What Are You Teaching: September 26

I know no one is hanging on the edge of their seats waiting for my weekly post and I do these mostly for my own planning purposes but it's good to be back! I took last weekend off after a long week of Parent/Teacher conferences. I LOVE meeting with all of my families but 44 conferences is a lot and it was a pretty exhausting week. We celebrated by going to the baseball game and enjoying some nachos (my favorite at the ballpark).
Sadly I just realized my husband and I didn't take one picture at the game. That's a first! They did open the roof half way through the game so that was pretty cool. I love Chase Field with the roof open!

So now for the big question....

We have a lot on our plates this week!
Here is the break down:

Morning Work: We are on Unit 2 now and this week we are focusing on the letter S. I use these as an opportunity to revisit handwriting for this letter since it has already been introduced. We really focus on using this sound in words at this point. We also practice writing our sight words have & is and this week we introduce proper nouns. This goes nicely with writing lists of our friends, families, pets, and anything else we can think of that fits the proper noun category!
Centers: Last week (after the game!) I reorganized my center station. This shelf is kind of awkward but it's what I have! I color coded my bins to match the labels for each activity. My activities stay pretty consistent throughout the year so I shouldn't have to change these very often. Now every column of shelves belongs together. It worked really well this week!

The Cut & Glue, ABC Center, and Write the Room are all included in this week's centers. These really help me with my planning. I have plenty of options to fit the needs of my class which has been a huge life saver year after year.  Click HERE to see them in my store.
The Sound Clips and Spin & Dab are from my Ultimate ABC Centers unit. The dabbers are their favorite right now! I also have some activities from my easy prep All Set? You Bet! September centers.

Reading: I love my CAFE book by the 2 Sisters and I use this to keep me organized. To make sure I am hitting all of the components I follow this schedule...
Thursday-Expand Vocabulary

So this week our Comprehension strategy is SETTING and I am pulling some ideas from ReadWorks. I am really excited about this too because it is giving me the option to give my high readers some passages on their level. I hope they are as thrilled as I am!
For Accuracy/Fluency (I am combining these this week) we are going to introduce our fluency routine. This is a time that I have students sit knee to knee (across from each other) and read a fluency passage to each other. Right now our fluency passage is an alphabet page and we are working on letter naming.

Not all of my kiddos still need this though so some will read a passage from ReadWorks.  They read it together for 2 minutes and then each student gets the opportunity to read it for one minute on their own. Our goal is to become better readers and get faster each day.
Expand Vocabulary will go with our story for the week, Nature Spy and the Amazing Words provided by Reading Street. 

Wow....I am wordy today. Thanks for sticking with me!

Writer's Workshop: This is my favorite week of Writer's Workshop in Kindergarten. This week we are talking about what good writers do. I start out with Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book by Cynthia Rylant and it really hits all of the things that good writers do. I love this book! On Tuesday we will read Arthur Writes a Story by Marc Brown and I love focusing on ideas for that one. On Thursday we will read More Bears! by Ken Nesbitt. This story will help us talk about our sharing time and how our friends can help give us suggestions to make our story 'even better'...that's how I like to put it! Here are my affiliate links to these books that I am compensated for if you choose to buy them through this link. I just purchased More Bears!, The Pencil, and The Best Story for this week and next. I am slowly but surely filling up my mentor text book shelf.

Math: In math this week we are starting Unit 3 of Guiding Kinders. Did you know that Deanna and Deedee are revamping the whole bundle? The new units are GREAT! They were amazing before but now they are even better. They have included literature connections for each lesson and links to videos to support the concepts. I love the new updates. This week we are starting the counting strategies lessons and they are my very favorite lessons to teach. HERE is my post from the first year I was using their lessons and you'll see what I mean....

Math Tubs are full of our September Math Centers thanks to a couple of awesome moms who laminated and cut ALL of them for me! I have the most amazing parent volunteers this year!

And FINALLY for Wacky Wednesday we are doing our second week of our Apple Unit.  This week we will have some tasting stations, we'll make applesauce, investigate whether an apple will sink or float, and we will "dig in" and investigate the inside of an apple.

Here are some snap shots from last week: 
Click HERE to see this unit in my store. 
That's IT! I am tired now just thinking about it! We have 2 weeks until October break and I am going to do my best to get all that I can in before we leave and forget all of our procedures. The struggle is real.  I finally get them right where I want them and we take a break.

Here's a link to all of the products I am using this week. Some I talked about and some I didn't. Have a great week friends!

Effective Grouping for Small Group Instruction

 Guided Reading instruction is a powerful way to improve students' reading level and comprehension at the primary level.  Establishing and maintaining groups can be a struggle and while research supports this as an effective practice often teachers are left without any guidance on how to set this up in the classroom. Here are a few tips that may help you with the process!  

