Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hijacking Guided Reading Groups

I feel like the luckiest Instructional Coach ever this past week.  On Tuesday, one of the teachers I work with let me hijack her guided reading groups.  We started with the Reader's Workshop mini-lesson-which was all about finding the main idea and key details of our close read.  By the end of the lesson, it seemed like the students got the idea of how to ask questions as they read to help them think about the main idea and details.

During small group meeting time, the students I met with were reading at various levels.  They were reading at levels B, C and D (Fountas and Pinnell Levels).  As we started the lessons, I reminded them that our purpose for reading was to figure out what the main thing or main idea that the author was trying to tell us.  The B group was reading to find out information about the flag.  The C group was reading to find out about rules families have and the D group was reading to find out about jobs in a community.

Throughout the lesson, we talked about the main idea and key details of the stories.  We also discussed them after reading.  There were key words that we focused on as well.  Some of the keys to success of the lesson included:

    •  planning
    • connecting back to the mini-lesson
    • timing

I think one of our challenges is making sure students who aren't in the small group lessons are staying on task independently at their learning centers.  The teacher took the time to establish routines and procedures at the beginning of the year which is a big pay-off once groups start.  A few points to note are that she has

    • center rotation signs posted
    • signals for transition when rotation changes
    • clear expectations for being interrupted
On a fun note, she decided to adopt the electric lei-when she is wearing it, no one is to interrupt her.  It's beautiful, bright and pink!  A great visual for her students when she is in small group instruction.  Way to go lady!

I am grateful that she allowed me to work with her students and try things out with them.  It's exciting new territory for our teachers and students as we begin the learning journey together with our new curriculum.

It all reminds me of this statement of change I found on twitter from Life Advice...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back to School Supplies

The Sunday papers were flooded with ads!  I always scour them to find the best deals for back to school supplies.  I always dig into my own pocket to purchase my favorite things so I know I'll have just what I need.  So I have two questions:  do you dig into your own pocket to purchase supplies you need as a teacher?  And if so, what is your spending range?

Currently, in my district, we get a small supply allowance.  I usually tap that first.  I buy a jump-drive for storing documents from the computer, and some other things that I know we use regularly.   My favorite items to purchase are dry erase markers, composition notebooks and crayons.

This year, I'm smiling as I am thinking about crayons!  There s a cute new picture book out by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers called The Day the Crayons Quit.  It's made it on the NY Times Best Seller list!  It's all about how crayons have feelings too!  Check out Oliver's website for more about the'll never think the same of the crayons again.

What other school supplies might quit their jobs?  It's all about their point of view!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back to the Classroom

Well, it's all official now...
Due to budget cuts, I am officially heading back to the classroom.  I received my letter of placement from the Board of Education and I will be going to teach at Robinson CLC in First Grade.  This will be awesome!  The building was newly constructed and dedicated in 2008.  It has updated technology and is bright and beautiful!  I am looking forward to an awesome school year with my new colleagues at Robinson.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

First Post

Wow, I have been learning so much about digital resumes and different ways to present yourself for job interviews.  I am trying to decide what would be the most unique way to present myself for an upcoming job interview...any success stories out there?

What kinds of questions would be asked?  Any advice?