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...