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Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Focus Session
Guided Reading using the Fountas and Pinnell Method
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Kathy - I have never been in a chat before, but my professor in graduate school said read anything by foutas and pinnell
GradStudent - Kathy I must agreee with your prof. I'm in a graduate reading program and am reading both GuidED and GuidING reading-Both are excellent!
Linda/CA - I am hoping to find some pointers to aide our staff in using guided reading--most of them are just starting
Kathy - Linda. I agree, I teach special ed and I know that this is something I need to be better at
Linda/CA - How to get the staff to realize that they don't do the whole thing in one day!!!
Kathleen - How is guided reading different from the reading groups of old?
Marcia.1-2/Ca - I have a small group four blocks style observation tomorrow by the principal...any pointers?
Linda/CA - I feel that teachers are more directly teaching comp with guided reading
GradStudent - What is 4 blocks?
Tra - I think the materials for Guided Reading are much more appropriately leveled compared to Basals
Linda/CA - But I have watched teachers do multiple lessons in one sitting--and then state she didn't know what her objective was 
Marcia.1-2/Ca - sometimes it is possible to do several steps at one time... picture walk...teacher read aloud and student read aloud ....
GradStudent - What is picture walk?
Linda/CA - But not with 4 mini-lessons on totally different topics thrown in at the same time--too much for the students to grasp in one sitting
Tra - I believe the major difference in Fountas and Pinnell guided reading groups and 4 blocks is that the children are NOT ability grouped in 4 blocks. Would you say that is accurate?
Marcia.1-2/Ca - One way is with a big book..The teacher holds up the book and talks about each page as the children talk about the pictures...The teacher doesn't read the story, but the children predict what the story will be about by the pictures they see.
Shelby - four blocks: working with words, self selected reading, writing, and guided reading--the difference b/t that and Fountas/Pinell is mainly in guided reading. F/P levelize the children (flex grouping) while 4 blocks do not
aok - This is my 2nd year using the F&P method for Guided reading.
Tra - A picture walk is a way to activate prior knowledge in the reader by having the children look at the pictures first and then discuss what they see.
Linda/CA - aok--do you have a form for planning your lessons?
Marcia.1-2/Ca - I have my kids doing picture walks for themselves before they read...
Shelby - do you find your children struggling with staying on task during centers while you are teaching a small group?
GradStudent - Tra- In other words---introducing the text
aok - Depending on my group, I start with a picture walk, maybe frame words, then everyone reads, we review strategies that we used...
Lorri - I am still trying to figure out guided reading. My school does SFA for reading, I want to incorporate this into other content areas during the day. I teach 3rd. Is this possible?
Marcia.1-2/Ca - I do my small group when the rest (about 6) go to cross-age tutoring..That way I have about 10.... and I work with one group while the others work as a group..
GradStudent - Guided Rdg seems to be for younger kids is this true?
Tra - My children do not stay on task if they are bored. I have taken my "high" kids out of the rotation and let them move from each area at their own pace. It is usually a much quicker pace and I am able to give them more challenging activities. They meet with me once a week for reading instruction instead of everyday
Linda/CA - No--guided reading can be for any group
Marcia.1-2/Ca - the goals for guided reading are comprehension...
Linda/CA - F & P just put out another book called Guided Reading and Writing--it is for grades 3-6
Lorri - Can you give a quick over view of guided reading....
aok - Initially, they do have difficulty staying on task in centers. I usually take extra time on Mondays to be certain they understand centers
tv - How do you incorporate guided reading if using literature circles
emo - we are trying to find other ways to incorporate cross aged grouping to do reading in our school, Any suggestions>
Tra - Grad- yes, a picture walk a strategy to introduce the text 
Shelby - are you rotating in a set amount of time or letting them work the board (in F&P) or a sheet (like "What are the other kids doing while you teach small group?" I've tried both and can't come up with a happy medium!
Lorri - So, guided reading is reading groups?
Linda/CA - I much prefer the What are you doing method
Shelby - i usually use literature circles for my higher ones (i teach 2nd).they only meet every few days.
Linda/CA - GR can be done whole class--if you have enough books for that
Marcia.1-2/Ca - I am new at my school but the two RR teachers lead a cross-age tutoring group for struggling students from each class...
Lorri - I'm lost, please explain.
tv - I teach 4th
Shelby - every year (on 5 now) i struggle with keeping them organized enough to use the "what are the..." plan. any suggestions?
Addie/mo - how do you manage gr for the whole class? what would a typical lesson look like?
emo - do you follow a set curriculum or use literature
Tra - I have a timed rotation board. It is essentially from F & P but have 5 centers at 15-20 min each. We start at 11:30 and end at 1:00. One of the groups is always Read with Ms. Lima. (that's me) The other groups are word wall, pocket chart, read the room, word family activities, making words, handwriting, reading, listening etc..
Lorri - I want to get content area books at their reading level so that we can all read the content but at the right level for comprehension. What part is this, if any?
Marcia.1-2/Ca - In guided reading you teach strategies and methods for reading decoding and comprehension.
Kathy - thanks thats what I would like to know. My 4th grade is reading from preprimer to 3rd grade
Linda/CA - I look at our content standards (this is in CA) and then find books to use to teach those standards
Marcia.1-2/Ca - Our school has Invitations to Literacy. It has an anthology and basals.. Depending on whether I do whole group or small group I use different text.
