So I want to do a helpful post of some substance since I haven't for a long time! ;)
What's working for me this Wednesday (er...Friday) is...
my adapted Daily 5 Rotations board.
I am trying Daily 5 for the first time this year, so it continues to be a learning experience. I first saw Daily 5 on Pinterest and I was intrigued. Isn't everyone always trying to improve their independent work time during Guided Reading?? I felt that I had a good system before, in terms of "crowd control," but I knew it wasn't as productive as it could be. So, after seeing a lot, thinking it might be the system for me, but getting more and more overwhelmed by the sheer number of resources available online, I bought and read The Daily 5 (the book) on my Kindle :)
After reading the book, I got it. I understood the process and was ready to implement this school year.
I did notice that my students had excellent stamina while I was watching and able to circulate around and work with them. Probably it is my fault, because I wasn't super-loyal to building stamina up from 3 minutes on for each D5 choice (I didn't have the time necessary to do that--I had to start my guided reading groups sooner than that allowed.), but as soon as I started pulling reading groups, the students' ability of choosing any D5 station they wanted wasn't working. Students were constantly choosing the partner games or Read to Someone, which is perfectly wonderful, but when 14 or 15 students choose a game from Word Work,or they choose Read to Someone, it gets awfully loud and interrupts our reading group, even if all of the students reading and playing are quietly on task.
So, I knew I had to limit the number of students in each station per day. I tried assigning each reading group to a certain station at a certain time, but that seemed a lot like cheating the program because it took all the student choice out of the equation. Plus, the students were a LOT less excited about Daily 5 each day. I settled on a hybrid model and I love it. It is still a work in progress, but here it is...
I have four reading groups, and they each named their group with a color. The inspiration for this board comes from the Math Workshop board on Clutter-Free Classroom. I love it!!
In addition, I did not include Listen to Reading this year. I simply did not have the number of CDs or books on tape or the time it requires to spend setting up a system that I didn't have at all in place before trying D5. So, I have adapted it and now one of the D5 "Free Choice" choices is for the student to do Study Island on the computer. Our district uses SI and it's a wonderful program with a ton of customization options. I simply set up an assignment for a certain group of readers, and they go online and practice that skill on SI, and then they get a grade, which I can see and use to set up future assignments and to drive instruction. They LOVE the computer time as well!
In short, this is my What Works Wednesday, even though it has taken until Friday (woop woop--it's Friday!!!) to get it posted. That's the story of my life--running behind ;)
I have all the Rotations cards made as well as the bulletin board header on my TpT page for only $1.99!