- How can I get the biggest bang for my buck when it comes to time?
- How can I meet with small groups & address instruction at their readiness level & still keep the other 20+ kiddos involved in meaningful work?
- What are the other kids doing while I'm meeting with the small group? (Perhaps THE biggest question I've had!).
- How can I find time to meet with every student (even the 'high' ones)?
It also addresses one of my own personal needs. Most of you probably know that I am teaching a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd grade Multi-age, & I team-teach. So--- think 54 kids - 2 teachers. As we're planning for next year, my teamie tells me she wants to move all to stations next year: Mini-lesson, then all the kids move out to different stations.....reading, writing, using non-fiction to practice skills....
Now, she's the big-picture person, & I'm the detail person.....so my little brain is flipping through all of its files trying to find something that will help me 'see' what this will look like in action.
AWARD = Applying Reading And Writing Daily
Lo & behold, sitting there by the pool....I find the answer right here in the pages of 100 Minutes! Perfect! Here's how Lisa Donohue describes AWARD time...."Students take time to work on reading responses directly following guided reading; this allows them time to immediately apply and practice the lessons they just learned". EXACTLY what my teamie was describing to me! So here's how it would look (all graphic organizer style).
So, what happens is a gradual release of responsibility. Day 1, kiddos are working with the teacher, then move off to work on a reading response using the material they've worked with in small group. Day 2, they do the same thing, but independently with new text. When kiddos come back to you, you'll have their work from two work sessions by which to gauge their mastery.
NOW - the beauty of this is how writing ALSO fits in this format. I love, love, love the direction she takes writing. First of all, writing run concurrently with reading. One group might start independent writing while you are meeting with a guided reading group. When the writing group joins you, they'll have some writing which can be used as the basis for conferencing, sharing, peer editing, & setting writing goals. Just imagine the rich conversations you'd be able to have in this format! Writing looks very similar to reading:
As Donohue explains, the power in this instructional sequence is that you are able to respond to individual needs & monitor each child's progress. I personally LOVE the way it facilitates kiddos being a more active part of their assessment process. AWARD time sets up opportunities for kiddos to be able to articulate their strengths & weaknesses and to set their own learning goals!
Writing CAN happen outside of the whole group format! Where I couldn't see how that could possibly work before, I absolutely love the way that Donohue has laid it out! I LOVE that it really would give me MORE time to conference with kiddos, & really give us the opportunity to have powerful conversations about their writing!
- I admit...I still need to see it all mapped out. I still need to map it all out in an excel doc & see where all the kiddos are during the literacy block.
- How will the writing binders we already use work for us in this format?
- I'd like to gather materials & resources for kiddos to use during their independent practice & have all of that ready to go before school starts (August 4th!! Wowzers!)