Friday, May 16, 2014

Chapters 7-9

We are getting closer to the end, ladies! I am sure we will all agree that chapters 7-9 were not the most invigorating chapters you have read thus far. Let's break it down and talk about what you learned from this section.

Chapter 7
This chapter was all about the importance of using running records as a form of assessment with Guided Reading. The author described two forms of running records, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative records break the child's performance down to a number. This number is used to determine the child's fluency rate. The fluency rate is a solid number that will allow you to easily see how the child is progressing.  I can see this number being helpful in parent conferences. Parents may not understand the process of teaching a child to read, but they can relate to a number, especially if that number tells them where their child is currently performing and where the child needs to be by the end of the year. Qualitative records are used when looking for evidence of how the child is processing the act of reading. The teacher must dig into the mind of the child and look for clues that show how the child is understanding the meaning of words, the structure of sentences, and the visual information within the reading material. I believe the qualitative records would be most helpful in guiding the teacher toward meeting the needs of the individual child. The authors provided a few examples of running records. I also looked on Teachers Pay Teachers and found many examples of running record data collection sheets. Many of the downloads were even FREE! Do you currently use running records? If you do not use running records, what kind of data do you collect currently? Do you plan on using running records next year?

Chapter 8 and 9:
Chapters 8 and 9 were "preaching to the choir". In chapter 8 the authors detail the harmful effects of ability grouping without flexibility. The most important point I feel we can take from this chapter is that your grouping system must be FLUID and FLEXIBLE. We have already learned that there are many components to the Guided Reading program. Each component must be considered when planning your groups. Some components are whole group, others are small. Some components work best with heterogeneous groups, others with homogeneous groups. Some components are best grouped by interest, others are best grouped by ability. Page 98 contains a bulleted list that would be helpful in considering each component and the corresponding grouping system that would work best. Just remember, keep the children moving amongst groups. No child should be placed in a group and left there for the year! So, what did you think about the sample class provided in chapter 8 and how the teacher determined their guided reading group? I thought it was helpful that the teacher formed the top group first, the bottom group next, and the two middle groups last. Is this how you go about grouping in your class?

Finally, chapter 9 was all about choosing literature to use with your students. The good news? This has been done for you! Our "new and improved" guided reading library is all prepared and ready for you to use. There is no need for you to go through the tedious task of collecting, buying, and organizing your own private guided reading collection. It is all complete and ready to go. Just walk down the hall and grab what you need! Woo hoo! There's one thing marked off of your list!

Tell me how you feel up to this point. Do you feel like you have a lot of work to do? Or are you on the right track already? Did you read about anything in this chapter that you would like to implement for next year? Do you have any suggestions for your colleagues?


  1. Chapter 7:
    Our adoption has running record sheets for our guided reading books. I have used the RR forms and I find that it is easy to show parents how they are doing. I like it, I wish we had the RR forms for all of the books we have in our GR Library. I should check the books from each book to see if they have a form already made for RR. :)
    Chapter 8&9:
    The groups I have formed have changed slightly, much like the one we saw in the book. I have a form that I have used but I think next year I will use sticky notes that I can move around without having to open the computer.
    In chapter 9 I was really excited to see that we had set up the GR library in a way they had recommended. (whew!) I plan on using the GR library more next year so I am covering different types of literature. There is a lot of work to do, but honestly when has there not? :)

  2. I have used running records but am not currently using them. I do take notes on each child that show how the child is understanding the meaning of words, the structure of sentences, and the visual information within the reading material. This is helpful for me so I know what I can work with them on next time I meet with them. If we get DRA kits next year running records will be a must.

  3. I have not used running records very much. I do take note of what the child is having trouble with while watching him/her read. I do hope we get the DRA kits next year!

  4. I have done some interchanging of students in different groups and I do take notes about them. However, I feel I will probably try to have individual folders on each student next year. I feel this will help with some of my organization.
    Well I have not taken a running record before but there is a first time for everything and as they say practice makes perfect. I am sure that by the end of next year I will be pretty good at it.