Wednesday, January 20, 2016

guided reading binder - take a peek!

I began teaching guided reading again, this time in first grade! It's been cool to get to know another of the five plans from Jan Richardson. Now that it's been a few weeks, my records have fleshed out and I wanted to share my binder with you!

Here it is in all it's glory --
I'd rather write a blog post about it than make a pretty cover :-)

On the inside...front and back pockets:

Inside back pocket
I know it's strange to start with the end, but there's not much to report there. Just saving some word study materials I haven't gotten to yet; more on word study a few paragraphs down...

Inside front pocket
I keep everything I need now in this pocket - this week's lesson plan, this week's anecdotal notes, word study activities I'm planning to do today or tomorrow, and standards based anecdotal notes.

Lesson Plans, from The Next Steps in Guided Reading:

Anecdotal Notes This form, created by my awesome colleague and friend, Christine. One side of notes covers one group of kids - their names are listed where that white paper is, and then a box for each day of the week.

Word Study Materials - this week we're doing some picture sorting by medial vowel:

Anecdotals by Standard are next. (They are the stack of index cards that are paper clipped together.) Right now we're working on questioning. I just recently learned about this from an awesome fourth grade teacher over at Irving. You keep a stack of cards per standard and then annotate when kids attempt to use that strategy. In this case, it's questioning, so I was able to record the questions (or statements) kids shared and then grade them against a Standards-Based Rubric (4: Exceeds Standard, 3: Meets, 2: Approaches, 1: Beginning). Throughout the week, I'll keep more records of this to get a bigger picture.

Child's name is what is under the pen.

In the Rings:
First, I have a few mini-anchor charts in plastic sleeves:

I made these to use to prompt the students about various skills we are working on, so when I am ready to do that work, I take these out for their reference. This little trick is another one that Christine taught me. She began doing this as she built her Tier 3 lesson plans using Jennifer Serravallo's new book: The Reading Strategies Book.

Next I have more anecdotal notes - using a calendar is another way to think about them:

I just began a 1:1 intervention with a student who needs to build her knowledge of letter names (this is also in Jan Richardson's Book!) Since I am only working 1:1, I wanted to use a calendar to take notes of observations across our time together, so I just grabbed this freebie online today to use.

Strategies and Skills by Level - this is another resource in the Richardson's book and just wanted a quick reference to keep handy. The front page you see are all the strategies and skills children need to master at level A, behind it I have a few more levels, too. This way, when I'm planning the word study component of guided reading, it's easy to figure out what I should do!

Archived Lesson Plans - After I'm done with a sheet of plans, I hang on to them here, newest on top as a record of the work we've done.

Next section is for sight words:

I have two groups, so I have two sets of these charts, but up top you list each child's name on top of the list, and then when you assess their sight words, you can make notes here of how they're doing. I put a check mark if they are able to spell it correctly, and a "P" if I had to prompt them for support to write the word. If I notice that more than one student needs prompting, then I go back and reteach the sight word in question.

The next section is for archived Anecdotal Notes:

I keep the current notes I'm working on in the front cover, but then, as I finish them, they get filed here. What I love about this system is that when I go to an RtI meeting or need to update a parent or teacher about a child, I have so much information to potentially share with them just by looking through my notes!

I'm getting better at taking anecdotals the longer I keep with them, but some days I don't write things, and other days I focus too much on one student. Sometimes I take notes on the group as a whole, other days not. These notes are waaaay better than I used to do as a novice last year, and I'm sure I'll keep on improving with them the longer I keep working on them.

Assessment Data is collected in the last part of my binder:

When I say Assessment Data, I just mean running records, which are all saved here. But, I keep an Assessment Summary on top so I can see trends at a glance. This form below is just for one student, and lists running record scores and notes for each week I test him.

You see that I include the date, guided reading level of the text, the genre (fiction or nonfiction), whether the running record was hot (meaning the child read the book already before) or cold (it was the first time with the text. Then I have scores for Words Per Minute (WPM) and number of errors (which I haven't been taking because I keep forgetting to bring the calculator), their accuracy percentage, comprehension score, and overall reading level (Independent, Instructional, or Frustration) notes. That circled letter on the end of the line is the level I want to test the child on the following week, that way I don't have to analyze the information again - just a way to make myself more efficient.

On the bottom of the form is a rubric for determining the level that is from Fountas and Pinnell's Benchmark Assessment System.

So, that's my binder! What's in yours?
Any ideas to enhance what I've already got going on?
Please leave your ideas in the comments!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

no buts

WRITE your story.
SHARE your link.
GIVE some love via comments.

I do recess duty with the fifth graders, and when it's super cold, we are forced to stay inside. Indoor recess with fifth graders is two sections of them and one of me in one of our large classrooms. This classroom happens to be upstairs, and lately, the students have been running up the stairs. Today, as we left the lunchroom, I asked them to please walk up the stairs to be safe.

Well, one kiddo took off running up the stairs with two friends, so I asked them all to come back. Except only two of them came back. So, when I got in the classroom, I found the third and asked him to sit down by himself since he didn't listen. I knew he would try and "explain" his situation, so I just walked away and let him be.

