summer, the discussion will (hopefully) start up again when people really get into the routine. This time it'll be more rooted in what's happening in our classrooms, where as in the summer we were just preparing and speculating.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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Hi Judy

I'm posting months after your post--but oh well. I just got turned onto this fabulous website and am reading all I can and posting as it strikes me. Better late than never????

You had a question about basals...ick! I finished my masters in reading about 2 years ago. Many of the teachers in my cohort were in NCLB schools with federal funds. They were as disgusted as the teachers who posted here that they were being watched like hawks by rdg coaches and had to teach this very scripted curriculum. I can't imagine how they returned to their classroom each day after learning about best practices in their masters classes! It's a sad sad thing.
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