Adventures in Literacy Land: JD's Rockin' Readers

Showing posts with label JD's Rockin' Readers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JD's Rockin' Readers. Show all posts

Literacy Center Organization



Hi everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!  Are you as overwhelmed with school right now as I am?  This time of the year is just crazy!  We are finishing assessments this week and then grade cards go home next week.  Then, it's Parent Teacher Conferences right before Turkey Day!  I am always ready for Thanksgiving Break more than any other break we get throughout the year (except summer of course). 

Today, I am going to share with you how I run my Literacy Centers so that I can work with my Guided Reading groups.  

First off, my teaching partner, Mrs. Kruse, and I do Center Time together.  This picture is from my classroom looking into her classroom. We have sliding doors that we open each day during this time.  Our center block usually lasts between 45 minutes to an hour.  I try to get in 2 or 3 Guided Reading Lessons during this time.

WE OPEN THE CLASSROOM SLIDING DOORS


ROTATION BOARD


We do three center rotations a day.  We each have four different groups.  All of my groups are a mix of ability levels.  We regulate the time that the students spend at each center activity.  It is usually between 15 and 20 minutes.  Our Listening Center is our guide for how long they are at each center.  We usually put two books at the Listening Center that last about 12-15  minutes total and when that group is finished, then we switch by ringing a bell.  Students know to switch to their next center unless they have not finished their first center.  If they haven't finished, they must finish and then go on to the next center.

LISTENING CENTER



This is our Listening Center.  We have the same cards out there as we do on our rotation board.  We use arrows to tell who is in charge of running the center that day.  We have our Listening Center set up  in the hallway right outside of our classroom.  It's nice because we can have them listen to the stories without headphones and Mrs. Kruse can still see their every move from her Guided Reading table.

We do a mix of Daily 5 and regular Literacy Centers.  For our Work On Writing center, we just have the students get their Writing Workshop folder out and they get extra time that day to work on whatever writing they are doing during Writing Workshop.  

WORD WORK, SPELLING WORDS, AND SIGHT WORDS


These centers are kept in Mrs. Kruse's room.  All of the materials needed for these centers are in this storage container.  We usually have two different options for Spelling Words and Sight Words.  They have a list of their spelling words in their Center Folder to use (this is also where we put any paper/pencil work for the week).  At the end of the week, I take a quick glance to make sure they are completing their work.  I staple it together and send it home.  Our weekly sight words are on a pocket chart in the classroom for them to use as a reference when they go to the Sight Word center.  Our Word Work center is usually an activity that helps the students practice the phonics skill that we are working on that week.  For example, this week we are doing a WH write the room activity.  This also goes along with the skill on our spelling test this week.

POETRY CENTER


The Poetry Center is kept in my room.  The poem that we use each week is one that we have read everyday the week prior to putting it into the center.  The students are very familiar with the poem and can read it on their own.  They put the poems into their Poetry Notebook and have some sort of activity to go with it.  (Sometimes we have parent helpers help with this center).  Most of the poems I use come from Jane Loretz.  She has MANY different Interactive Poetry Centers for sale in her store.

iPADS


We also have an iPad center.  At this center, the students are allowed to go to different reading apps that we have on the iPads.  Our ultimate goal is to have them using and reading books from their Raz-Kids account- but it isn't set up yet:(  It should be very soon though!  I can't wait for them to be able to be reading books at their level during this time.

During our Read to Self time, students are allowed to choose whose room they want to go and read in.  We built up our stamina at the beginning of the year and they do a nice job with getting their browsing box and reading to themselves.

During our Read to Someone time, students meet in the middle of the two rooms (where the doors open) and raise their hand.  This means they are looking for a partner to read with.  We allow students to read with another student from either room.

Here are some fun Sound/Letter Boxes that you can use during your Guided Reading Lessons!



I LOVE having this time to work with my kiddos at their reading level.  We can get so much accomplished during this time by using The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit that I made.  It makes planning a breeze and the activities are fun and effective:)  

If you are interested in purchasing The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit, try to get your school to purchase it by using this FREE download explaining the product to your principal.  It also includes directions on how to purchase with a School Purchase Order.  Multiple licenses are at a reduced cost.  What do you have to lose??  

