Saturday, September 4, 2010

What a Busy Life

You know, I never imagined my life could be so busy. School work consumes my entire life! I hope that one day I will get to the point where I have a weekend. I am going shopping today, so at least that's a break from school.

Anyhow, this weekend I am starting to write my long range plans. I am a bit unclear about them, but have a document to look through that I haven't gotten out yet so hopefully that will clear some things up.

I also plan to figure out how to run my small group/workstation time in my literacy block. We devote 2 hours each day to literacy and work with the students in small groups doing a curriculum called Project Read. This brings me to another point... I need to figure out how to teach Project Read. I brought the books home and plan to look on the internet for help, too. I can do most of it because it's basically scripted, but I don't know the hand movements that go with it. So, I need to work on that. I'm pretty excited to learn about it and hope that it will really help my students!

As for the work stations, I need to revamp them. I had too many going on last week and the kids were just crazy. I was thinking more would mean small groups at each one, but it really just means the kids get confused and talk to the other groups. They didn't seem to understand that they needed to read the directions left at the stations and since I had grouped them by ability, it was nearly impossible for some of them to read those written directions. Sometimes I just think I am clueless. I mean, obviously that wouldn't work, but I didn't think it out as well as I should have before hand. I'm learning though. So, this week will be different. We are starting Project Read this week, too. I think we'll only have it for 3 days this week though because it's a four day week and we have tests and stuff Friday, so it really only leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I also want to try to get some math groups started, but I think that might be taking on too much at one time, so I might just try to have those going by second semester. We'll see.

Well, I'm off to shop! Hope everyone has a great Saturday!


  1. It is SO hard to figure this stuff out. I’m on my 6th year and still find it overwhelming! Here’s what I do with small groups, and maybe it will help.

    We have a reading intervention and math intervention at separate times of the day. This is when we work one-on-one or with small groups. We use must-do’s, next-do’s, and may-do’s. (I’ll post more about it on my blog when we get going on it.) Basically, I give every child a worksheet to do first, independently. When that is finished they turn it in to my basket and move on to a next-do. I have about 10 different activities (or however many I need so there are only 2 children per activity). I have half math and half reading related activities so I can keep it the same all day. The children go to their assigned next-do and complete it. Then they have may-do’s. They can keep doing their next-do if they want. For example, they always want to spend the entire time if they are on computers. Or they can move on to a may-do. May-do’s include independent things like library, reading, taking AR tests, writing in their own journal, etc. It takes almost a good month to teach the whole process (I only introduce one or two next-do’s at a time), but when they have learned it, I find it the best way to work with them. While they are working on their activities, I pull back whoever I need to work with.

    Good luck!

  2. I completely understand!! I remember when I first started teaching I would work the ENTIRE weekend!! It will get easier!

    The management part of workstations is the hardest part!! I would recommend introducing workstations to the entire class. Going over expectations letting them practice the activity as a whole group. This will allow you to monitor and answer questions. Then when you put it into a workstation the students will know exactly what to do. I also recommend NOT changing out your workstations every week. Just change it a little by changing the book, or having new words, poem etc.

    Also I would group them heterogeneously while they are working in workstations. This way the students who struggle can be helped by another student.

    One more tip would be to NOT pull small groups for at least a week so you can monitor workstations and help the students to know what is expected. This is VITAL if you want the students to know what to do and how to behave!!

    Hope some of these suggestions help! I think the previous commenter had great suggestions as well!!

    Good luck!! Enjoy your LONG weekend!


  3. Nope, you aren't's called "trial and error" and EVERY great teacher does it. There are still times now, in my 5th year, that I wonder why I didn't think of doing something a certain way when I first started teaching. You learn about as much (if not more) as the kiddos do those first few years!