Thursday, November 20, 2014

Literacy Workshop…Revisiting 100 Minutes

In the past few years a few things have 
totally changed the way I teach. 
Have changed the teacher I am.
Have changed the way I view my profession.

The first was switching from teaching Grades 7 & 8 rotary to teaching Grades 3 and 4 core.
I used to teach two classes English, History and Geography on a rotary schedule where my students switched classes every 40 minutes.

I now teach one class of students everything and at most they only leave the room for 40 minutes a day. 
And it's so much better. 
I know my students better.
I integrate my content more effectively.
I like it better.

The second major shift was when I read Guided Math by Laney Sammons for an online book study with Brenda from Primary Inspired

Thinking about how to differentiate my teaching and teach in a guided setting really helped me to understand how I could help each of my students to achieve success. 

Then this past summer I read 100 Minutes by Lisa Donohue…and wow, did that ever change my teaching. Coming from the intermediate grades I really had no idea about guided reading. How to do it, what it was, how to plan for it, etc. I read The Daily 5 that first summer in an attempt to be ready to teach Grade 4 and have a guided reading program. 
However, I can't say that it really helped me that much. 
It was just too much to wrap my head around.
Too many rotations.
Too many options and choices.

A few years later I read Guiding Readers by Lori Jameson-Rog and lead a book study here on my blog and it really helped me to understand what guided reading was and how it could be used to help work with my students at their instructional reading level. But a few maternity leaves have popped up in the meantime and I just wasn't able to get a successful program up and running.

Until now!

I am pretty proud of my guided reading program even though it is still in the early stages I can see where I am heading with it and I know that it is going to be very beneficial to the students in my class. Especially since this year the reading levels of my students range from D to U!
Yes, in one Grade 3 class. 

The biggest takeaway from 100 Minutes for me was the idea of "intentional sequencing". It just made so much sense and really made all the difference for me with having a literacy workshop program that was up and running the way I wanted it for me.

That doesn't mean it's all gone smoothly by any means…
In my class there are 6 students who receive ESL support 3 days a week during my literacy block so that has made scheduling my guided reading and writing groups somewhat tricky. 

I would recommend 100 Minutes to anyone that is interested in having a workshop style program for their literacy classroom and is unsure of how they might go about organizing the time.

Click here to see how 100 Minutes has helped me layer my classroom and my MUST HAVE products from TPT for my literacy program. 

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