I'm sure I haven't covered everything, but I know I am always interested in how others set up their room and their Literacy Centers.  I am happy to answer any other questions that you might have:)






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RTI Documentation



Hello everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!
I'm sharing a post with you today that I had on my blog awhile back.  It's had a lot of views and I know people are always interested in how they can better document interventions.  So, I am going to share with you a form that I created to help me keep track!

I created an RTI progress monitoring freebie and have had people ask exactly how I use it.  I have been documenting and thought I would share a student that I previously wrote a post about.  This student has been struggling with sight words in her reading.  She gets many of them confused and they are definitely not automatic in her reading.  This student is a good artist and loves to draw so I wanted to use her strengths to help her get excited about learning these words that are difficult for her.  You can check out the blog post {here} for more information.
The first page of the progress monitoring plan is basic information.  This page describes the students strengths/weaknesses, skills needed to succeed, and intervention skills that you will be specifically working on.  This page also allows you to document what the intervention will be, who is providing the intervention, how often, and what assessments you will use to monitor the progress.  Here is a sample of my student struggling with sight words. *Here is my disclaimer... I typed this for the purpose of this blog post.  I usually just hand write the documentation but I wanted you to be able to read it- my handwriting is not the best thanks to breaking my arm when I was younger:(
Here is the first page.
When I make copies, I copy page 1 and page 2 back to back.  Page 2 is where I record the Assessment Data and my progress monitoring notes.  For this intervention, I am using my sight word lists (I use Lucy Calkins list from The Teachers College of Reading and Writing).  You can check out my post here that tells why I choose to use her list over Dolch and Fry.  I also am looking at her Reading Benchmark Book running record to see if she is reading the sight words correctly in text.
Page 3 is where I do my daily documentation.  This example is over about a month.  Unfortunately, I didn't see B. L. as much as I had hoped.  She was sick for a few days and I was out with a sick child for a couple days as well.  And- I think we had a couple of snow days... For her intervention I made different flashcards.  Again, to learn more about the intervention and how I made the flashcards, you can go to this blog post.
I hope this helps give you some ideas of possible ways you can use this form to document.  Remember, this is only one example for one specific student.  This form can be used with just about any intervention you may need to do.
If you would like to download this sample, just click {here}.  
For a free blank copy you can click on the picture below.
Please let me know if you have additional questions:)







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Parent Tips and Tricks

Hi everyone, it's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers with you today!  With a new school year upon many of us I decided to update my Parent Tips and Tricks FREEBIE.  This was one of the first things that I made and put on TPT.  It definitely needed a "facelift".  

Basically, this freebie has "newsletters" that can be sent home to parents of beginning readers.  The reason I made it is because many parents want to help at home but they just aren't sure how to help.  Most of the materials that I have to give to parents can be very overwhelming.  There is usually a lot of information packed into a small booklet so I wanted to make something that could be shared over time.

Each newsletter can be sent home at your discretion.  I usually send them when I am teaching those skills in class.  Click on the picture to get this product.




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Guided Reading Binder {Freebie}

Hi!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!

I hope everyone (that is on summer break) is enjoying your time off!  Since school has been out, I have serious been in DO NOTHING mode.  I will be taking a vacation soon and am hoping that I will get back to "work".  I have so many summer to do's and I really need to get busy...

  I thought I would share a freebie with you that I use to help me organize my Guided Reading Groups.   

This is what I use to help me stay organized.
I have my leveled groups.  I use kindergarten benchmarks to get an idea of their reading level at the beginning of the school year.  I'm sure I will be doing some moving around of my groups early on.
I have my supplies ready to go (whiteboards, markers, erasers, sound boxes, wikki sticks, highlighter tape, word windows, magnetic letters) along with my Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit with Guided Reading Lesson Plans.  These help me stay on track of what I need to teach.

Here is a FREEBIE for you to help you get organized too!




I use velcro dots so that I can change my guided reading groups easily!  Just take off the name and move it to another group when needed.