Tra - guided reading whole group isn't intended for whole group. You ability group your kids and choose approproiate text to instruct your groups
Lorri - OK, standards, that's what I need to do with Scci and SS.
doodleday - I just started doing guided reading with a second grade that is reading at the H level. What can I do with the other students who are MUCH lower?
Shelby - addie:typically you are working with a small group on the same level. the others are working on literacy centers. it helps tremendously if you have someone else in the room. it takes a lot of time to "train" them--be patient!
Linda/CA - yes--use sci and ss--I find that many students are not able to transfer reading skills from one content area to another
Marcia.1-2/Ca - my high students move through the basals at a fast clip and the lower (just barely at grade level) go very slowly and reread texts..
Lorri - So...guided reading I am doing what and the children are doing what?
Kathy - I gr possible in a 45min time slot
Shelby - doodlelay: have you seen the book" what are the other kids doing while you teach small group'? it is a good start
Tra - If you are unsure of what Guided Reading is all about and how to manage it....getting Fountas and Pinnells book "Guided Reading" is a must. I have read it a few times 
Marcia.1-2/Ca - I have got to go..I am sneezing like crazy..
doodleday - I have that book but is there any thing else people can recommend that is perhaps lower level?
Lorri - sorry you explained my ? already. Now, guided reading is a part of 4 blocks?
Addie/mo - acutally, the reason i am asking is for when i am observing students in classrooms. i have noticed whole class "lit sets" being used for lessons. what i see is the teacher mostly calls on a student to read a paragraph and the others read along and they discuss the story as it unfolds. they discuss vocabulary and what is happening and why. IMO, this is not the way that the lit sets should be used.....
Shelby - lorri-yes, but it is very different. 4 block guided reading is more of what F&P call shared reading
Tra - Literature sets you mean Basals?
Addie/mo - the problem is that the students dont pay atten. well when they are not reading
Lorri - and shared reading is...?
Addie/mo - no, not basals, like a third grade class was reading little house in the big woods as a class
doodleday - Also if students are not making substantial progress do you move them ahead if they can decode but comprehension is weak?
Linda/CA - What I do is state a purpose, such as setting or characters, and have the studnets read to p. x and then we put the info on a graphic organizer. the we read to p. y to find the problem
Lorri - I am confused by reading all the info I can get my hands I don't know heads or tails.
MsAt - lorri, F&P guided reading is different from 4 block because its ability grouping and 4 block is not
KH - Hi! I thought during guided reading the goal was that each child read the book on their own. Not aloud like Round Robin reading.
Tra - Do you think the whole class was able to read at the reading level of the little house in the big woods?
Shelby - shared reading is when everyone has access to the same book/poem/etc. the focus is more on fluency, working with word patterns, decoding, etc. whereas guided reading in four blocks is comprehension only (that is the key difference)
Addie/mo - i see, linda...that is more what i would have thought they should be doing. everyone reading to a certain place and then discussing,etc. introducing a focus at the beginning, etc. you stated what i was thinking it should look like.
Linda/CA - GR is not round robin reading--but sometimes we partner read
Lorri - OK, I will not be able to ability group because of schedule...for the time being anyway. But, I am wondering...what makes guided reading guided reading and not just reading out loud or silent reading and partner reading and then discussing questions with
Shelby - i would not move a good decoder ahead if they couldn't comprehend
Linda/CA - Sorry--but I teach a lot of comp skills thru shared reading
KH - Hi! I thought during guided reading the goal was that each child read the book on their own. Not aloud like Round Robin reading.
Shelby - i agree--soooo much can be taught with guided reading!
Tra - Before guided reading the children are assessed. Does anyone use the DRA to assess students before setting up reading groups?
MsAt - yes, I use the DRA to assess my students
Shelby - oops i meant sooo much can be taught with shared reading---sorry valentines day parties have gotten me sooo mixed up!
Lorri - Can you give me an example of how you would go about doing a guided reading lesson...
Addie/mo - tra, no, definitely not. i think most of the kids could. the little girl i was in observing (she is being tested for sp. ed.) read pretty well. i was surprised. she read her paragraph with only two mistakes. she mostly read word by word, but there was an animal sound in the paragraph and she read that word with expression. she didnt pay a lick of attention the rest of the time. i have noticed this almost everytime i have gone in to observe for sp.ed.
Lorri - We do SFA in the morning for our "reading " program...I want to continue to teach reading skills throughout content of Sci and SS, but don't really know where to start.
Addie/mo - different students, different classes, different grades...same thing, they dont pay attn. some are better at faking than others. most of the kids that are being tested for sp.ed. dont read the selection nearly as well as she did, compared to her peers
Linda/CA - there are some examples of how to do a guided reading lesson at
Margy - I'd like to know if anyone here knows how F & P levels the books in the back section. Do they use Fry, Flesch, syllables, etc.?
Addie/mo - we are hopefully going to begin using the DRA next year if we are accepted as a missouri reading initiative school.
Shelby - is excellent also
Lorri - I have found many students do a great job of calling the words...but don't have a clue what they read.
Addie/mo - thanks linda, i will have to look there. thanks, shelby.
Lorri - Ack! You said Missouri reading this the same as the Alabama Reading Intiative that now Florida is going to claim as the Florida reading Intiative?
Linda/CA - I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year having the kids doing retellings of the story--with lots of prompting questions
Linda/CA - I have had students retell Cinderella in 3 sentences 
Margy - Has anyone found a simple way to add books to the F & P levels?
