Saturday, June 23, 2012

3 ways to read a book!!

As I posted earlier, I totally plan to use the Daily 5 in my classroom this year. Now to clarify,let me explain the approach my team has used for the last few years (and been quite successful with) for Language Arts.

Two years ago, our team was new...I had moved up from teaching/team leader for 1st grade for 9 years. We had another teacher who was a new addition to our school and in her 2nd year of teaching (this was her first year in 2nd grade) and an experienced teacher who was coming out of a pull-out program to the classroom and even with all her experience it was her first year in 2nd grade.

The spring before my move, we had voted on and accepted a new adoption for Language Arts. (McGraw-Hill Treasures if you're curious). So EVERYTHING was new. We had an unusually LARGE group of already identified Gifted/Talented (my district calls it PACE--don't ask me what that acronym stands for) kiddos. We had an equally large number of those kids who didn't make PACE/ weren't tested for PACE or were needing to be 'watched' for PACE. Ironically, we had also an unusually large number of low-babies. My one advantage with this group is since I had taught them in 1st grade, I knew them well.

That spring I had also attended a district team leader meeting in which we somehow got on the topic of Language Arts and how you serve ALL the kids and ALL the needs and get it all in. One of the ladies at my table mentioned how her team splits the kids up depending on their need. The ones that need intense phonics work/word work/sight words are in one group, the ones who need fluency in another, comprehension another, advanced work and expanding vocabulary in another....and they use the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress assessment...DON'T get me started!) and the TPRI (Texas Primary Reading Inventory) to determine who fits in which group. Their groups are dynamic...meaning when a kid starts 'catching up' on one need and another becomes greater, they may switch him/her to another group to meet that need. It was truly a slap my head kinda moment! WHY hadn't I thought of that?

So, I went back to my principal , sold the idea as one of my original ideas so she would know what a genius I was,  told her how the other schools were meeting the needs and being sucessful, and she gave me a big fat "GO AHEAD" and I nervously took the idea to my team. I have to admit I was nervous....what if they didn't buy into it? Luckily, these resilient ladies were all for trying it. So, I took the low babies---which is basically the phonics/word work group, we had a 'fluency' and  'comprehension' group and two advanced expand vocabulary groups. VOILA!!

We called our divided up groups "Colleges" and took on the emblem of our Alma Maters.....So we had Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UT, Baylor and TCU. The kids LOVED it! WE  LOVED it! We saw huge advances in was SO much easier than trying to work around all the pull-outs that occur during language arts time and try to fit in ALL levels of reading groups with equal quality given to each of them!!

Well, THIS SPRING I got wind of the Daily 5. I read up on it. I bought the books (e-book versions)  and decided THIS would make our 'college' group approach EVEN better!!! Teaching a strategy to use and practice on self-selected books, in my opinion, is pure GENIUS!!! (Another head slapper moment!) I can picture this working even with our divided groups. It allows us to focus even more on what they need to work on, allow THEM to pick their goals and work on that goal independently.

SO....all that to say, I have been busy preparing for the Daily 5 version of my college group!! And since I am going to use this in conjunction with my Western theme, I have been making  a few posters to go along with it. THIS one I have made to show the 3 ways to read a book. I think I am going to put it on my "WANTED" bulletin the center piece....and will let the kids make a "WANTED" poster of themselves to show what their reading goal is ....should make a cute bulletin board....or at least it does in my head!!
SO, here it is. I'm going to convert it to a pdf  in Googledocs because it just does really funky things with my fonts in powerpoint and I haven't had time to troubleshoot and figure that out yet!! Feel free to grab...and if you want/need something changed on it, let me know and I can email you a non-pdf version!!!