This year our 2nd grade is starting Walk to Read during our 90 min reading block. Students are grouped according to reading abilities. At reading time, the kids switch rooms to have their reading time with a teacher that teaches that level. For example, we have 4 teachers. One teaches the low, one teaches middle low, one has middle high and then one has the high group. This way all the students in your reading class are all at about the same reading level. As a former ESE teacher, I have the low group. (Go figure!) If any of you have experience with this, let me know your thoughts and ideas.
We do this for our 1st and 2nd graders. Here are things that need to be discussed:
1.) Consistency among classroom procedures (getting drink, going to the bathroom, getting a pencil)
2.) Consistency among literacy work stations/Daily 5/whatever you use
3.) Classroom management- if there are behavior issues, who should handle them, and how?
4.) Do students bring book bags/assessment notebooks with them? Or are they going to be stored in their reading classroom?
I will let you know if I think of anything else. Clearly, the big picture is just CONSISTENCY. The same expectations should take place in EVERY classroom, so there is not confusion from a child's homeroom class and reading class, and also if the child moves up/down a level and needs to suddenly go to another classroom for reading.... consistency is just so key. Your literacy stations should be similar, same rules, same procedures, etc. to make this logistically go smoothly. Good luck!!!
We have to exchange for our ESL time. I found that it worked well when we planned ahead and used the same topics/vocabulary. That way the kids could relate to each other during the rest of the day. Just a thought.
My school has been doing Walk to Read for 6 years. We absolutely love it. It is great when you only have to focus on a certain ability group. You can get way more accomplished during the 90 minutes. (more direct instruction)
reading intervention at a time after the 90 minute reading block, so our daily reading is 120 minutes. We are not a Reading First school. Your system sounds wonderful. We had a system similar to yours this year for our 30 minutes, but our principal and reading resourse teacher stopped it. We ended up only working with the ones who needed help according to dibels and a phonics screener and the kids who didn't need the help were reading to self or working on centers. What a nightmare! I felt sorry for the kids. They loved going to another teacher for the 30 minutes and working on different activities. All four of the classroom teachers hated the second arrangement.
I am not a fan of walk to read for several reasons. I just returned from a Choice Literacy conference that echoed my thoughts about this. At the conference the focus was on Daily 5 and CAFE model of teaching and assessment. Students are instructed based on strategies of reading that they need help in the areas of comprehension, fluency, accuracy and vocabulary. I think this makes much more sense and helps bonds kids who are working on similiar strategies. Also when you "keep" your own students you have more flexibility and connection with students.
I am a teacher and have taught in a Success For All school and now teach in a building that has the Daily 5, and I love the Daily 5! My own kids are in a Walk to Read school, but will be moving to my building to get a higher quality literacy education. After teaching for a year in a SFA school I saw horrible examples of lazy teachers, bored students and LOW readers. Now after teaching for three years in a Daily 5 school I can't begin tell you how GREAT Daily 5 is. It honestly takes me at least an hour a day of planning for Daily 5. My first year was over 2 hours a day of planning, but the results are amazing! I think SFA and other scripted programs are for LAZY teachers. If you don't want to spend your time thinking about reading and planning for your lessons then SFA is the program for you. I looped up with my 1st graders and they are ALL reading above level because I am teaching what they need instead of what a book tells me. I would quit teaching before I went back to a SFA or Walk to Read school!
Thank you for your post and heartfelt statements! I have used the Daily 5/CAFE for the past 4 years and have seen tremendous growth in my students motivation, independence and literacy growth.This framework as helped me become a better literacy teacher. The majority of my students were all reading above grade level and students who would have not met grade level standards reached them because I was able to provide them with differentiated focused instruction. We need to keep spreading the word of the positive impact of the Daily 5/CAFE. There is so much research in so many areas that support the framework of the Daily 5 and CAFE of how and why this framwork is so successful. Is everyone in your school using the Daily 5? So many schools seem to be jumping on the Walk to Read Bandwagon in the name of RTI when using the framwork of the Daily 5 and CAFE allows teachers to provide RTI in the classroom. IT REALLY WORKS!!!!!! The Daily 5 and CAFE provides Success for All!!!
I completely agree with your sentiments!! Building a classroom culture of literacy is so essential to students motivation and success. When using a literacy framwork like the Daily 5 and CAFE, classroom teachers are able to provide focused, direct instruction based on students strengths and needs. I have attended 4 Choice Literacy Workshops focusing on the Daily 5/ CAFE and literacy leadership. They are the most wonderful conferences filled with practical research based practices, motivational speakers and are validating and uplifting to the profession of teaching. Without the wisdom of the many great literacy leaders who are featured through choice literacy I think I would find a new career!!!
I am thankful for everyone's responses. My school initiated a walk to read model of instruction last year and found it to be quite helpful in better meeting our students' needs. However, it is not without its challenges or disadvantages. I have noticed that most responses indicate using walk to read in conjunction with SFA or other scripted programs. I was curious if anyone has used a walk to read model without a scripted program? We use Read Well and Open Court during our 60 minute walk to read block. Does anyone have any feedback or information to share about these programs? I would love any advice, challenges, etc. Thank you.
My team and I have done Walk to Read for the past 3 years and LOVE IT! We also incorporate Daily 5 (really the Daily 3) and CAFE strategies within our reading groups. We have guided reading groups within our walk to read group, that levels the students even more. We use Reading A to Z as our main curriculum, switching back and forth between fiction and non-fiction every two weeks or so. My school is a Title 1 school with our free/reduced lunch at 40%. Since implementing this program, our state assessment scores have increased dramatically, as high as 89% of our 3rd graders meeting standard. I think that people who are "against" it, maybe do not have a high-performing team that trust one another with their students. Just my "two cents!"
It seems that there is some confusion about what "walk to read" means. Walk to read refers to students being homogeneously grouped for all or part of the reading block. Students may or may not be in their own classroom - depending on where their needs fall. You do NOT have to use a specific curriculum! In our district, schools use walk to read in various ways using our core curriculum - Houghton Mifflin. Most schools have students stay in their homeroom for whole group instruction and move to a homogeneous grouping during small group instruction. Small group instruction focuses on the specific needs of that group (we group our students by instructional profile). Very intensive students may need a scripted program during this small group time (which would also be used during their intervention time at a different time of the day). But most students use the core curriculum during small group. Schools with title support flood specific grade levels during their small group time, but schools without title support have to get creative... those groups who are the most intensive must have teacher directed instruction every day - those groups with higher skills might work at centers through rotation on some days.
Springfield Public Schools (Oregon)
I have to say....not all teachers who do walk to read are "LAZY" as you say. There are some teachers who find this a terrific way to really incorporate the Reader's Workshop model, with the Walk to Read model, and are far from lazy. It takes just as much planning if you are doing it right, and it teaches the children at their level...rather than splitting your time into tiny chunks for each level..you can focus on what you have. You high kids get to reach for the stars..which they are capable of and deserve, and your lower children get the phonics/fluency skills they need to get on level. I don't like the label of "Lazy" for all who do this model....so wrong. Maybe there are some lazy people...but shame on them if they continue to be teachers of elementary..as it's such an important academic time for children.
One of my schools changes classrooms for reading with kids as young as first grade. I was skeptical at first that they could handle it at that age, but the kids really surprised me! They have handled it very well.
Book bags are kept on hooks by their classroom doors, and they bring them.