Monday, May 27, 2013

My First Linky Par-Taaae….Sort Of: Next School Year, I Am Definitely Going to…

Okay so it’s not actually my first, but it’s definitely been a while since I’ve linky partied!
I’m joining Kim over at Finding JOY in Sixth Grade. I give mad props to middle school teachers! I teach in a K-8 school and I look at them in awe everyday! I. Could. Not. Do. It.
Anyway she’s having a What Will You Do Differently linky party, and it just so happens that this has been on my mind, now that I’m ending another school year. So here it goes!
I must admit that writing workshop has not been my forte. No cute anchor charts or writing folders full of wonderful writing. So I’ve purchased a few resources to help in my journey. This summer I will eat, live and breathe Writing Workshop!


For seven years of my teaching career I was a Reading Recovery teacher. When I returned to the classroom, I somehow got it in my head that because I was out of the day to day workings of the classroom, I needed the foundation of the basal….some direction.
So what started out as a yearlong crutch, became a permanent fixture! I’m not slamming the basal, but I also know  it’s not the end all be all. So this year I plan to include more literature based units of study coupled with good solid reading comprehension, and word study.
For the past three years my focus has been on organizing for student’s benefit. That meant finding a place for everything, making my classroom child centered and inviting, and making supplies easy and accessible for my students.
This school year my focus was on organizing my teaching materials and resources. This kept me from taking the ten minute search to find something, or forgetting where I put something and using up my prep time searching for it! I know I’m the only one who does that right? This year was so much smoother because I developed a system, and had a place for everything! This summer I’ll be working more to organize my teaching resources.
This ties in with letting go of the basal. I want to make small group time really beneficial to my students, especially my strugglers. I’m thinking of going deep and not wide. I heard this from Debbie Diller during a workshop of hers I attended a long time ago. Last year I tried to see 4 groups each day, which really didn’t leave lots of time for student’s reflection, my own reflection or sometimes, meaningful learning. It just seemed like the rush to get the next group in. I’m really thinking hard about lessening the number of groups I see each day, in hopes of giving my students time.

So there ya go! Who knows how successful I’ll be, but I’m sure going to work hard at it! Any questions, comments, or moral dilemmas….I had a sociology professor who used to say that at the end of every class.
Join Kim in her linky party! Oh, and she’s having a giveaway too! Thanks for hosting this Kim!!


  1. Sounds like a great list! I totally hear you on your last one. When I first starting teaching first grade, I tried to see four groups for 15 minutes each morning for reading groups and it always felt so rushed. Just when we got to the meat of the mini lesson, time was up. I've been doing 2 30-minute sessions each day for the last three years and LOVE it! I rotate my groups. I see group A & C on Monday, group B & D Tuesday, etc. We acutally have time to go deeper with the topic of study and often have time to read together for a few minutes. I love listening to my kiddos read. :) I hope you have success with your groups next year!

    1. Katrina thank you so much for your comment! I love that you see two groups each day for 30 minutes! This is what I've been leaning towards! You have just confirmed for me that this is the right way to go!

  2. I LOVE your next year goals! I felt like I was lacking in the writing department too and then I took the most amazing writing course! The instructor helped me see how to improve my writers workshop by using the read alouds I was already using for comprehension. It made so much sense!!! Why hadn't I thought about it? Anyways, since you are already planning on using great literature for comprehension your kids will have great books to use for mentor writing texts! After reading a text we then go back and look at it like a writer...we actually put on our "writers glasses" and think about what the author did. Then my firsties go and try it out. I could go on forever...seriously the course was the best class I ever took. Anyways...let me know if you want more info. Have a great summer!
    Two Friends In First

    1. Hi Kheila!
      Yes I would love more info on the course you took! The more resources the better!

    2. I'd like to hear more about how you use the same book for reading and writing. Can you give one example?

    3. I'd like to hear more about how you use the same book for reading and writing. Can you give one example?

    4. I'd like to hear more about how you use the same book for reading and writing. Can you give one example?

  3. Ohh I need to link up with you girls but just posted today. I will try to get to it this week. I have lots of ideas on this one. :o)
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  4. Your blog is fantastic! I want to add some spice to my small groups as well! I am still getting the hang of guided reading. I want to add more reading/phonic games!

    1. Thanks Mrs. Silva!
      I can't wait to get started on my plans!

  5. This is a great linky idea! This is definitely the time of year for reflecting! I'm going to post tomorrow and include it as part of my Wild, Wacky, Wonderful, Wednesday linky.

    Have a great week!
    First Grade Follies

  6. With the addition of CAFE during my Daily 5/Reading Workshop, I really felt good about what was going on in my classroom. However, I need to bring those mini lessons into the small guided reading groups a little better. Generally, I can see 3 or 4 20 minute groups a day depending on the schedule. It runs like clockwork now that we use Daily 5/CAFE.

  7. I am your latest follower, I loved reading your "I am Definitely Going to..." and I'm headed over there now to read more!


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