#1 Assessment

At the beginning of the year we assess students to find their individual instructional level.  You may have a system already in place (my district uses DIBELS) or you could be on your own.  I use my DIBELS reports to help me make these decisions early on but we only test 3 times a year and we move forward at a much faster pace in Kindergarten.  This leaves me with a lot of time to do assessments on my own.  Here is how I break it down. 

  • Letter Naming- Letter naming is not a required skill to read however it is an early literacy skill. Students may start reading without being able to quickly identify all the letters in the alphabet however it is a good skill to have when it comes to reading and writing down the road. My lowest reading group includes all of the students that have not yet mastered this skill. Our goal is to read 45-55 letter names in one minute.  Once they are doing this I am comfortable moving them on. 
Effective grouping for Guided Reading , letter naming fluency, interventions
View more about Letter Naming Intervention HERE
  • Phoneme Segmentation- This is a skill that many students will FLY through.  Phoneme segmentation is the ability to break words down into their individual sounds.  If I say "cat" you say /c/a/t/. For students that struggle with this it can truly be a roadblock to reading. In my experience it is essential that students master this skill before they move on to any other skills in reading.  These students are also grouped into my lowest reading group for individual practice on this skill.
learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, phoneme segmentation, guided reading
View more about Phoneme Segmentation Intervention HERE
  • CVC Words- Our next step is to move on to reading the sounds in words.  If students are ready to start saying letter sounds for every letter they make up the majority of my class groups in the "middle" range.  Through the year this middle range group works on reading each letter in the word to blending the words.

  • Blending and Beyond- My high groups are students that are blending those CVC words (without sounding them out first) and these students are ready to move on to new skills like digraphs, vowel combinations, and long vowels.  These skills are not taught within our regular kindergarten curriculum so this differentiation is essential to keep these students challenged.   

  • learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, CVC words, guided reading
    View more about CVC Word Intervention HERE.

    #2 Establishing a Routine

    Once you have establish your groups then you can decide when to meet.  For me it works best to meet first thing in the morning when my students are fresh and everyone is engaged in independent word work centers.  I have 45 minutes of small group instruction time which gives me time to meet with 3 groups a day.  Students in your low and low medium groups need to meet more often (every day) while the higher groups can meet just two or three times each week.  Here is one way to schedule groups. 
    learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, guided reading schedule, guided reading
    Low Groups 5 times a week, Low to Med 4 times a week and High Groups 2 times a week.  
    learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, guided reading schedule, guided reading
    This schedule stays in the front of my notebook with a plan for each day and each group. 
    I use this form to plan out my week and list all of the materials I will need to teach each group.  It really helps your routine if you know what you need when those little faces show up at your small group table!  

    You can get your free editable copy HERE

     #3 Be Flexible! 

    Groups will change from day to day sometimes. As soon as a student has made that jump to the next level it is ok to move them on.  If a student is struggling and the rest of the group is making good progress it is also a good time to move them back to a different group.  Of course my students never know what group I'm working with so there is no stigma attached to being "moved back".  It is important to have students working within their own level to be truly effective. 

    #4 Take your time! 

    So small groups start next week for me. I tried to start last week but we weren't quite ready. I always wait 6 weeks to get our routines in place but this year I thought I could jump in on week 5 but I was WRONG! It was a little bit of a mess, so I took a step back and really made sure we had our routines down this week. For you to have effective small group this is a must. So I'll give it another try next week and this time I am confident we can make it happen! 

    Thanks for stopping by today!

    What Are You Teaching & Parent Teacher Conferences

    Oh my.....I didn't blog all week. I promise good things were happening but it was busy. Next week doesn't look to slow down either!
    We have started our small groups, we are doing all kinds of centers because we have finally introduced all of them, and we are even getting to the point where we can introduce math journals (well....maybe next week). Here is a look at our week!
    Did you see that? The huge Parent/Teacher Conferences note? Yes, I will be conferencing this week with all 44 parents. It doesn't happen often but I will be tired of talking by the end of the week for sure! Before I highlight our weekly plan subject by subject I remembered I have this freebie in my store. You can grab it HERE.
    Morning Work: We are on our last week of this unit and doing really well on our routines. My kiddos are super independent completing these each day. 
    Centers: Our story of the week is Dig, Dig, Digging...not going to lie, not my favorite story but the boys sure love it! 

    Even if the story isn't my favorite these centers help me stay on track with the letter of the week, sight words, grammar skill, and writing.

    Reading Groups: I have started meeting with my small groups. I blogged all about them HERE. I am excited that we are finally in a place where we can get started. 

    Math: We have just started Unit 2 of Guiding Kinders.  Deanna and Deedee are doing such a great job revamping these units. They were great to begin with but now they have video links and extras included.

    Well that is our week! I can't wait to get it started!