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Spelling- what's your take?


Hi everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!  

This post isn't going to be my normal post where I think maybe I can share a tip to help you in your classroom.  I am actually going to ask the opposite…. I need help:)

In my school (K-4), we are looking into our spelling program and trying to figure out what is best to help our kids.  I would LOVE to hear from you as to what works for you.  Our program now is actually very individualized.  We have 12 words each week.  7 of them are pattern words and the other 5 are sight words (dependent on ability).  
Each week we have parent helpers give our tests because they are individualized.  This is where the problem comes in… it takes the parent about an hour and a half just to give the tests.  So, when she can't show up or we have  delay or cancellation, it just doesn't work out well.  They are extremely time consuming!

We have mixed reviews as a staff as to whether we should even have spelling tests, what types of words we should be giving, and if they are beneficial.  What do you think?  

What spelling programs do you use and do you think they are beneficial?  Thanks for your help!



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Retelling in the Early Years

Hi Everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers.



I wanted to talk a little bit today about comprehension and more specifically retelling.  I am going to just share with you what I have been doing recently with one of my little 6 year old friends who has really been struggling with basic comprehension skills.  In fact, on his last reading benchmark, I was thinking, "What story did you just read?"- That's how inaccurate his retelling was.  He read the book with 98% accuracy but that is about as far as we got.  So- now it's up to me to get "Tyler" to really make reading meaningful rather than word calling.  My first thought is… How can "Tyler" retell a story if he has no idea what he read?  My answer… he can't.  I need to go way back to his strategies while he is reading rather than jumping into how to retell a story.

These were the steps that we have worked on so far…

#1  I had a very direct conversation with "Tyler" about his reading.  I praised him for all of the hard work he has been doing with his reading and his phonics skills.  He has definitely made great improvements since the beginning of the year.

#2  I told him my plan and that our goal is for him to be able to tell about what he has been reading.  It went something like this…

"You are doing a great job with your reading.  But, we need to make sure that when you are reading you are really thinking about what is going on in the story.  I am going to show you some ways that will help you think about the story so that you can enjoy the books that you are reading.  If you are only reading the words and not thinking about what is happening then reading isn't very fun.  Do you want reading to be fun?"  Of course his answer was yes:)

#3  During his guided reading group, I have implemented a couple of activities specifically tailored to "Tyler".  First, while the other kids start reading their story I have been working with "Tyler" page by page.  He reads a page and we talk about what has happened.  As we turn the page I make a quick comment about something related to the story.  For example, "Wow, I wonder who they are going  to meet next?"  This is a great way to get "Tyler" continuously thinking about the story.  Next, I encourage him to reread the page if he can't tell me what happened.  I have tried to have him "picture" it in his head and use the pictures of the book to help him "put it all together".  This has helped.

#4  We did this for a couple of books.  He REALLY struggled with it at first and we were rereading a lot.  Now, he has been doing much better.  We have slowly increased how many pages he reads before giving me a quick retelling of those pages.  We are still working and it isn't going to be an overnight switch but we are making gains.

My next step is going to be working on retelling the entire story after reading.  We are going to be using my Retelling Bookmark so that he has some visual support.  I will also start out by allowing him to use the book- page by page to help him retell.  We will slowing back off on the amount of book support that I give him depending on how he does.  Here is a FREEBIE bookmark for you to use with your little ones.  It has really helped many of my kids.



The reason I wrote this post is to encourage you to really look at your struggling readers and find out both their strengths and weaknesses.  Devise a plan and let that student know exactly what you expect and what you are going to do to work toward your goal. 

What do you do to help students with basic retelling and comprehension skills?  I would love to hear more ideas!


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RTI Documentation- Tier 3


Does your brain just start to go crazy when you hear the words DOCUMENTATION??  I know mine does.  Documentation is becoming more necessary than ever before in education.  We have those kiddos that just don't seem to be catching on and we HAVE to find out what makes it "click" for them.  They will learn to read, but unfortunately it isn't an automatic skills for many children.

