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April 10, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Guided Reading and What I Have to do to Stay Sane

How do I stay organized with my guided reading groups?

Last year that was an easy question - I did Daily 5 - it worked beautifully - I was happy - the kids were learning.  I didn't know so much about task cards, just did the 5 different "stations".

This year is different.  We started out the year slowly implementing Daily 5.  They did a great job when we were all doing the same activity... then I started to give them a couple of choices at a time and it fell apart.  Didn't matter if we reviewed the expectations every single time - it still fell apart due to a handful of kids.  Basically that means that we have done a lot full class activities during reading time.  I have done intervention during silent reading time or independent time - a couple of minutes here and there, thankful for parent volunteers to help tackle one on one... that was for the majority of the year.

Here's my schedule with reading:
Monday - preview story, make connections, define vocabulary, spelling words
Tuesday - read/discuss, first skill - whole class activity with skill, story map
Wednesday - partner read, study guide comprehension question, summary write
Thursday - jeopardy game to review, second skill - whole class activity with skill, response to literature
Friday - test day, fluency test

Yes, I know I mentioned the region groups at the beginning of the year - we kept those for the first half of the school year.  It helped with fluency vs. sight words vs. comprehension.  It was easy to make sure that every kiddo had exactly what they needed when the parents called them over, and when I could sit by them during silent reading.  I could never do centers with those groups though, tried it and got a headache.  Some of them just could not stay out of mischief.  In 4th - I focus on sight words & fluency for only the first half of the year.  There is so much other stuff to accomplish that after we are halfway through the year I have my parent volunteers take over fluency completely - except for the Friday fluency partner read.

This is all with the weekly story.  We have our anthology - one story every week that the entire class is supposed to go through.  It's not differentiated, what is differentiated is what I do with it with the different needs of my students.

I have a binder with a section for each kid. In their section they have my notes of working with them - just binder paper with the date, their FACE goals, and a fluency sheet. It's simple and works.

Next year I'm looking forward to going back to the traditional Daily 5. :)

I'm excited to read about what you do in your class.  Go link up with Jivey!


  1. I would love to try Daily 5. This year with my schedule, there was NO WAY. They only allowed for 55 minutes during reading time. By the time I got my mini-lesson and got them out into groups, they'd have no independent reading time, which we're required to give them 30 minutes of independent reading time. Buuuut I digress. Thanks for linking up!!
    ideas by jivey

  2. I hear ya! We departmentalize in 4th grade at my school which means I teach reading to all three sections of 4th graders. I love it, but all classes are not alike :( Two of the classes do great with Daily 5 and have been super independent. I even two little groups doing independent novel studies on top of Daily 5 and I only check in with them every couple of them!! The third class is a nightmare! There are 6 boys in there who can not do ANYTHING independently. They are constantly off task and causing problems. I decided about a month ago that I had to do something about their reading. They NEVER read during independent reading time. They try to go to the bathroom, talk, stare at the wall....almost anything to get out of reading. Since I can't have them all reading to me the whole time I found an app for the iPad that records their voices while they read. Now I have two at a time go to the hall and read aloud to the iPad for 20 minutes. We do three rotations for Daily 5 in my room so this gets through all the boys. It works great! One little friend tried to test the waters to see if I would really listen to them (I don't really listen all the time, but the first few times I did)and got caught mumbling and saying random words. He read with me during his recess and I haven't had any problems since :)

    Super Pig and Tyrant King

  3. I totally agree with you that running different groups/activities can be challenging depending on the group of students you have. What worked beautifully one year doesn't always translate the next year. I think you have to do what works for you and your students. Sounds like you fit a lot in to your reading time.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  4. Sounds like we have the same groups of kids... It sure changes what you're able to do, doesn't it?

    Fifth in the Middle

  5. We don't do daily 5. I need to learn more about that...

    It's hard when you have THAT group of kids that can't handle anything. :O(

    On a fun note, I love the new blog design! So cute!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  6. I am using a very modified version of D5 this year for the first time. I am lucky because I have the top third of the readers in the grade and I can really push them. However, I only see them together as a group once a day and time is a huge factor. I really don't know how the Sisters have such a large amount of time for ELA!

    With the two week spring break and now the push for the big test next week, I have been doing all whole class review and mini lessons to try and fit it all in (and make sure all students are reviewing all the concepts). Someone asked me today, "When are we going to do centers again?" I said, "After the test." Isn't that awful? Ugh!! I really enjoyed reading your post because I have had many groups that I KNOW I would have never been able to try D5 with! I am not buying it that it can work with any group. Who has time to review the expectations everyday?
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  7. I finally read the Daily 5 and CAFE books this fall and while I don't run a true "Daily 5" schedule in my classroom, I was able to adapt it to fit what I needed with this group of kids. The students seemed to enjoy it because of the variety and individual goal setting. Who knows what will happen next year???

    Good luck to everyone testing this Wisconsin, we test in November. Ughhh....

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  8. I have the same group this year, which is why I have so much support! I've never used Daily 5, thought about trying it, don't know much about it either.

    Love the new blog design, super cute!


  9. I have no idea what Daily 5 is (I've never heard of it in New Zealand) but I've seen so many people mention it I think I'll have to start investigating!

    I love the title of this post. Luckily this year I have a class that in general LOVES READING- I've never had a class with so many kids so into it before. I have however definitely experienced the frustration of reading rotations falling apart thanks to a lovely handful of kids!

    I've just become your latest follower- I love your blog design! Isn't Christi great!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

  10. I don't do Daily 5 either. I took some elements I really liked from their book, the frequent conferencing, the binder with all your resources and the cafe board, and implemented what I could!



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