Addie/mo - i dont know. missouri's program is a three year intensive inservice program designed to train teachers to incorporate balanced literacy instruction
Tra - Example GR Lesson, Children (3-4) sit with me and are given a new leveled reader (Rigby, Sundance, Wright Group) I ask the children to do a picture walk. We discuss what it may be about and begin reading. Each whisper reads. I moniter each. If a child is stuck we discuss strategies to figure it out...(picture clue, sound it out, skip it , sound right? look right? etc...) After read through I will send it home for a second reading.
Shelby - margy-no, i can't remember how it is done-don't have the book with me
Lorri - I have heard of leveled books, don't have a clue what it means...more info please
Shelby - by the way, i promise i usually use correct punctuation! lol
Addie/mo - lorri, where are you from?
Margy - Shelby, I'm not sure its in the book.
Tra - Margy, Matching Books to Readers has an approxiamte text length and pages for each level. I may be helpful trying to level unknown books.
Linda/CA - One of the best ways I have learned to teach GR is to have an experienced person come in and observe me and then we sit down and discuss what went well and what didn't and how to improve
Shelby - leveled books allow you to match books to readers (see title in tra's last message)
starr - Is there any other times F&P uses whole group?
Addie/mo - do any of you have accelerated reader, and if so, how do the f &p reading levels correlate (if they do)?
Lorri - I'm from Florid and no one has ever heard of guided reading or 4r blocks, they think I'm crazy for trying to do more than SFA.
Linda/CA - not too well
Tra - Lorri- Where in Florida?
Shelby - by matching books to readers, you challenge them, but don't frustrate them too much to where they cannot be successful and increase comprehension
Linda/CA - We are using SRA--Reading Mastery  doesn't teach a lot of comp
JP - Any Kdg.teachers out there - do you use guided reading? How do you feel about grouping the children?
Shelby - we have AR, but i'm not sure if it correlates--interesting question
Lorri - North, in a tiny little town between Tallahasee and Gainesville. Yeah! I'm glad to know there are others who are doing one here is.
Addie/mo - linda, that is what the missouri reading initiative trainers will do. we will have intensive inservice before school starts and then the trainer will return to do model lessons with real kids and work with the teachers in the classrooms
Shelby - addie-that sounds great!
Tra - Wow....Lorri if you are ever by Disney you can come see GR in my class 
Margy - Addie, we have been trying to match AR. I have used books that F&P have in their collection to correlate. Have you seen Scholastic's reading counts? It's a new program and you can replace AR for free.
starr - Any ideas for management of centers?
Addie/mo - shelby, i wondered because much time and effort has been put into labeling the books for AR, so i wondered how this could be used for guided reading without relabling a bunch of books
Linda/CA - Yep--we have that too--but I jumped on the bandwagon before all this started so now I am a literacy coach :-/
Shelby - i saw reading counts in my book order packet, but didn't know what it was
Robbie - JP I'm trying guided reading with K
Lorri - Actually, I have one of those grants the Commish sent out, $4350.00 to be exact and I have training $ available.
Linda/CA - Margy--are there books levels by lexiles? I find those very confusing and overlapping
Addie/mo - margy, i have heard of scholastic counts and our librarian mentioned this to me. our entire district k-12 is AR. i wonder if the scholastic program goes clear through HS. also, i wonder how much work it is to switch over. she seemed to think there were some advantages to scholastics program
Shelby - linda-what is a literacy coach?
Robbie - I have students at all levels from early emergent to developing
Tra - Lorri- does your CRT support GR?
Addie/mo - lorri, what is the florida reading inititative?
Linda/CA - I go in and do model lessons for the staff and then I coach them thru the process of balanced lit
Margy - Reading Counts does go K-12. Check it out at and search for Reading Counts. They will replace your test with new ones.
Lorri - So does the idea of purchasing books to supplement Sci and SS curriculum so that students can read on their level sound like a right move?
Addie/mo - linda, do you work for the school district or a state dept. program?
Lorri - My CRT doesn't know what it is...she wrote that my grant was about using the overhead to increase writing skills. 
Linda/CA - Addie--I am a Resource Teacher--coaching is just part of my job
Addie/mo - interesting, i will have to look at that. i cannot remember know exactly what the library saw in scholastic that she thought was better.
NancyD1 - this is not a negative, exactly---but it is a serious questions: is it really necessary to do the small groups? for ALL readers?
Tra - I prefer GR. I can't figure out how to do GR without ability grouping your students.
Addie/mo - i see.
ROBIN - Starr, I think the 4 blocks program and F&P are very compatable. I'm using both in my first grade classroom.
NancyD1 - my strugglers benefit from the small group F and P style GR---but I'm not sure the whole class needs it.
JP - We use Building Blocks and Kid Writing. I know the children are successful with these programs. Anyone feel that more is accomplished with shared reading in Kdg. than guided reading? Just curious.
Lorri - The Florida Intiative is something we were just told about this week, it was sprung on us. Admin said, it's only strategies, it's not a program, doesn't costanything. It will teach you to be a better teacher, to help those underachievers, etc. two week
Linda/CA - Addie--the Scholastic stuff is leveled by lexiles--and no one, not even scholastic has a comparison table. Plus a book that says 300 could be 2 or 3 grades
Tra - Emergent readers definitely need more "guiding" while more fluent readers may be more independent
ROBIN - lorri, i think that sounds wonderful. What grade are you teaching?
NancyD1 - I can teach the comprehension strategies, etc. in whole group ala 4blocks pretty is easier and everyone can stay one task doing real reding and real writing...
