Thursday, December 25, 2014

Reading Workshop

Originally posted 10/15/14

Although I've had most of the reading workshop pieces in place for awhile, it's also been in need of smoothing out. The question was how do I make it more about the students rotating themselves and knowing where they should go without my keeping track of up to five groups rotating between five centers along with teaching reading groups! Craziness!

So, I took an idea from one teacher who use to use color coded cards and containers, but the students chose a random card, which could make reading groups difficult to fit in as well as odd overlaps in the rest of the time? Another idea is that last year, everyone rotated between three activities while I pulled back the reading groups. I like and dislike the idea of keeping the reading groups together throughout the rotations. So far, it doesn't seem to matter much with the groups this year since they mostly get along well and work well together. Therefore, I've been rotating them with their reading groups most of the time, but it's been messy to keep track. I want them to be more in charge of knowing what they need to do, so I put these two ideas together and...

viola! (Recently, I changed game to writing. It's great!)

The group color doesn't mean anything other than it's arranged by who has reading groups 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Other than that, the rotations are really the same. In the mornings, I have three rotations and in the afternoon there are five rotations (now four rotations). The students' names are listed under the card with their group's rotation. 

These were going to be for each student, but then I realized that they didn't all need their own card, so I put one of each card on the board. Now I just say, "switch," and they can check to see where they go next! They love it and it made everything so much easier today!

The other change is using these posters:
Part of the students' education is being able to reflect on their work/behavior. At the end of each day, students think about how they did and write the number corresponding to their behavior and effort* on their calendar page. Then they think about what they need to do to have a good day tomorrow. At first they were all giving themselves the highest rating, but now they're starting to be more honest.

Update: I began using Class Dojo (instead of tickets) for behavior and the whisper bell to help with volume control. I love the positiveness of both! The students understand and it's quick and simple.

*I'm going to change the posters to reflect the whole day instead of just reading workshop (I still haven't done that!).