For the month of March , I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge (#sol19) sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. I will be slicing each day for 31 days inspired by my work as a literacy specialist and coach, my life, and my fellow bloggers.
Through my work as a literacy coach, I have teachers that I meet and collaborate with throughout the week. Some teachers will come with questions, sometimes we plan out what we will work on the next week, sometimes I have a teaching technique or skill I’ve noticed or a suggestion. I keep a journal entry of each meeting to keep me thinking.
Notebook Saturday: Drop In #sol19
March 23, 2019
She rushes in the book room, paper in hand. Do you have a few minutes? she asks. I turn from my computer, my head full of other thinking. I hesitate, only for seconds. Sure, I say, What’s up?
She places a carefully constructed sheet on my table. I scan for a moment. Oh, new strategy goals… She has been very careful. I wish I remembered her carefully constructed titles for the groupings. In my mind I was already translating them… word solving, ok. Two word solving groups. (Middle word) Now I’m remembering… Mind Movies, Dialogue. I called one Fluency. Oh yes, she called it sound like talking. There’s one cryptic group that I’ve called LL. Hope she remembers who and what.
Looks like you’ve got it thought out.
I don’t know how I’m going to fit it all in.
(Sigh) (This is a talk I can do on the fly) Let’s talk it out. Let me get a piece of paper. Legal pad sheet ripped off the pad. Stickies. Pencil. Let’s go. Ok, how many groups can you fit in a workshop? Two?
I think I can fit three, she says. Hmmm. I quickly draw a grid, talking as I go. Let’s plan for four days and then you can have an extra for things you notice that week or just whip around conferring. I pause… Let’s start with your word solvers.
We begin working through groups talking strategic times, timing, configuration, methods as we go. My paper begins to look like a football play book. (As if I’ve seen one of those)
Quickly we work through the groups. Perhaps start the week with Word Solvers. Maybe this word solving group can be seen by your partner teacher and you can just do table conferences.
On we go. Four days a week for the word solvers. She’s been running a shared reading group with them. I suggest a gradual release. 2 minute teach, 8 minute watch and coach. Then later in the week, run both groups at the same time, centering herself and going back and forth.
She’s ready for a stretch in technique.
Her Mind Movie group and Dialogue group perhaps two days each. That might be a good try for Shared Reading. Interactive Read Aloud, she says.
Mind Movie group? What level? Lish? You could teach into story mountain. Time line? she asks. Four squares. Maybe a little higher level character work. Iris is the kind of person who…character trait.
We talked through book club ideas quickly. Double partnerships, book club talk.
We include a bonus slot for research or teaching into current unit lessons. I draw a poorly executed trash can fire. She looks up. Sometimes fires happen. You need space for that.
Then I say something off the cuff in closing. That’s a mantra, she says. Write it down.
Laughing, I write it down as I say it again.
Off you go.
My apologies to Jennifer Serravallo for my fast edit of a technique I learned from her. You can read more about this grid planning technique in Teaching Reading in Small Groups.