Shelby - nancy-i have found combining the two works well also
Lorri - If guided reading is teaching strategies, why regroup?
NancyD1 - I do my F&P strugglers group during the independent reading block
Robbie - I use both. Some students grow so quickly they need more than I can give them in shared reading.
NancyD1 - i pull my emergent readers for "coached" practice at easier level text
Addie/mo - missouri reading intitiative is a three year program of inservice, where a trainer spends 22 days with the district the first year (goes down in subsequent years). there is intensive inservice on balanced literacy and then the trainer works as a coach and a model. 16,000 the first year and then 11,000 the second year and 8,000 the third year.
Lorri - So shared reading is a part of 4blocks or guided reading?
ROBIN - lorri, regrouping in the first grade classroom is so that each child is able to move at an independent pace. I would guess that you would also have students moving ahead at different times.
Linda/CA - because some children learn faster than others
Shelby - lorri-guided
Addie/mo - shared reading is found in four blocks and building blocks, but it is a method on its own. using big books or charts, the kids read together. i used this format daily when i taught kindergarten
Shelby - i use shared whole group with my 2nd grade basal; guided with levelized books
Lorri - Ok, I understand some move faster than others, but...are they learning different strategies because they are at different levels?
Linda/CA - I still use shared reading in 2nd when I find a good book to teach a strategy, but only have one copy of th book
Addie/mo - it is one method of guided reading that is in 4blocks. i think that it is the easiest method for the kids
NancyD1 - starr, as i understand them, the main difference is that F&P feature small groups reading appropriately leveled text...4 blocks features whole group instruction on strategies and independent practice of the strategies in real reading and writing
Lorri - Sorry I seem so dumb to all of this, like I said...I am trying to get this figured out because of my grant...bit off more than I could chew it feels like.
Shelby - they are learning the same strategies but with text that they can successfully read/relate to
Linda/CA - lorri--yes, my last class ranged from Level 4 (K) to level 32 which is 6th grade--I would not expect to teach them the same strategies
NancyD1 - right, shelby, the strategies are pretty much the same: predict, activate prior knowledge, connect to what you know, question, visualize, etc...what real readers do to make sense of text 
Addie/mo - with k, we had a poetry walk each day, followed by an "old favorite" big book (we called it "leader's choice") then the big book we were learning for that week. we had minilessons each day on various concepts during the shared reading lesson
Shelby - linda-i found the same thing. those that can, work on higher level strategies. my class ranges from k to 8th grade levels
Lorri - In SFA we have ability groups, I only taught Kindergarten before so I feel that I am at a real loss when it comes to dealing with students at a wide level of reading ability.
Linda/CA - Biggest problem with GR is finding the books to teach the strategies--anyone who puts out a list like that will make a mint 
Shelby - nancy-how did you get that cute smilie face?
ROBIN - Yes, i think they are learning different strategies. My beginning readers are concentrating on making sense , using picture clues, and beginning letters whereas my more experienced readers are still looking at making sense but also relying heavily on "chunks". But they do overlap.
Shelby - linda-on "" she has a list 
Linda/CA - Success for All--it is another scripted program
Addie/mo - linda, that is true, the reading strategies would not be the same. in four blocks, the idea is to teach the strategies with grade level text and below grade level text on alternate days. but, in the book it states that if this were the only method to teach reading, it would not be adequate. i have wondered if using that method of gr really shortchanges your highest kids
ROBIN - how are you guys doing with literacy centers?
Lorri - So shared reading at 3rd grade might be a poem we are all looking at...and i teach strategies, etc with that, right?
Linda/CA - somebody is always short changed when you do whole class teaching
Shelby - addie--i wondered the same thing. in the past 2 counties i have taught in, they have had us combine the 2 for that reason
NancyD1 - whoa!!! "Strategies" include both comprehension and "decoding"--- the comprehension strategies are pretty much the same regardless of level...the decoding ones (get your mouth ready, look at the first letter, search for word chunks, etc.)
Addie/mo - that is true, linda
NancyD1 - are different. 4 blocks addresses the "decoding" ones in the word block with multilevel activities...
Linda/CA - nancy--ever tried to find a GR book to teach plot in K?
NancyD1 - Linda, I agree: obviously "one size does not fit all".
Lorri - If I want to do this with SCi and SS I have to ability group them then also?
NancyD1 - BUT my concern with using small groups exclusively is that it is difficult to make sure that all students are engaged in real reading and writing when they are not meeting with you...
Shelby - lorri- i would do 4 block type guided reading with sci/ss--use the same text, have them homogenously grouped looking for answers (KWL), etc
Sadie - Nancy, what grade do you teach?
NancyD1 - ...I have seen many "literacy centers" that really are a version of worksheets or busy work...
NancyD1 - I teach first
Addie/mo - nancy, that is a challenge. i think that it is important to spend the time at the beginning of the year to make sure that the children learn the habit of working in centers appropriately.
kath/MA - Irene Fountas has a whole training program for teachers through Lesley Univ. in Boston. it's called literacy Collaborative. It is a whole school approach to literacy including guiding reading. Some of our schools have been in it for 5 years.
Addie/mo - nancy, they should definitely be more hands on and interactive in nature than worksheets or psuedo worksheets
Lorri - I think I need to read more. 
Tra - Do you consider the activities from "What are the other kids doing while you teach small groups" busy work?
Sadie - Has anyone read Pinnell's and Fountas's new book? (or has that already come up?)
