Thursday, December 6, 2012

Currently December From Farley

Simple is Better
As I wrote in my previous post, I am on a mission to revamp my literacy stations because they were just not working. Thinking back, I believe the problem was that I started too fast, too soon. I could kick myself because I know that students need a lot of modeling, practice and time to get used to a new routine. Anyway...

Two days ago, we made another "I-chart" for Read-to-Self. Students modeled the correct/incorrect/correct way to read. As soon as I noticed that students were off-task, talking, etc., I stopped everything and we regrouped. Today was much better. 

I took another look on the CAFE website, and I watched some helpful videos and read some articles. The best tip I got was for Work on Writing. I had been using journals, but I noticed the kids weren't motivated to write even though there were topic lists posted and they could self-select their topics. As suggested, I made a writing prompt menu and laminated them. If writers get stuck, and they can't pick a topic, they can take a menu with them (or use it at the station). It has ready-to-go prompts that are related to December. 

Today, we revisited the Read-to-Self chart and we made another Work on Writing I-chart. The kids did a MUCH better job at writing station today! I made sure to incorporate a quick writing share when we checked-in. We started as soon as the first student was cleaned up and on the carpet. Boy, did their accountability for writing go up! 

We will continue to practice these two for a while before revisiting Read to Someone, Word Work and Listening. 

One thing I discovered yet again is that SIMPLE (AND EFFECTIVE) IS BETTER! Maybe someday I will learn that lesson!

Check out my currently list below, and be sure to visit Oh' Boy Fourth Grade (see link below). It's an awesome blog!

My "Currently" List...
I was reading through various teaching blogs when I stumbled upon Farley's Oh' Boy Fourth Grade. I had been seeing these "Currently" lists on other people's blogs, and now I found the source. What a great idea! Here's my list.

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