I think most schools have some sort of team of teachers that work together to find supportive ways to help the kids that are struggling.  Your team may be your RTI team.  Our team is called IBS and honestly I don't even remember what it stands for (Intervention Based Support??? maybe??? I really don't remember).  We always seem to refer to it as Irritable Bowel Syndrome… please don't take that wrong, it's just a good way for us to laugh.

Anyway, for those kids that have been moved to Tier 3 intervention and need to have very purposeful interventions, documentation is a must.  These interventions need to be documented.  I made some simple documentation pages that could be used for any subject.  Simply print off and document the lessons and interventions that you have done with the child.

Click on the picture to get the FREEBIE!





Last year, I had a student who was really struggling with sight words.  I was providing specific intervention with sight words.  She would get many of them confused and they are definitely not automatic in her reading.  This student is a good artist and loves to draw so I wanted to use her strengths to help her get excited about learning these words that were difficult for her.  

The first page of the progress monitoring plan is basic information.  This page describes the students strengths/weaknesses, skills needed to succeed, and intervention skills that you will be specifically working on.  This page also allows you to document what the intervention will be, who is providing the intervention, how often, and what assessments you will use to monitor the progress.  Here is a sample of my student struggling with sight words. 


When I make copies, I copy page 1 and page 2 back to back.  Page 2 is where I record the Assessment Data and my progress monitoring notes.  For this intervention, I used my sight word lists (I use Lucy Calkins list from The Teachers College of Reading and Writing).  You can check out my post here that tells why I choose to use her list over Dolch and Fry.  I also looked at her Reading Benchmark Book running record to see if she is reading the sight words correctly in text.


Page 3 is where I do my daily documentation.  This example is over about a month.  Unfortunately, I didn't see B. L. as much as I had hoped.  She was sick for a few days and I was out with a sick child for a couple days as well.  And- I think we had a couple of snow days... anyway this is what I have documented.  For her intervention I made different flashcards to help her put a visual picture with her sight words.   She would have the word and would draw a picture to go with the word to help her remember it.  Then, after practice, we would take the picture away.  

If you would like to download this sample, click {here}.

I hope this will help you keep organized with your documentation.  What things do you do to stay organized with your Tier 3 kids?



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The Importance of Running Records


Hello my friends!  My name is Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers.  I am very HONORED to be a part of this amazing group of literacy gurus!  We have been working and collaborating "behind the scenes" for a few months now and they are all truly amazing.  

A quick little bit about me.  This is my 14th year teaching.  I have taught 3rd grade reading, 2nd grade classroom, Reading Recovery, Title I Reading (1st grade), and 1st grade classroom.  I have also been trained in Literacy Collaborative.  Currently, I am working in a regular 1st grade classroom.  After teaching Reading Recovery/Title I Reading for the past 10 years, I was ready for a "change".  So, I chose to go back to the daily bump and grind of 20 six and seven year olds at one time.  I LOVE it, but I really feel like a first year teacher all over again!

I wanted to talk a little bit about Running Records today.  This is something that we all should be doing with our students regularly if you want to truly get to know each child as a reader.  Running Records were first created by Marie Clay (founder of Reading Recovery) as a way to analyze student reading behaviors while reading actual text.

The BEST person to do the running records on their students is the classroom teacher.  I know it is time consuming and can be difficult to keep the others working on something productive.  But, running records are the best way to analyze a child's reading behaviors.  We need to remember that running records capture a child's thinking.  We can then analyze the students behaviors and plan for appropriate instruction.  They also help teachers to find appropriate text to group (and regroup) students for guided reading.  Benchmark assessments (using running records) also help document a student's growth over time.

(Button credits:  3am Teacher, Scrappin' Doodles, Dancing Crayon Designs, Kevin and Amanda)

Some things to remember:
  • You want to observe the child and record what he/she is doing INDEPENDENTLY as a reader. There is no helping them to solve words- only recording the behaviors.
  • Try to make the atmosphere as relaxed as possible with no interruptions.  
  • Record everything that the child does.  This should not only include the reading errors, but also other behaviors such as body language, attitude, and attention.
  • After the reading, have a natural conversation about the book rather than just asking questions.  This will allow for deeper thinking about the text.