Linda/CA - I have 5 centers and only one has a worksheet
NancyD1 - well, i have changed...i used to do small groups with literacy i'm pretty much a 4blocker---but I do meet with my "extra time" readesr 4 or 5 times a week, doing a GR lesson ala F&P
kath/MA - Sadie, fountas's new book is terrific.
Shelby - starr-the groups must change according to what skill/strategy you are working on. i don't group everyday --that shakes them up enough 
Lorri - Which books do I purchase to give me those most bang for my buck in setting this up...
Addie/mo - but, they should have an independent reading time also? no matter which balanced reading approach you are following?
Sadie - Nancy, when I taught first I did do a combination. My shared reading ws sometimes a big book but sometimes it was more of the Cunningham's version of "guided reading"
Sadie - I just attended a workshop with Pinnell and Fountas on Saturday
NancyD1 - TRa, Ii'm not trying to be judgemental here  but I would rather have my kids reading and writing during the language arts time. I have that book and I like some of the activities.
Lorri - Independent reading is the same as self selected reading in 4blocks?
ROBIN - I've really been working hard to have real reading/ writing activities as centers. They are not as "cute" as some of the other teachers though and sometimes that's hard to handle. I have to remind myself constantly of what is important.
Linda/CA - Addie--definitely!! My kids spend 1/2 per day on independent reading
NancyD1 - and yes, they have independent reading and independent writing every morning...
Shelby - addie-yes I like the book basket approach in 4 block for self selected reading
kath/MA - Lorri, Scholastic has leveled texts from level A through R or so.
Linda/CA - 1/2 hour
NancyD1 - i know what you mean, Robin!
Addie/mo - thanks for the good chat!
Sadie - Nancy, I don't understand..... why wouldn't your kids be doing that using this model?
Lorri - Do I buy the 4 blocks books like Implementing 4 blocks, or just get my info from and places like here? or is there a better text?
NancyD1 - becasue i am not convinced that the "literacy centers" are always very productive...
NancyD1 - and they are somewhat difficult to manage and keep everyone engageded
Lorri - Do you do word walls and phonics as part of guided reading also?
Shelby - lorri-the books are a bit pricey, but i am a highlighter, so i have bought every book on the market! i print articles about 4 block from the chatboard on this website
Sadie - But GR/centers is only a part of the language arts block. What kinds of centers are you doing? I have seen children be very engaged during this time
Tra - I guess you have to find somehting that works for you. I am at a school that if a "papers" do not come home than the parents don't think the kids are learning. I like to call my sheets "record" sheets.....
NancyD1 - words walls, phoincs, making words, etc,: everyday during the "word block" time---an artificial distinction ! 
ROBIN - Nancy, here are some that I've added to F&P - recording center (practice with a friend, use lots of expression, record, listen).
Lorri - Well, I have $ to spend, so I want the best to make sure it's a success  My CRT tends to get freaked out if we stray from SFA
Shelby - i do word wall like 4 block and do saxon phonics with those that need it AND use it when they read (some use phonics well, some do not...)
Sadie - Tra, it used to be like that here but we worked very hard at educating our parents and inviting them to be partners in our program.
NancyD1 - Sadie, if I want to meet with my kids everyday, then the others are gonna be "centering" for quite a stretch of time...
Sadie - Nancy, I didn't meet with my kids every day. Only the lowest ones.
NancyD1 - I like "read around the room", "Partner read", that kind of stuff
Sadie - How long do you meet with each group?
NancyD1 - Sadie, I think we have very similar approaches...
Lorri - What assessments do you use? Running records are the ones I have read about.
Shelby - nancy-me too--no papers to grade 
Tra - Oh my....i have tried to convert my fellow seven first grade teachers....NOTHING. I even put together a leveled reading room from level A- J and still nothing. They just keep using the basal and good ol Frank Shaffer!!! OHG!
Sadie - Nancy, those are great. Have you ever had your kids "write the room"?
NancyD1 - no, explain...
kath/MA - TRA, Do you have a curriculum director in your system to ensure best practicves?
Shelby - tra--trudge on and know that you are doing what is best for your children! my husband and i have this arguement all of the time--he says they are getting paid the same amount as me. i say maybe on my paycheck , but not in satisfaction of knowing i am doing my best to serve my children 
Lorri - What does your language arts block look like? (in short)
Tra - YES....she orders the books for the room....but says she can't tell teachers "HOW" to teach.
Sadie - You can adjust it to whatever you want it to be... locating high frequency words, words that begin, end or contain a certain letter, words that have a certain inflectional ending.......
Tra - Thanks shelby I kiddos are doing FANTASTIC!
kath/MA - Tra, don't you have state standards to meet? We are rewquiring all our schools to be trained in Literacy Collaborative. it will take many years, but we have a solid foundation in place.
Lorri - Again, levelled books mean they are on a certain reading level according to what authority?
NancyD1 - My lnaguage arts blocl: 45 minutes "reading"---usually whole class with an intro, reading, and follow up: partner reading, unison, etc. 30 minutes "Words": spelling and phonics, word wall, games, etc., 30 minutes "writing workshop" (independent writing) and 30 minutes "reading workshop" (indpeendent reading) workshop
Shelby - lorri- we use the Basic Literacy Test to help find their levels of comprehension (not word calling--a big difference)
Sadie - I just have a piece of chart paper on the wall that says the criteria at the top (using one of those categories).. then the kids get a clipboard and become "word detectives" They have to find words around the room that meet that criteria and wirte on their paper... at the end of center they get to write it on the chart paper with marker
NancyD1 - also 10 minutes of writing the "Daily News" together
kath/MA - Lorri, teachers do running records to determine a child's level. the books are leveled according to criteria set down in Fountas's book, guided Reading.
