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Considering Purchasing Growing Readers
Old 03-30-2007, 05:34 PM
 
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I am an avid fan of Debbie Miller and I would like to add to my professional resource collection. I have heard a lot about Growing Readers and how helpful it is to instruction. My question is... I do a combination of reading workshop and guided reading (fountas and pinnell per county standards) and I was wondering if Growing Readers would be a good book for me. Is it mainly focused on a reader's workshop approach or could I also get some use out of it if I am doing both approaches? Thanks for your advice in advance.


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Readers workshop and
Old 03-30-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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guided reading go hand in hand. I consider guided reading/small group instruction a component of the workshop. Growing Readers gives you the how tos of the workshop and is a wonderful compliment to Reading with Meaning. I read RWM first and thought I didn't need GR until I took a closer look. Now I NEED both!
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I agree
Old 03-30-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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I agree that guided reading and reading workshop go hand and hand. But... after reading Miller and Fountas and Pinnell I do a difference in their philosophy. I am still on the path to finding the balance and also learning how to pull guided reading groups for shared strategy focus and not just based on the same readling level. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:24 PM
 
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At the beginning of this year I think I was kind of where you are at. Eventually I totally threw myself into readers workshop (Collins, Miller) and I think it is the best thing I have done. The progress that my kids have made is amazing and I feel like my teaching is so much more explicit.

As far as Collins being helpful while doing guided reading (Fountas and Pinnell style) I think it can be helpful because she really has good mini-lessons especially at the beginning of the year for leading a life of a reader, choosing books, reading strategies. She bullets many ideas for mini-lessons which has been extremely beneficial. But I must warn you...I think Collins and Miller will make you want to change to doing a full on readers workshop. Good Luck! Let me know what you decide!
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Would love full-blown Reader's Workshop!
Old 03-31-2007, 04:22 AM
 
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I would love a full-blown reader's workshop but due to district mandates I have to have daily guided reading groups. I have been talking to a lot of people in and outside of this site about how to incorporate the two and I think that I am almost on that track to understanding how to do it but it is still in the planning stage. Hopefully, Growing Readers can give me some additional ideas!


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Guided Reading
Old 03-31-2007, 06:08 AM
 
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How many daily guided reading groups do you have to have daily and for how long?
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kaycee1128 - It varies
Old 03-31-2007, 07:13 AM
 
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My guided reading groups vary. I have to have GR everyday with my below grade level and on grade level kids. They have to be about 20 minutes each. With my above grade level kids, I have to meet with them atleast 2-3 times a week.
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Oh my gosh!
Old 03-31-2007, 07:28 AM
 
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How do you do it? That seems like it would take up such a great amount of time. I am pretty much supposed to do the same thing but I don't and so far no one has made me! I have really cut back on guided reading this year because I have found that conferences are so much more effective. I'm sure it is because my instruction during conferences is much more explicit than guided reading. Not that there is anything wrong with guided reading I have just found that conferences work better for me. I would like to do more "strategy" guided reading lessons (I think that's what your talking about) but it just hasn't really worked out this year. My goal for next year!

Anyway...I do 1 "guided reading" group each day. My other group is for conferences but if someone were to walk in they would probably consider it guided reading...Not sure if that makes sense! Basically I have the kids that I will conference with that day bring their book boxes to the library and I conference with them. My conferencing group is on the same level. I don't know about your district but in mine no one will know the difference!
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Kaycee...
Old 03-31-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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Thanks so much for your advice. I never thought about doing 1 GR group a day and then coferencing the other half of the time. I have an inclusion class with a special education co-teacher so the guided reading groups are manageable but some of the groups are really big. My big group is my above grade level group so I am thinking that maybe after spring break I could try them with a more reader's workshop conferencing approach instead of guided reading.
How do you feel reader'r workshop versus guided reading works for your below grade level kids?
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:45 AM
 
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Have you seen Bookmuncher's blog? It is a great resource for everything but if you go to the one about readers workshop management she has a picture of a chart she made to plan for conferencing. I made one that is similar and I planned for guided reading. It has helped me be more structered about who and when I meet with kids.

