Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1:1 Literacy Groups

Here is a lonnnng overdue post! Life has been so busy. Who knew home ownership entailed raking leaves, shoveling snow, and cleaning more than 1 room and bathroom? I don't miss apartment life, but I took a few things for granted! 

Things are starting to pick up at The Sara Marie School with our first gala and open house coming up. Enrollment has been increasing which is great news :)

Oh, and the Mr. adopted a kitten for Christmas. Her name is Ivy. Precious, yes?

This post is going to focus on literacy in kindergarten. I do use Daily 5 (see my previous posts explaining that in detail) but this year I'm not using CAFE with it. Because I work at a private school we have small class sizes. Instead of working with traditional reading groups, I meet with each student 1:1 3 times a week using Jan Richardson's Guided Reading format. My kiddos are making great progress using Richardson's approach. 

This is my handy-dandy teacher bag that stays with me throughout reading. It has everything I need from my data binder to magnetic letters. 

Here is where I keep all of my leveled readers. I have a bin for each level. It keeps me organized :) I bought most of them through Scholastic and on eBay.

This is what the lesson plan format looks like for emergent readers from Richardson's book. It follows a 3 day format. I love that each day begins with a sight word review. I've noticed tremendous growth. I had students begin the year with no sight word knowledge (or alphabet!) and now know almost all the pre-primer and primer words. I do NOT use the "drill and kill" method for teaching them. We go over the word wall once a day as a class and then we spend 1 minute reviewing them/learning new ones when they meet with me 1:1 during reading. 

On day 2, after we have practiced sight words and reread our story, we work on phonics or whatever it is I think they need practice with. Richardson gives a lot of ideas for this part but I also have a huge binder that I put together in college for no reason other than to use up my print quota before I graduated, but boy have I put it to use. Most of the collection is from PALS.  I have a section for beginning sounds, blending, rhymes, sound-to-letter segmentation, alphabet recognition, comprehension, concept of word, letter sounds, print knowledge, vocabulary, word recognition, writing, spelling, and fluency. This truly is an AMAZING resource AND it's free (with the exception of all the printing you will do!). 

On the third day we do a sight word review then I give them a sentence that includes many words they should know and one or two that they haven't necessarily learned but I want to see what they do with it. I do NOT do a traditional spelling test. I underline the words that they should know and those are the words I count in their score. Some students  only need to know 3, some 5, some 7. It just depends on the child. The sentence in the picture is "My mom said I was the best at some crafts." This student should have known "my, said, I, was, the, at, some" and he did so he got a 6/6. I also gained some insight on how he spelled "best" and "crafts" which were not right, but he did not need to get those correct for full credit. 

Also, I'm looking into a new math program for next year. Can you either tell me here what you use or comment below. Thank you :)