NancyD1 - Sadies, great idea! Thanks
Tra - I even went to my Principal with the DRA and mandated a Running record done twice a year on each child and it is to be placed in their CUM. But the teachers are not told what how to teach to these standards.
Sadie - Lorri, there are differents scales to level books.. the P/F model is close to Reading Recovery levels though they go much higher
ROBIN - would everyone agreee that those levels are based on Marie Clays reading recovery levels?
Tra - My principal mandated a running record, not me. But to think that the materials are there to best teach the children and many CHOOSE not to use them.
Sadie - Nancy, I like it because it takes no prep and the kids really like it. It really makes them pay attention to print and look for patterns in spelling
Tra - Robin- YES
kath/MA - Most book companies are leveling their books now using Fountas and/or reading recovery levels.
NancyD1 - yes, Robinn, or at least they are close enough for our purposes
Lorri - OK, see with SFA, we don't test our children the SFA coordinator and her tutors do it, so we don't ever see where they test out or what test is used. We are given reading groups, and told what book to teach. I am trying to improve this situation by usin
Shelby - robin ? someone asked the same question earlier
ROBIN - Sadie, I'm using write the room in my class too and they do love it.
Sadie - Robin, Pinnell and fountas are both Reading Recovery trainers. They have a strong background in RR
kath/MA - Lorri, our teachers do the DRA. They learn alot by doing the tests themselves.
Sadie - Does anyone use Keep Books?
Sadie - The books have levels on the back.... both P/F level and RR level
NancyD1 - I have used the Keep books in the past---I liked them
Shelby - lorri- i can't imagine someone else testing them. you learn sooo much just throught the testing itself
Lorri - I wonder if I will be allowed to see "the levelling test"
Sadie - what do you mean, Lorri?
Lorri - I hope you all understand why I sound like such an idiot. I'm not really , I am just trying to find something to help my kiddos.
Tra - Sadie- who is the publisher?
Shelby - can everyone put in their city, state and grade level? i am in cartersille, ga 2nd grade
Sadie - Keep books are put out by Ohio State university. There is information in the back of the book Guided Reading
ROBIN - lorri, you do not sound like an idiot!!!!!
Shelby - oops--cartersville, ga 2nd grade
Sadie - Victorville, CA.. Reading Recovery (but have used this model in K and 1st)
Lorri - I have noticed that many of our groups that are supposed to be ability grouped are not true reflections of their ability. Or perhaps they say the words beautifully and can;t comprehend anything. When asked about these problems, it is taken as a personal
Sadie - Lorrie, do you mean what level your kids test at? Or what the levels mean
Lorri - Shelby, oh my parents lived in Cartersville for 13 years. They just moved to Murphy NC
Tra - I use Celebreation Press, rigby, sundance, Wright Group. Suprisingly, my basal Houghton Mifflin has a guided reading set that is really good 
Shelby - lorri- we just moved here 2 yrs ago- we love it!
Sadie - Lorri, comprehension is a common problem... A friend was at a session with Pinnell on Sunday (we were at the Reading Recovery National Conference) and apparently she said in a few years no one will be talking about phonics... the big concern will be comprehension
Robbie - jacksonville, nc K
kath/MA - TRa, we use those same companies. Also, MONDO has a good program for teachers new to guided reading.
Lorri - My parents lived in that little community of Euharlee. I think Cville is beautiful.
Shelby - sadie- that would be nice! i was looking forward to teaching with saxon this year at my new school and absolutely hate it!! coding, coding, coding...
Tra - MONDO?
Shelby - lorri-you are kidding!!! i live in euharlee
Sadie - We bought the Scholastic sets of levelled books put out (or endorsed) by Pinnell. They are great
Lorri - Shelby, this is too weird. They lived on Elizabeth Rd.
Tra - Comprehension should be the goal.... I had a second grade teacher tell me one of my students from the previous year was struggling....she said she did the DRA and made to many miscues....I said ..."Did she understand what she read?" she replied....OH, i didn't do that part!!! UHG!!!
kath/MA - Mondo is part of Celebration press I think. It's called Book Shop. Our experienced guided reading teachers don't use the manual. They just use the leveled books.
Sadie - Shelby, that is exactly what I predicted about phonics. The politics of schools would force us to teach phonics in a way that is not natural to kids and so that meaning is neglected at a time when kids are forming powerful concepts about reading and we would see the other end of the spectrum
Sadie - Lucy Calkins said this weekend (she was a keynote speaker) that reading IS thinking.. but our kids aren't getting this message nor instruction
kath/MA - We just put in lots of resources and leveled text sets and tarined and trained our teachers in how to do guided reading groups. it's still a work in progress. Teachers are at different levels of buy-in and understanding.
Sadie - I just grabbed a packet I got at the exhibits from Houghton Mifflin. It has a whole bunch of leveled books and at the front there is a description of the characteristics of text that you see at each of the different levels
Lorri - Sadie, earlier you asked about levels. I meant I would like to know what levels my kids test at...and what the test is for pete's sake.
kath/MA - Sadie, what's the HM program called?
Sadie - Kath, we have been doing it for 6 years and still have many resistent teachers
kath/MA - Sadie, do you do 4 blocks or literacy collaborative or another training?
Shelby -
Sadie - I don't know if it is a specific program... the packet is just called "Houghton Mifflin LLeveled Books Price List Order Form." You could probably call the company and get it.