Low kids-the effect that readers workshop has had on my kids is amazing. I started the year with about 10 kids reading a level A or B (DRA). Right now I have 2 kids who have not passed a level 18 (DRA end of the year benchmark in our district). The one kid I have has a passed a level 10 and he came in with little language experience, no concepts of print, and didn't know the majority of his alphabet. I feel like he is finally turning the corner. He was a challenge because he just would not practice his reading. I think he is finally starting to see himself as a reader and he has been reading more so I see that as a big help. The other boy is still only reading about a level 3. He was lower than the other boy when he came in. He is so young and developmentally low. I am also worried that he might have some learning problems because he can't remember anything including the names of kids in the classroom and his cousin.

By the way...I have about 5 others who probably would be considered "low-not real smart" by other teachers but they have already made benchmark and it is only April.

Have you read Allington-What Matters For Struggling Readers (another recommendation by Bookmuncher). It's another book I think you would enjoy. I can't remember exactly but he said something about how teachers just expect that you are going to have a certain number of kids that are low, not very smart, won't get it, etc. But that is not really true it's just that we need to give those kids explicit instruction, books they feel successful with, book choice, etc. I think that is what makes readers workshop so powerful!

Okay, sorry for the book I just wrote...hope some of this makes sense!


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Thanks Everybody!!!
Old 03-31-2007, 09:47 AM
 
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Thank you all for your advice. I just purchased Growing Readers on-line(I was kind of upset that I couldn't find it in the store). It should be here in a couple of days. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure this is not how I am supposed be spending my spring break but as I tell my kids learning never ends especially when it something that you are interested and passionate about Now, here comes the next dilemma... Do I go back to school to get my master's degree in reading? Hmmm. If I could teach reading and writing all day I would be very happy!!!!
I look forward to the continued discussion of growing lifelong readers who read with meaning
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Don't apologize Kaycee... keep writing!
Old 03-31-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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You have truly inspired me by what you wrote. I wish I had spoken to you earlier in the year. I have about 20 kids right now. The majority of them are on grade level. I have 6 who are below grade level. They are also my inclusion kiddos and for half of them the trouble comes with decoding but the other half have trouble with comprehension even after all the RWM we have done this year.
I haven't read Struggling Readers but I may just go pick that up today. Thanks again for your advice.
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One more thing
Old 03-31-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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I forgot to say this on my other post but one of the other benefits of both books is the growth that my medium and high kids have made. So it truly does work for every kid! Happy reading! Glad to have another Miller/Collins groupie on this board! Everyone on this board has really inspired me and given me great ideas!
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Gr
Old 04-03-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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Can't wait to start reading this book!
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You'll LOVE GR (Growing Readers)
Old 04-03-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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..I had the opportunity to work with Kathy Collins for three days last summer. She's AWESOME (that's an understatement)!!!! She's so down to earth. She acknowledged that conferring is one of the most difficult portions of the workshop. She showed us her notes from her first year - they weren't good, that's for sure. Made me realize that Rome wasn't built in a day...and that she wasn't a guru when she first started out either.

As far as guided reading goes - one of the key components to the workshop is doing guided reading groups. I do one a day (I'm fortunate to have para support and they take one or two groups for me) Typically I use these guided reading groups to support whatever I've taught in my mini-lesson - all the kids are reading books at their instructional level. (in workshop during independent reading time I have them reading "just right" books which are are their independent reading level, or even one or two levels below that) Every other day or so I'll pull a strategy group - these kids are of mixed ability. Often I'll pull a Weekly Reader, a Scholastic small book, or something I print off the internet, ask them to bring any book from their Book Nook (just right books/independent level), or I'll take a big book page or two and work on a specific strategy. I had a handful of kids who have been ignoring punctuation and reading too quickly (all of varying levels)...so I pulled them today and worked on pacing and punctuation.

GL - you won't regret purchasing GR - you'll find it to be enjoyable as she writes the way she speaks, with a sense of humor and from her heart. I can't remember what grade level you teach - if it's first, I think you'll find GR perfect for the start of the school year (until around December) and then you'll opt for DM - RWM (which you'll use until the end of the school year)...

Holly
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Is Growing Readers....
Old 04-08-2007, 05:40 AM
 
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Is Growing Readers appropriate for intermediate grades?
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