There are pretty universal "markings" to record reading behaviors.  When Marie Clay first started recording students' reading, there were no "assessments/papers" that already had the words for the teacher to use and record on the students' reading.  She used a blank page.  This is why she chose to make checkmarks when the student read a word correctly.  Today, it is a little different.  IF you have the words to the text in front of you, you do not HAVE to put the checks above each word.  Ultimately, it doesn't make a difference IF the words are already there.  Something I like to do instead is make a line under the words as they read them.  I make a continuous line if the child is reading in a phrase.  For example:

The big dog  ate his bone.  (This tells me the student is reading in three word phrases.)
or
The  big  dog  ate  his  bone.  (This tells me the student is reading word by word.)

If you are doing a running record on a book that is not a benchmark and there are no words.  I would suggest using the checkmark system.  This way, you can go back into the text and analyze the errors that the student has made.  


If you are doing running records in your classroom, make sure that you understand the difference between Errors and Self-Corrections and the general rules of Running Records.   These can be found in your assessment kits or on many sites online.

Some common questions that I hear from other teachers about how to record and score running records include:

1.  Do names count as an error?   Proper names count as one error.  If a child says Pat for Pam several times while reading the same text, it only counts as one error.  Even if this child says Pat and then Pete and then Phil for the name Pam, it still only counts as one error.

2.  How do I count contractions?  If a child reads "do not" for don't, it counts as one error and visa versa.

3.  Self-corrections are NOT also counted as errors.

4.  What if a child appeals to me for the word?  If a child appeals to the teacher for help, you may say "You try it".  This does not count as an error (unless they then say the wrong word or need to be told), but you should record an "A" above the word so that you know they are appealing for help.  If the student still appeals, tell him the word and move on.


This is probably the most important part of running records.  I like to take a minute or two immediately following the students reading to write down my immediate thoughts.  This may include how fluently (or not so fluently) they read, what strategies the child is using at difficulty, or if the child is appealing for help way too often. 

 I always ask myself, "What can I praise this child for with his reading AND what can I teach him right now?"


In our District, we do Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessments 3 times a year (unless the students need more intense intervention).  We are on trimesters rather than quarters.  We use Benchmark data from the end of the previous year to help form our reading groups in the fall.  I know many students may regress and others will progress over the summer but this information gives us a general idea of where they are as readers.  We quickly learn if they need to be moved to another reading group as we work with them.  We do not do benchmarks at the beginning of the year because it is just too difficult to spend the time when we are trying to teach rules and routines.  **I am not saying that you shouldn't do them at the beginning of the year- that is a personal and district preference.  This is just what works best for us.  Formal benchmarks should only be done 3 to 4 times a year.

Running Records should be taken on a regular basis during your guided reading groups.  This can be done at the beginning of the guided reading lesson.  Listen to one student in each group each day.  They can read the book that was introduced the last time you met (so it will be their second read).  Use a blank running record sheet if you don't have one with the words from the book you used.  You can download one that I made by clicking on the picture.
I keep all of my Running Records in a binder divided by students.  I keep the newest record on top.  I also record all benchmark assessments on a chart, and then this information is passed on to the next year's teacher.  This allows the teacher to see what areas the student has struggled with in the past and a quick overview of their reading progress from previous years.  This chart follows them from K-4th grade.

Here are a couple of pictures from my binder.



This is the graph we use.  It has all of the Fountas and Pinnell benchmark books.  The shaded areas (or above) are where we would like them to be reading.  We record these three times a year (first, second, and third trimester).  


This is on the back of the graph.  I record all of the BENCHMARK assessments that I give onto this paper even if they don't pass.  This allows me to quickly see what the last assessment I gave was and why a student didn't go up to the next level.  This is the paper that gets passed on to the next year's teacher and will follow them from K-4th grade.


I then keep all of that student's running records behind their graph with the most recent one on top, including any running records from guided reading groups.

If you are interested in seeing how I set up my Guided Reading Binder (which is a freebie).  Come and check out this blog post.


What is the hardest part about running records for you?  What other questions do you have about running records?




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