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Finally, small group instruction!

I am finally maybe an eighth of the way to figuring out small group instruction in reading for my 6th graders. First of all, let me give you a brief scenario of why it is SO hard to fit this into our day:

1. State mandated curriculum takes A LOT of time to cover

2. Some students work at a slower pace than others, so things in class take time to complete

3. Since we are required to “give” at least 10 grades per subject per 6 weeks, it seems that 1 day each week is essentially devoted to testing

4. Because of the complexity of the 6th grade curriculum, there is a need to add lots of repetition into our schedule to hopefully ensure that ALL students eventually master each thing

5. Our beloved (insert sarcasm here) required reading program is-TIME CONSUMING, DIFFICULT, OFTEN BORING, AND NEVER ENDING   which means that A LOT of our time needs to be devoted to covering it. I will leave it at that!

6. We can’t forget about our many daily interruptions-intercom announcements, student check-outs/check-ins, behavior problems, etc. One day my students and I tallied our interruptions and by the end of the day we had 18 total!!

I’m probably not even listing all the reasons why it’s hard to fit in small group instruction, but you see where I’m coming from with the 6 I listed above.

Oh, yeah-I have approximately 2 hours 15 minutes (?) with each of my 2 classes.

Obviously, I can’t implement small group instruction like the earlier grades are able to. So here’s my plan (and I have actually followed it for 3 days this week!).

I will allow a 20-30 minute time slot in our day (each class) for small group help Monday-Thursday. Each day a different area will be covered. Phonics/Vocabulary/Fluency/Comprehension. Of course, the 1st three are the building blocks to comprehension anyway! The students themselves will decide if they want help. If they do, they will sign their name on a clipboard and meet me at the table.

The other students will Read to Self. I’ll report back to you soon and give you the some statistics like number of students requesting help, etc. Today I had 7 in each class that came for help. I really thought I would have had more, but we’ll see how it goes!

In my ideal classroom world, my instruction would probably look something like this:

20%-Whole Class Instruction

20%-Small Group Instruction

60%-Individual Instruction

In reality, it has been looking like this:

90%-Whole Class Instruction

10%-Small Group Instruction (Hit and Miss)

I at least hope to reach this:

70%-Whole Class Instruction

30%-Small Group Instruction

Now that I have rambled enough about all of this, I will let your brain rest. 🙂 Will post more later!

And for you teachers out there that have messaged me about some reading resources I am working on them as quickly as I can!!! Sorry I’ve been so busy! 🙂


Read and Write 180-Day 46

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday is now our library day for my afternoon class. So picture this in your mind. Word Study test. Reading test. Play homeworkopoly. Don’t forget time given to study a little for each test. Pep rally. Lunch. P.E. Library time. Fun time for good behavior all week. Snack. Well, we actually were able to fit one more thing into this OVERCROWDED day. 🙂

We have teamed up with a truck driver through Trucker Buddy. So now we are corresponding with a truck driver through email. The kids are LOVING it!!!!!! Everyday I hear, “Has Mr. Robert emailed us back?” 🙂

Here is a link to the Trucker Buddy website.

I’m having them keep a US map in their binder and we are tracking the travels of he and his wife-they are co-drivers. I’m trying to figure out what Language Arts standard I can tie this to. Hmmm….gotta think on that one. 🙂



Book Challenge-Book 37

I bought this book after reading on one teacher’s blog that her intermediate students loved Gordon Korman‘s books. This book was the 1st in a series-The Island Series. Book#1-Shipwreck- was a fun book, but it did have A LOT of description/language about ships. Listen here-I don’t think my schema bank on ships has ANYTHING in it!!! 🙂

The majority of the book was detailing the journey, and if you’re like me-you will have to continue the series to find out more and stay with the characters. Remember how you used to spend the night with your friend, and when it came time to leave you didn’t want to? Well, that’s how I am with books, and especially the ones (like this one) that DON’T END!