Tra - DRA Developmental Reading Assessment ~ Author Beaver - Celebration Press
Lorri - Shelby it says I ahve a private message how do I get it?
Sadie - Kath, our teachers are supposed to be using a balanced literacy model including P/F's guided reading model (We were doing it before we saw the book but the book helped us a lot
kath/MA - We had HM as our old basal. Great literature so we are going to level all the stories so people can use them with guided reading.
ROBIN - Sadie, I am at a school where 4 of the 6 first grade teachers are "ex"- reading recovery teachers but it is still hard to convince others.
Phaedra - Just got here and I'm glad to read that someone from Cartersville is on line. What school are you at?
Sadie - We had trainers come in from New Zealand to get us going
Shelby - Lorri,I don't know!! lol i tried to send it to you so everyone else would not have to listen to us rambling on about where i live!!
Lorri - Phaedra, you too are from Cartersville? My parents lived there. It is beautiful*
Shelby - Phaedra- i am at hamilton crossing where are you?
Sadie - Robin, are the "ex-rr" teachers doing your model? Is your principal supportive?
Phaedra - Shelby, I'm the Curriculum Coor. at Adairsville Elem.
ROBIN - yeah, she recruited us from around the county and we are a training school for the university. It is really exciting!
Shelby - phaedra-memri is my neighbor--small world!!!!
Phaedra - Shelby, What grade do you teach? Memri is a precious person!
kath/MA - Phaedra, how many schools do you work with?
Phaedra - Kath/MA, Each school in Bartow Co. has a Curriculum Cooridnator.
Shelby - phaedra-teach 2nd. funny i came across someone in the area--my name is actually "Michelle" my friends call me Shelby 
Lorri - OK, back to the topic at hand. Since my SFA tests are secret, tell me what to do to test my kids myself (informally or somehting online or ?)
Sadie - Robin, maybe it is better to not try to change the other teachers... but do a great job, do a lot of PR bout what a great model it is.... if your kids do great and parents are happy... maybe you can slowly plant some seeds into these teachers so they start to make some shifts in thinkin
Phaedra - Shelby, has AnneMarie done the P & F training for guided reading at HCES?
kath/MA - Phaedra, I work with 30 elementary schools.
Sadie - Lorri, I didn't realize you were talking about SFA's leveling..... can't help you there
Phaedra - kath, How do you do it? There is so much to do!!!
Shelby - lorri- you could use the Basic Literacy Test to get a good idea of their level; however, you probably could figure it out just by looking at various books and comparing them to what you already know about you kids
Sadie - As a matter of fact, SFA was mentioned in one of the keynote address this weekend
Lorri - I need to be able to assess them for sci and ss and know for myself what the problems are....
kath/MA - Phaedra, 30 elementary, 4 middle and a 4,000 kid high school!
Lorri - What did they say about SFA?
Phaedra - Kath, are you "Central Office" personnel? At the central office level we have an Ast. Superinten. of Curriculum/Instruction and then a Director of C/I K-5.
Sadie - Jonathon Kozol was lamenting the emergence of scripted programs and how they neglect the real needs of kids. He has worked in some of the poorest schools in Chicago, I believe
Shelby - phaedra- About Ann Marie-- I met her when she helped us set up our book room. Ann (H.) said she was going to return to give us (2nd grade) an inservice. 1st grade has met with her A LOT!! (Has everyone noticed that I am using correct punctuation now that a Curriculum Coordinator from my county is on ?!?! lol) 
jack - I think you're right. I work as a music teacher, and most of the schools look for a music teacher as a part timer
Sadie - He mentioned SFA specifically
kath/MA - I'm curriculum Director for reading for K-12, but there are no other central office curriculum people for reading or English.
Phaedra - Shelby, even CC's have spelling errors, etc. If I'm on long enough I'm sure I'll prove it.
Lorri - I am feeling this same thing, it looks pretty on paper but there's no substance. However, we are an"
Sadie - Since most of you are here to talk about GR using P?F model... I want to share that I got to meet both of them this weekend.
Shelby - Phaedra-especially after Valentine's Day parties!!!
Lorri - A school and that's the admin's argument for it.
Phaedra - Kath, you have a "huge" job. My hat's off to you. Are your schools using guided reading?
Lorri - Should I go to a training or just keep on with my books, videos and net?
kath/MA - Sadie, what was your impression of Irene fountas? We work very closely with her.
Sadie - What do you mean, A school?
kath/MA - So far we have 20/30 using guided reading. the other 10 have to get on board next year. or at least begin the training it's a long process.
Shelby - lorri- I love trainings! I went to Cheryl Sigmon's about 4 block. It was nice, informative.
Lorri - In Florida, we are graded by our test scores. Don't even get me started about what I think about the Bush brothers.
Lorri - I told my principal, I'm looking for training at the beach.. 
Sadie - Kath, I attended a day long session with her and Pinnell on Saturday that was great. Then I got the pleasure (and honor) of attending a dinner both Saturday night and another event Sunday night that they were at. I didn't really get a chance to talk to Fountas, but she was very gracious when I asked if we could pose for pictures!
Phaedra - Lorri, the Four Block books are an excellent source as well. I used them last year while I was still teaching.
Shelby - I got a lot more "test score" pressure in the other 2 counties I taught in. I my current one, I feel empowered to do what ever needs to be done for my children, not just a test in March.
Shelby - Lorri- how about the Carribian?!?
