Okay, so here we are. I am in my first full week of first grade. Even though I do this year after year after year after year (you get the idea) I ALWAYS forget how frustrating and tiring the beginning of the year can be. Don't get me wrong, the class is great. I have 19 little darlings. I just want them to know and learn the routines and my expectations at the speed of light. I find myself thinking "oh man, I'll never get there this year", but I also know that they always do. I just have to be patient and keep on keepin' on. But....enough about me. You are here to read about workshop set up, and the construction has begun.
So, Monday we began by discussing how to read to self. Right now, my readers only have their Harcourt Trophies basal Guess Who in their book bins. We discussed how to pick a good spot to sit. Students first walked to their spot without books or reading tools (i.e. chairs, cushions, pillows, etc.). We evaluated if students chose a good spot or not. After some reconfiguring, we got our book bins and reading tools and read for 5 minutes. I walked around and complimented students and redirected a few. Overall, not half bad.
Tuesday we had two specials and it was picture day. I swear there is something about picture day that makes the students nuts. We only had a short time for our workshop, but we attempted the same lesson as yesterday. Overall, it went well again. I chuckled though when a few cuties informed me that they had finished their basal. Either they are very advanced, or I have some work to do. :)
Today, Wednesday, we began reading with a friend. This year I am combining the lessons from the Learning Pad with the format of Growing Readers. So, all of my students read to self first for 5 minutes. At this point, I partnered them up and set the timer for 5 minutes again. It is clear that we need to model different ways partners can read together. I am encouraging them to use this time to talk about their reading process so that eventually I can have them write about it. I noticed that some students were "reading together" but they were on different stories and different pages just reading out loud simultaneously. It was cute and reminded me that this will take time. I used the closing line "Readers, I hate to say it, but our reading time is over for today". I was nearly moved to tears when I heard a resounding, "Noooooooooo!" I tell you, there is hope for them yet! During snack time we discussed and modeled how to select a book from our class library.
Tomorrow is Thursday. We will do a repeat of yesterday's lesson. The difference today will be that they have one additional book in their bins. I allowed them to chose one "toughie" book that they can look at. Today we will also select a just right book though it is difficult to decipher just right in September of first grade. For now until I can test reading levels, each student is selecting a red level book meaning a Guided Reading level A-D.
At this point Friday is a dream...no just kidding. The plan right now, is to continue to practice read to self and read with a friend. I am also hoping to go over the 3 ways to read...read the pictures, read the words, and retell the story.
My plan is to go nice and slow until things fall into place. I will put some videos up tomorrow. Tonight, I am exhausted! I don't know about you, but I LOVE my job!