Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!

It has been a long time since I have been able to sit down and blog! I hope you had a wonderful break! My Hubby and I were able to get away for a few days without our sweet girls.

Plus it was really nice to be on the beach while Colorado had snow! 

I wanted to share with you one of my successes this school year. 

Meeting the needs of each student is an important part of being an effective teacher. It is also a difficult part! Finding time to fit in one on one time is tricky and something that I have really been working on this school year. It easily fits with my balanced literacy lessons, since I mainly teach literacy. The model does loan itself to working with math.

Balanced literacy needs one on one teacher to student conferencing. But how do you find time? How do you get to each kiddo? To make it easier on yourself make a goal to meet with every student individually at least every two weeks. This was a big step for me. I wanted to do conferences but it seemed so over whelming. Having ten days to get through all of my kiddos seemed do able!

Heres how I manage it; every day during reading group and independent work time I set aside time to conference with one of my groups. I know that during their reading group time I will meet with each kiddo individually. The rest of the class is working through literacy workstations and I am meeting with about 4 kiddos each day. (Lucky for me I only have 16 kiddos this year!) I use a light and a teacher assistant.

If the light is on the students can't talk to me ( you can read more about that here.) They have to ask the teacher's assistant for help then the teacher assistant is the only one who can ask me a question. I do this for my small group time and each day a new student is the teacher assistant. This really works for me. One of my colleagues uses capes instead of the hat and its so cute!

So what do I do in the conference time? Well it depends on the kid! I usually discuss their text or writing prompt and do a running record.  I love working with each kid individually and I think they enjoy the one on one attention. This data is so helpful for the parents at conferences or at an RTI meeting. I aim to meet with each student for 5 minutes but sometimes it takes a little longer.

I hope you find these ideas useful and that they help you build a balanced literacy model in your classroom.

I plan on starting a giveaway this week! Check back soon!

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