Lorri - I feel sorry for the 4th grade teachers in my school. Some of them haven't smiled all year due to pressure from the FCAT.
Sadie - Lorri, Kozol said that he predicted that schools that used scripted programs were going to lose the best teachers. He felt that those who really understood how to build on a child's strengths would be so turned off/burnt out that they would all look elsewhere for jobs
Lorri - I could do the Carribean.
Phaedra - Kath, We've gone slowly, too. This year all first grades, next year-second grade and hopefully third with literature circles/book clubs.
Sadie - Kath, in what capacity do you work with Fountas?
Shelby - Sadie- I have felt the "burn out" many times! However, I changed schools and have found this year (my 5th) the best yet.
Lorri - I love to teach integrated units, I know the whole argument about whole language and all that, but I have to say that when a student asks to check out a book of yours on a President for their report and can they do reasearch at home and share with their g
kath/MA - Phaedra, we have a few schools starting in 3-6. They do a great job with lit circles. and, there kids have been through the K-2 guided rdg model we have.
Sadie - Phaedra, have you seen Pinnell's and Fountas's latest book for upper grades?
Lorri - I feel that if they are interested and learning too, wow!
Phaedra - Sadie, The reading specialist at our central office has the book and I'm hoping to borrow her copy for my Spring Break reading. Well, I'm out of here. I've still got some BLT scores to graph. Have a great night's sleep everyone!!
Sadie - Lorri, that freedom to switch the focus and follow the child for a more powerful learning experience is the argument that both Kozol and Lucy Calkins used
Shelby - Sadie- We just got it. It is HUGE! I am going to study it this weekend. I am teaching a guided reading class of 2nd graders at 3rd-7th grade level. I hope it will give me ideas.
kath/MA - Sadie, irene trains our teachers through lesley U. in Boston. She is also training a district trainer for us.
Lorri - This is my 10th year teaching. I love to see them engrossed in what they are doing, but there's my problem..some can't read.
Sadie - Shelby I have only started oit too. I wanted to be sure to get it in time to have them sign it  but I am in the middle of reading Mosaic of Thought
kath/MA - Sadie, irene's newest book is great. I'm using it in a grad course I teach.
Sadie - Lorri, what grade do you teach?
Lorri - I teach 3rd.
Shelby - I have always wanted to read Mosaic...
Sadie - Shelby, it is very easy to read.
Sadie - Shelby, I just scrolled back and saw a message you wrote. You said you were getting burned out but this year is better? What is different at your new school? 
Shelby - Well.... this is adictive!! I must go, my husband has called me 3 times now! I guess Valentine's should be spent with him, not you guys!! lol Thanks for the chat. It is always nice to know that others love their job enough to be on this chat at 10:30 at night! 
Sadie - Its only 7:30 here!  Nice talking to you Shelby
kath/MA - Goodnight all.
Sadie - Lorri, how long has your school been SFA?
Lorri - OK, so I guess I have to really decide how I am going to do this reading grant for my afternoons. I want to help them learn more strategies to comprehend, give them reading material on their level but the same basic content, increase word/decoding skills
Shelby - Sadie- Ok , one more message... I think it is a combination of the feeling that my admin. support me, my parents either support me and/or trust me, and my personal confidence has grown through the years. Plus, I am finally teaching in the community I live in. That has made a big difference. Again--goodnight!!
Lorri - SFA=5 years now (I think) it all blends in.
Sadie - Lorri, the new P/F book from what I have seen (I haven't yet read it) whould be what you are looking for. The presentation I saw was excellent
Sadie - Glad things are going well, Shelby.
Lorri - name of book please?
Sadie - Lorri, so after 5 yrs of SFA there are many kids still not reading? Or are they from other school?
Lorri - Well, some have moved in...of course they still should be reading. Some are those who are falling through the crack of not being in special ed due to just missing it on test scores, and some just aren't on level with their classmates.
Sadie - It is Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6 Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy
Lorri - I am worried about those who are not making progress.
Lorri - Thank you! I will order it with my grant money.
Sadie - Lorri, do you have any support for your low-performing students?
Lorri - As in....
Sadie - We have a fairly decent instruction model at our school that provides support for target students even if they are not identified as RSP or spec. ed
Sadie - though we still have much room for improvement!
Sadie - But in our school right now in 3rd grade out of almost 100 kids only 5 are target students.
Lorri - If we have that, I don't know about it. We do have modifying curriculum etc., but I want to help them learn more, not just expect less.
Sadie - Lorri, we have a site based model that is based on good first teaching using balanced literacy, early intervention with Reading Recovery in first grade, and then a support team for grades 2-3 to assist in guided reading.
Sadie - We also have a "learning lab" where identified students come for small group or one-one instruction
Lorri - SFA provides for tutoring in 1st grade and a few second graders. After that, it's all up to cl.teachers.
Sadie - Our test scores aren't fantastic but they aren't bad either.... and we used to be really bad
Sadie - I have heard mixed things about SFA. As someone who has taught it for 5 years what do you think? And have you taught using any other models?
Lorri - They want us to do this new reading intiative, but I am unable to get concrete examples of just exactly what would be expected...required...and after SFA has taken over our lives we are all reluctant to do anything that requires buy in. we don't feel our
Lorri - SFA has good and bad. I'm just not convinced that all of the children are being helped and I know our top readers are bored. Most of the students are hating to read for pleasure becasue fo the required 20 min. hw each night. I have been doing all kinds
Lorri - Ok, my three year old is up! Good night! thank you so much for your help!