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Reading Workshop Pacing
Old 12-06-2007, 08:26 PM
 
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I feel like I am SOOOO far behind with RW this year (first grade). I am finishing up connections (Text to self, text to text, text to world) before our Christmas break. I guess I am looking for validation--but just wondering if I am really behind or on pace with you guys?????



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Old 12-06-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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You are farther ahead than I am! I won't get to connections until we come back from Christmas break! I am just getting into retelling. I am only able to do RW 4 days a week, plus these last couple of weeks have been FULL of interruptions and it only gets worse from here to Christmas! So, that is why I am so far behind. I am sure there are others who are in the same boat, but I hear you...I feel like I am WAY behind!
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Behind also
Old 12-07-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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I am behind in reading workshop as well. I feel like I have had to take a lot of time on some things with my kiddos and then there are the interruptions this quarter with Thanksgiving etc. That makes me feel better that I'm not the only one behind.
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Glad to hear I am not alone!
Old 12-07-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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I am just starting text to text connections. It feels as though I am going at a snail's pace sometimes, but I will just keep plugging along knowing my kids are getting far more than if I were not doing RW at all.
And Writer's Workshop? Well that's going a little slower than I had hoped too.... Oh well...!
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:38 PM
 
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All of you are together, and I don't think that anyone is behind! You are doing what your kids need. I think it's much better to go slow at the beginning and you are giving them skills that are really necessary foundations.


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Old 12-07-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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I also feel "behind", but think Bookmuncher is right. Every year is different, and look how much they have learned already! When we get back in January we can hit the ground running
I stepped away from Small Moments in WW and have just been working on grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. We have had lots of freewriting and let me tell you, it was what I needed to spark them. Many have started Gingerbread man stories after a mini-unit on retelling using the Gingerbread Man. It was so much fun, and they learned a lot.
They are six and seven and it is all about the holidays! I can just feel the excitement in the air, and the magic of their "believing" is just so special. Hope you all enjoy the next two weeks.
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I feel better!
Old 12-07-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Now I don't feel so alone! I was sure I was dragging behind where I should be. I guess I do need to tell myself that my kiddos are somewhat a lower ability than last year's group. Personality, home support, etc. reflects on where the kids are. But --we are making connections, retelling, predicting, talking, enjoying reading independently and with partners.

I keep blaming the new basal that the district is requiring, additional testing EVERY week, etc. Thanks for making me feel better. Some days I feel great knowing that I continue with RW even though the basal has taken up a large chunk of time.

It's almost as if getting into connections before I feel we are really beginning RW.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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I am just into re-telling. I do RW five days a week, but there are always interruptions. I am going to keep plugging away!!
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Impossible
Old 12-08-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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Yes~they are 6 and 7 years old! It is so incredibly hard for me to get it all in--in one day! Writer's Workshop, Reader's Workshop, word study, math and a project or two here and there.

I have a colleague who, at all costs, gets the above in each day but I don't know how--nor would I want to be that teacher. We go with the flow and we're reading or writing or mathing one way or another and we're happy!

I stopped stressing about the teacher "next door". I'm not her and she's not me. The kdgn teachers specifically choose kids to go in my first grade classroom because I teach the way I do and they choose other kids to go in the other teacher's rooms because they teach the way they do!

I do know that Writer's Workshop is getting easier. This is my 3rd year with UofS and I'm getting quite comfortable with what we need to do and how to proceed. We're having a ball writing How-Tos right now! It's easy and fun and perfect for this crazy time of year.

Reading Workshop is a whole new animal for me this year. It's going slow but I do find time every day for some independent reading...maybe not a mini lesson...but at least they get reading time and they choose a book to go home with them. In years past I used to do guided reading -- so even now I try to pull my low kids in a group each day and send them home with a book we've read together that's at their level.

I guess I'm rambling....but I'm happy to read all of your posts--to see that you feel like you're behind because I've felt the same way. I feel much better now--but of course, I'm always pushing myself...that sense of urgency! Can't just say "oh well" and let it go--I'm always TRYING and sometimes succeeding in getting it all in but we're also doing the other fun stuff and it's not hurting us one bit in the long run.

Keep on keepin on!
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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I am also finishing up connections right before break. I think we are doing great. I am right there with you!


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With you Jerz
Old 12-10-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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I have stepped outside the WW model as well--my kids are in desperate need of grammar, punct., and sentence structure.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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What did you do for your free writing? We have just finished up our unit on Writing for Readers and need a break.
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Aubie...
Old 12-13-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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For free writing days in my classroom, I have had kids do "squiggle writings." The kids make a squiggle on the top of their page (or you can give them a page that already has a squiggle on it) and they make a picture from the squiggle. Once they have a picutre, they can write a story to go with their picture. I make it a rule that the story cannot be one sentence and that it must have a beginning/middle/end, other than that, they can do what they want. The kids love making these and they get so creative. You can also do a similar activity with stickers. You give the kids 3-4 stickers and they stick them on a piece of paper and draw a "scene," They then make a story to go with their picture (you can tie this activity into any theme). Just a couple of ideas. Hope they help!
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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I can't wait to try the squiggle writing tomorrow. I think my kids will love it. I have done the sticker stories before, but not this year. I have been using "quiet notebooks" and the kids love them. They are the spiral bound
memo pads. I give them out the first week of school for them to use. We only do it about every 2-3 weeks, but they write in their quiet notebooks anything they want to: lists, notes, small drawings, copy words around the room . . . the only rule is they have to work quietly. It's kind of like silent reading only instead of a book of choice, they have writing choice. They LOVE it! And it is soooooo peaceful! They write and write and write. I'll give them new ones as a Christmas treat to keep at school for the new year.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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I love your idea of the "quiet notebooks." I might have to start that when we come back from X-mas break (I will have to get some notebooks as a gift). My kids are dying to write something other than small moments, and these notebooks would be perfect for that. I might even have to try and incorporate it once a week. Thanks for the idea. Have fun with the squiggle writings. My kids have always enjoyed them!
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notebooks
Old 12-14-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I am wondering myself about giving my kids notebooks to just write whatever they are feeling like at the moment. I posted elsewhere about the writing seminar I attended in which the presenter uses notebooks for students to write whatever they want(they keep them in their desks) and then uses this as a springboard to more structured writing.
Do any of you put guidelines on these notebooks, i.e. no pictures or only once a week etc?
I really think there is a need for it. When we are not doing writers workshop I have students asking to do it. The notebooks can also be used to add mementos and anything meaningful that might enrich a students "writerly life", so to speak.
I am wondering if any one else has any input into this idea? I like it!
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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I agree that these notebooks are a great way to help them lead "writerly" lives, but I definately think pictures should be allowed. When I write fiction and sometimes other genres, I ALWAYS start by sketching.
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Thanks Bookmuncher
Old 12-14-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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I agree that pictures should be allowed ( I too have students start their writing with a sketch). What I am worried about are the students who might choose to just draw and color and not bother with any writing(I do have a few who could fall in to this category).
Do you use notebooks? If so how do you approach it with your students?
Also, do you think that if they have the regular outlet of free writing in the notebook they might feel less inspired to write in writers workshop?
Thanks again for your input!
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If I may...
Old 12-14-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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jump in on this discussion regarding notebooks and responses. I think that my kids have been used to sketching first when we write (Units of Study), etc. I think since they are familiar with sketching and what it entails--a quick sketch versus a finished illustration--that they would use the sketch as the basis for their thoughts.

If the kiddos haven't been allowed to draw very often then it might seem that they are more interested in the art work and not the thought work.
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