Category Archives: CAFE
Wednesday, October 12. 2011
Great day, great day…..
Reviewed english with labeling our sentence-they are getting goooooood!! 2 student have already learned the helping verb song (along with myself-I’m patting myself on the back right now!).
They worked in groups to sort their word study words. Some sorted by phonics patterns, some by meanings.
I actually had time to read aloud -6th Grade Can Really Kill You. We are at the part very near the end of the book where Helen’s dad is about to tell Helen’s mom that she is going to get special help in school for her reading troubles. We’ve spent so much time with Helen this year that I will miss her when we finish the book(I almost always feel this way at the end of a good book!). I think some of the kids will miss her, too. 🙂 We’ve still been working on our predictions and giving reasons why we make certain predictions.
We read 2 more pages of Old Yeller from our Scott Foresman Reading Street series-I am trying to set a purpose for reading each day before we read. Today I had them write 6 words down that we would find in our reading and think about their meanings. As we read, we confirmed the meaning or changed the meaning depending on what context they were used in.
I had them write a summary about the 2 pages after we read them.
Some lots of them are still having a hard time writing “short” summaries. These are some of the problems that I see with what some of the kids are writing:
1. Their summary is not a true reflection of what they read(today’s summary included information from yesterday’s reading)
2. Sequence is not too good
3. The flow of writing is not good(SEVERAL)
4. Too much information is given
So we will continue to practice writing summaries. I’m beginning to think this is another thing that needs to be done individually since there are so many different things they are doing incorrectly. I definitely need more time in the day!!!! 🙂 But, I truly believe that summarizing will help many of them with their comprehension and ability to think about what they have read!
We had SO much time today to do FAB FIVE! Over an hour in each class-woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First of all, let me show you some pictures of my conferring notebook where I keep the data on the kids.
This is the inside of my conferring notebook. One tab is for appointments (monthly calendar and keeping track sheet). I am finding that it is easier just to have the kids put their name on our big calendar for appointments and me not recording it on the smaller calendar in notebook. The big calendar is right near my small group table so I can see it from where I sit. 🙂
This is the keeping track sheet where I can keep up with (at a glance) who I have conferenced with when. I can’t wait to see it fill up-hopefully that will mean that the kids are becoming critical readers! 🙂
Each student has a tab divider where I keep the CAFE reading menu, my notes sheet for our conferences, and all of their data (ARMT scores from previous year, writing sample, etc….) When we choose a goal for them from the CAFE menu, I am highlighting it on their sheet in my notebook.
This is my notes sheet where I record a little of what we talked about, the book they are currently reading, the area of focus, and the goal/plan for them to work on. I covered up this student’s name (privacy), but you can see what I wrote during/after our conference.
Hope that gives you a little idea of how I am “trying” to run my individual conferences. I think I was able to conference with about 8-10 students total today between my 2 classes. Of course, I didn’t do any small group instruction. But I’m thinking (danger alert!) that once I meet with all of the students for the 1st time that the conferences after these will not last as long.
It was a great day!! Obviously, I don’t have success stories for all of my students but I did have 2 students tell me about the same thing.
Teacher(me): Tell me about yourself as a reader.
Student: Sometimes I have a hard time reading the words or knowing what they mean, but I think I am better at understanding what I read now.
Teacher: Why? What has helped you improve?
Student: I can visualize the story more and see what’s happening-it makes me like it more and understand it better.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Today was english test day…need I say more? Let me tell you about the positive and the negative. I’ll start with the negative so we’ll have something to look forward to. 🙂
Negative: My english test is always a 1 page test with about mmmm….15 sentences on it. Today’s test had 3 sections.
Section 1: 4 or 5 sentences to label the dependent clause and the independent clause
Section 2: 5 sentences to label the simple subject, simple predicate, complete subject, and complete predicate
Section 3: 5 sentences to label each word as the part of speech it belongs to
I would say it should take the kids about 20 minutes (at the most) to complete the test.
Are you ready??????? Including the review of english and the test itself we spent 1 hour on english today in once class and 1 hour 20 minutes in the other class.
I know I have already said this in a previous post (or previous postS)-I.have.got.to.change.something.with.english.
It is taking entirely toooooooo long which takes time away from our reading and writing. I talked with another teacher today to ask their opinion and have decided to shorten the test-maybe only have 2 sentences in each section. OR-I might go ahead and start my Daily Grammar Practice and this will be the ONLY english we do each day each week. Anyway, whatever I decide will be implemented beginning Monday-I CANNOT afford to spend this much time on english each day!!! You would think that english is a foreign language to us and not our native language. 🙂
Positive: I separated the 3 sections of the test onto 3 different sheets of paper for about 6 students in each class to help them focus and not be so overwhelmed. This decision was made after meeting with a parent earlier this week. Also, I let them take the test at my small group table AND I helped each one with the test. Like really helped them. Like gave them a few answers. 🙂
Anywhoo-I’ll let you know what I decide for next week’s plan for english!
We made up some sentence with our spelling words-I am using 10 high frequency words that are being misspelled and misused in their writing. After the test they will go up on our word wall so that they will BE SPELLED AND USED CORRECTLY!!!
We read our passage again and practiced our “reciprocal teaching” in groups. They changed roles today. We will do this again tomorrow before the test so that they will have had 3 jobs in their groups. The jobs are PREDICTOR, QUESTIONER, CONNECTOR, AND SUMMARIZER. I think I might add CLARIFIER onto the CONNECTOR job. It went much smoother today. This is what I overheard while walking around and listening:
1. It is impossible to predict something-we have already read the entire text!
2. I’m having a hard time making a connection to anything in this passage.
So, I think I’ll let the connector also clarify things that need clearing up. 🙂
We did 2 short rounds of FAB FIVE(Daily 5). BUT-I also got 2 mini-lessons in!!!!!!!! Here is what it looked like:
Mini-lesson: Anchor chart for writing a comparing/contrasting essay. (Each class gave me their input, I wrote it on the board, and had a student record it for me on a sheet of notebook paper, then after school I made the actual chart on chart paper)
Round 1-I pulled my 3rd small group this week to finish up our note sheet on our comprehension strategies.
Mini-lesson: We talked about “reading voraciously” or reading A LOT! I had them work with a partner to come up with 2 places they either like to read or just 2 places that you can read. Then they had to think of when they can read. We shared these with me writing them on the board and one of my students recording onto notebook paper-then I made the actual anchor chart after school. (I have to do it this way since I teach 2 classes)
Round 2-I pulled my 4th and last small group to finish the comprehension strategy note sheet. I love working with small groups! 🙂
Then I helped 1 of my students with his reading response letter. I love working with individuals EVEN MORE than small groups! 🙂 🙂
Now I’ve got to figure out how to make my small group/individual time about1 hour or a little more!!! HELP! 🙂