A few minutes later, I walked back and told him that I needed him to be safe on the stairs, which includes not running. He interrupted, "But I didn't..." to which I responded, "No buts." And my clever little friend who is smart beyond his years replies with a smile, "Well, also..."
I just laughed and had to walk away.

How I miss that middle school sassiness!

Any one-liners from your kiddos today?
Leave a comment and share the fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

i delight in you

Friends, I don't think I've told you, but I started the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) with Old St. Pat's Church in Chicago back in September. I'm baptized Methodist, but decided I'd like to learn more about the Catholic faith and I love it!

Tonight, I went to mass and the homily was all about how God delights in us. The whole thing was just so uplifting and it got me thinking about how much I delight in the work I'm called to do each day. And in with that being said --

To my former students, my first class, those kiddos who were there as I was finding my way as a new teacher...

I delight in you.

To my students at Heritage, the ones who spent a loop with me for seventh and eighth grade; the kids who were there with me as I learned to teach reading and writing as a Social Constructivist and the Holocaust and Social Justice studies, the students who created projects to raise awareness or money for various causes...

I delight in you.

To Team Heartless, the team who continues to keep in touch, to have a breakfast all together and reminisce on our memories, talk about our present, and dream for our futures...

I delight in you.

To the teachers I work with each day at Emerson: for our planning meetings where we construct meaning of the standards and of our curriculum; where we share stories of our students that surprise and validate the work we do...

I delight in you.

To the new teachers - those in my building, around D100, and beyond: for your passion, your energy, your fresh new ideas, your openness to collaboration, for the friendships you've allowed to grow with me...

I delight in you.

To the teachers who came before me: you know the ropes, you have perspective and a knowledge I can't touch; thank you for sharing that with me, helping me to see things I may not have yet, for being patient as I learned the lessons all teachers are destined to learn...

I delight in you.

To my team who shares an office with me; for the times you've been there to help me solve a problem, just listen, share a resource, or give a hug...

I delight in you.

To the students of Emerson, the ones learning to read with me in Guided Reading, the ones being a little too loud during indoor recess, the ones reading with flashlights under their desks, and sharing their writing at an Author's Chair...

I delight in you.

To the Literacy Coaches: you are the friends at my side who inspire me and teach me and allow me to make mistakes and then show me the way...

I delight in you.

To the teachers in my PLN: those who are real friends I've made in real life, some are friends who I only know because of Twitter and Instagram, some are near, others are far, but all are those who keep me on my toes wondering how I can continue to grow in the company of excellence...

I delight in you.

To my Literacy Idols, Atwell, Fletcher, Calkins, Gallagher, Kittle, Lane, Fountas & Pinnell: I would never have made it to where I am without the work you've done and shared as you came before me. It is my hope that I can share your work with colleagues and deliver the kind of instruction you model, and for that...

I delight in you.

To my blog readers: you come over here to BigTime Literacy where I mostly ramble on about fluffy nonsense, but who, none the less, have become my friends through writing...

I delight in you.

Happy Sunday Friends!
Who or what are you delighting in on this long three day weekend?

Friday, January 1, 2016

currently 2016

Happy New Year friends! It's's 2016! The years just keep flying by! Personally speaking, I'm so glad to be done with 2015, and I send it off with a whole-hearted #byefelicia! :-) I'm so thankful for a new year!

Listening to...The Rose Parade
It's a lazy morning over here, nothing really going on. Just hanging out, watching the rose parade. Haven't had my first coffee yet, so perhaps that's in order!

Loving yoga, just like old times
My sweet, awesome, hilarious friend took me to yoga last night and I just love it. It really is therapy, for the spirit, emotions, and a great workout. And, last night it was a fun glow flow, with all these glow sticks, and balloons and blinking lights...and great music. My favorite thing our teacher said:

#amiright ?

Thinking about writing
I really love to write, here on BigTime Literacy, in my many notebooks I have around my place and school, and this year, I'm adding something new. I'm going to be writing about my One Little Word in a notebook, and with prompts from Ali Edwards, the girl who started OLW! Last year, I kind of lost sight of my word, so I'm excited to devote more time to it this year.

Wanting another week of break
I mean, yes, just yes. 

Needing to put Christmas away
Time to clean up. I normally love everything about the holidays, but this year was hard; I knew it would be. So I'm ready to put it all away, and move forward....

One Little Word: Forward
Personal life: No more looking back, just visualizing the future I hope to manifest for myself.

Professional life: Looking forward to what opportunities may be out there for me; I'm really missing the classroom and my own students. Also, excited to apply for a PD through the National Writing Project, and potentially get selected for this 12 day course in New York City on the Holocaust and Social Justice studies (!!!)

Writing Life: I'm coming up on my 3 year anniversary here on BigTime Literacy, and I can't wait. I'm excited for new writing adventures that are on my horizon!

Health and Wellness: I want to move my health forward... not be insane about a number on a scale, but just help myself to feel well, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Eat foods that will make me feel great, and indulge when there are things to celebrate!

I wish everyone an awesome year in 2016! I'm hoping to go to the TpT conference this year....maybe I'll see you there! :-)

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