Saturday, June 9, 2012

Guided Reading & Balanced Literacy...What do YOU DO??

Out of all of the subjects I teach in 2nd grade, I have to say that my strongest subject is Math and next is Science.  Maybe because they are the most interesting to me and I can get really enthusiastic about it.  The ELAR block is my least favorite and so I am always trying to work on making it more interesting to me.  I just can't ever get a "flow" going.  I stress out a bit because I know that this is the most important subject at this age.  My students always show a lot of growth and they do very well on their district assessments.  I can get my students where they need to be and get them to really love reading.  I LOVE read alouds and all the modeling of what a good reader should do.  I love talking to the students about what they're reading and why they chose that book.  I love doing all kinds of fun Reading Response activities that go along with the books we read.  BUT.....and this is a HUGE BUT...I get so bored with the direct teaching of strategies, the word work, the phonics, and the writing.  Probably bored with it because I'v never really been taught the strategies that I need to teach.  ANYWAY......because of my lack of interest, every summer I venture out and try to find some book or workshop that will get me excited about TEACHING reading.  I think that if I can get my students a little above where they should be by the end of 2nd grade, imagine where they could go if I was excited and had self-confidence that what I was teaching them was exactly what they need.  Self-confidence--that's the word I was looking for.  Not so much "BOREDOM" or "LACK OF INTEREST", but self-confidence is what I'm lacking when it comes to the Reading/LA block.

I need a routine that flows.  It needs to be a routine that I'm happy with and fits my style.  I've started the Daily 5 and the Cafe books two summers in a row, but never really finished.  This summer I am reading
Balanced Literacy Essentials by Parr and Campbell and Guiding Readers by Lori J. Rog.  I've also been chosen to preview The Primary Comprehension Toolkit by Harvey & Goudvis for grades K-2.  To top it all off I was also chosen to go to a workshop at the beginning of August for Balanced Literacy and C-scope (which is the curriculum my district & state use).

So...What do you do during your Lit block?  What does your routine look like?  Having you taken pieces of different ideas?  What have you done to "further" yourself with phonics, and teaching writing and reading strategies?

Also....Is or has anyone else used the Comprehension Toolkit and what did you think about it?  Has anyone read either or both of the books?

Lend me your feedback...please.

Together for Our Kids,


April Kreitzer Wolfe said...

Hi!! I am your newest follower! I would love to have you visit my blog.


Amanda said...

Teaching reading is my PASSION!! We could spend all day on it! I know exactly what you're talking about though. When I used the prescribed program required by our district (4 blocks, balanced literacy, guided reading, etc) I would get bored and so would my students! So, I use the "pick and choose" method ;), taking aspects from each of those programs. I started with my standards and choose to teach reading through genre studies. My reading block never looks the same from unit to unit. Sometimes the students are working in guided reading groups, literature circles, pairs, or independently. However, they are ALWAYS reading books on their own independent reading levels and developing a passion for the various genres. I wouldn't teach it any other way! I plan to do a big post on my approach this summer, but I JUST started my blog this week. I'm your newest follower and brand new blogger! Come check out my blog!

Teaching Maddeness

Amanda said...

Oh I love daily 5 and CAFE. They have absolutely changed how I teach reading, and I have so much more fun doing so. As far as phonics- oh girl I agree! BORING! I actually have been reading up on the Phonics Dance. Google it. Maybe you can share what you think about it? :) Oh and I HAVE to share this AMAZING writing workshop book I read a few weeks ago. It's called "No More I'm Done" by Jennifer Jacobson. IT WAS LIFE CHANGING! Definitely amazing ideas for Writer's Workshop that I plan on using this year! Oh anytime you want to reading talk, I would love it! That is my goal this summer too!

Ms. Wilkie's Second Grade Class

Denise said...

I will definitely drop by your blog and can't wait to read about what you're doing in reading.


Denise said...

I started "No More I'm Done" last summer....Summer got a little busy and I didn't quit finish, but I loved it.
I'm going to give Daily 5 a try next year. Two of the other elementary campuses are implementing it K-4. It's probably going to be headed our way so I want to be ahead of the game.

Thanks for the comments! I might just take you up on that reading talk and some of your ideas for Daily 5.


Denise said...

Thank you! I will stop on by. I love your blog name by the way.


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