I decided to create this site to fulfill a requirement for a course that I am taking this semester. It is a practicum and requires that I create "something" technology related. Currently, I am a third grade teacher. Specifically, I teach reading, writing, spelling, and social studies.  

This year, my principal asked that all reading teachers use the guided reading method of teaching reading. We embarked on several book studies at the end of last year, met together over the summer to discuss how we would be implementing guided reading, and even had someone from another district skilled in the use of guided reading come talk to us. Despite all of this preparation, I still felt ill equipped to really implement guided reading like it should be in my classroom. If truth be told, I really didn't fully implement it and really start using it until the second semester.  

You see, it seemed like every time I sat down to work with a group, despite my best efforts, I could not get myself together enough to carry it through. I'd meet with a group here and there, an individual every now and then, and could never quite get a good system going. I hated getting up and teaching for almost two hours straight, but I just could not conceptualize in my brain how it would work otherwise.  

One book that we read at the end of last year was The Daily Five by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. This is a phenomenal book that basically set up five literacy "centers" within a classroom. The five centers include: read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, work on writing, and word work. The students in the classroom are to independently pick from the five stations and work there while the teacher individually conferences with other students around the room. I had implemented the Daily Five in my classroom at the beginning of the year, but I was still unable to really work with groups like I wanted to.  

Over the Christmas break, my mind began to clear and I was finally able to create a doable game plan that combined guided reading groups and the daily five. I ended up finding a fantastic resource called, "The Guided Reading Guru" at the Teachers Pay Teachers web site that ultimately helped me create my groups. Once I had my groups created (I have five groups per class), I decided that my students needed some more structure to the daily five. So, I created a rotation chart and the students no longer have a choice of what they go to each day. They simply rotate through three of the daily five centers each day. During those rotations, I am able to meet with three different groups each day.  

I realize that this may seem extremely simple to many primary teachers, but I've never taught below third grade so this is a foreign concept to me. This is where the idea for this site was formed. I really wanted to create a site that would lead a teacher step by step through the process of implementing guided reading in their classroom. Please know that I am novice, just like you. I am still learning, just like you. At the same time, I hope to provide you with a game plan, so to speak, to at least get you up and going. I hope that I can perhaps save you some time and frustration so that you can begin guided reading with your students on day one rather than day 101.
 


Comments

Nancy Maushak
02/06/2012 9:32am

Love reading your reflections. I can actually feel like i am part of this and see things happening. I love the idea of daily 5. I am always surprised at the new ideas that come out to support reading. Look forward to following your blog throughout the term.
Nice layout on site. I like weebly and find it is very education friendly. good choice to move from google sites to here.

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Marti Sides
02/06/2012 9:03pm

Thank you so much for your comments Dr. Maushak. I've used both google sites and weebly and find weebly to be a little more user friendly.

I really love guided reading and combining it with Daily 5 has really supported literacy in my classroom. If you'd like more information about it, you can visit http://www.thedailycafe.com. Of course, this will definitely one of my resoureces once I start working on my resources page, and I'll definitely be explaining how it all works in my classroom throughtout the site, but this will give you a little bit of information to look at right now.

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    Meet Marti

    Marti is 3rd grade ELA, Reading, and Social Studies teacher at Willow Bend Elementary. She has been in education for the past 15 years. In addition to teaching 3rd grade, Marti has also taught 4th grade and has been the instructional technology specialist at her campus. This is her first year to use the guided reading method in her classroom.

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