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I'm Thankful poor neglected blog!

I have been in a blogging funk lately.  I've just been overwhelmed with the usual goings on of life.  I've made a lot of changes in my classroom the last month, and it's been a lot of experimenting and trying to find the best set-up for my class.  I started a really modified Daily 5 approach.  We really only do Read to Self and some sort of Word Work.  The only choice I let them have is where they sit for Read to Self.  It's working out good so far, but I have 2 students with autism that just can't focus to read independently.  I'm not sure what the solution is for that.  I recently read Jan Richardson's Next Step in Guided Reading book and fell in love with her ideas.  So I have started Guided Reading using her lesson plans.  And I redid my schedule.  It looks like this:

8:00 - 8:40     Corrective Reading/Reading Mastery
8:40 - 8:55     Group A Guided Reading (others do Read to Self/computer/word work)
8:55 - 9:10     Group B Guided Reading (others do Read to Self/computer/word work)
9:10 - 9:25     Group C Guided Reading (others do Read to Self/computer/word work)
9:25 - 9:30     Read Aloud

The major downfall is that the 15 minute blocks are just not enough time to do a good Guided Reading lesson or Read to Self.  I just don't really know how to get by that part though.  I think it's working ok, but I do feel stressed that I can't accomplish very much in the short time.  I do struggle with keeping some of my kids on task and not interrupting my reading group.  Keeping them independently working is a challenge.  I do feel better that I'm giving each student some instruction at their level each day.  Are any other SPED teachers doing Guided Reading or Daily 5 with their kids?  How are you keeping them independently working?

Now onto the best part.....the freebie (Sorry this is no longer a freebie)!  Click on the picture to check it out at my TPT store for $2.

Stay tuned this week!  I have other freebies that I've made and not shared.  So in the spirit of being thankful for all you guys, I'll post a freebie a day until Thanksgiving (plus, it'll get me back in the swing of blogging)!


  1. Thanks for sharing! This is a great game! I feel you about being behind - I don't think I'll catch up until May!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  2. This is so cute and perfect for my struggling first graders to play with the parent volunteer! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I made a game very similar to this one and the kids LOVE to play it. I'm sure your kids will too.

    I'm not a special ed teacher but I got an idea from A Teeny Tiny Teacher that I've implemented during centers. It's called Center Patrol and basically, I pick one child each day to be the "Center Patrol." When it starts getting loud or I see someone not working, I call out Center Patrol and then the Center Patrol goes around the room and checks off the names of whoever is not doing their work. I tell them that the Center Patrol is the deputy and I am the Sheriff. I have to agree with the Center Patrol that someone is not doing their work and will get their clip moved. This helps the kids quiet down very quickly and though I don't usually change many clips as a result of the Center Patrol's findings, it does serve as a gentle reminder to get back to work. Plus, whoever is the Center Patrol loves it.

  4. I have a challenging bunch of kids this year who have a hard time settling down and focusing. So I pull my first GR group during our writing time. The writing time (not including mini lesson and authors circle) is 30 minutes, so that gives me lots of time to meet with one group and still time to circulate among the writers. My second group meets with me during Independent Reading. Everyone has a spot in the room where their backs are turned away from all distractions i.e., other kids. This is working out well. The 3rd group meets later in the day and I assign seatwork to the other kids (printing, short book response, phonics page etc.) I'm finding things work out better if my group times are separated and some days I just pull two groups. Each group lasts from 15 to 20 minutes.
    Hope this helps ... and best of luck ... it's frustrating sometimes figuring out how to get it all to work :)

    Grade ONEderful

  5. LOVE the freebie! So cute. All of my iep kiddos have sight word goals so I'm always on the lookout for new ways to practice them.

    As terrible as it sounds, I tend to put my kids on academic programs on the computer, or an academic game led by my assistant when I pull my kids for small reading groups. But it's really hard!!

  6. Thanks for the appreciation you guys!

    Midwaydancer - I've been doing the same basically as you and trying to add in Read to Self. I only have an aide during the first 40 minutes while doing Corrective Reading/Reading Mastery. My middle school daughter is with me till 9 when she walks to school and I use her some to play games. I do have a parent volunteer that comes once a week on some weeks, and I use her to play games with the kids. I think I'm going to start Listening to Reading after Thanksgiving to hopefully keep them on task for a little while.

  7. Somehow 2 years ago I did guided reading and literacy centers with 6 first and second grade boys. And it really went well once they got the hang of it. They each had a folder for their work with a little tent note that said I need help. If they needed help with something they would put it up and keep working. We also had a very set schedule of rotations. The centers were always the same, just updated the activities. Sometimes I had to differentiate within the center. If they had a paper product to complete I would put their name on it so that they each got the correct one.

  8. I know that I am a little late in the conversation, but I wanted to add my two cents on this one. I have 16 students in my resource room for a language arts. They vary greatly in their abilities. I have put them into four groups. Blue group starts at the blue table. Orange group starts at the orange table, etc. One table is reading and writing with me. One table is phonics and language with my assistant. One table they do their spelling work. One table is centers. My centers are as follows: word work, ipad, ipad2, book on tape, puzzles. Every week my kids visit each center. If you want more information on that I can help you out. You would not believe it, but I get all of these kids to work independently for 25 minutes! They rule is that they CANNOT come to my table. They must ask a friend if they have a question. If they come to my table I do not reinforce the behavior by answering their question. I remind them to ask a friend. We went over procedures for two weeks at the beginning of school. Works like a charm. I have a cd player behind my table. When I play the rotating song, everyone cleans up and goes to the next station. I don't even get out of my chair most of the time. They bring independent work over for me to check at my table. Easy peasy.

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