This year my team changed the way we are departmentalized in 4th grade. We split up language arts into reading and writing as two separate classes. We did this with thinking about Common Core and how every teacher needs to be a "reading teacher" whether they teach math, science, etc. I was responsible for teaching 3 sections of 70 minute writing/spelling/grammar and then at the end of the day each teacher taught just reading to their homeroom for 90 minutes. I loved it, but we had to make some changes since we all weren't "loving" teaching reading. For the remainder of the year (after the big test), we are going to try going back to me teaching reading to all the 4th graders, but with a shared responsibility. One teacher will focus on fluency instruction in her science/social studies class, the other teacher will teach math and then focus on the whole group basal lessons, and I will do the rest. My focus will be more on meeting with small groups and individuals. We as team feel that there is so much to cover when it comes to reading that you can easily get lost in a 45 minute "mini" lesson from the basal. Doing it this way will hopefully let the other teacher introduce the strategy and "scratch the surface," while I "dig deeper" using the Daily 5 & CAFE approach. We're trying it now so that I can tweak things for next year. I'm nervous to see how this goes so ANY advice on what works for you team if you do something similar would help!
As I plan for this change to begin next Monday, I am thinking about how I organize my strategy group lessons from CAFE and thought I'd share. I have a little file folder organizer that looks like this:
I use it to store my lesson plans and any paper materials such as poems, graphic organizers, sticky notes, etc. that I'll need to teach the group I'll meet with. Here what it looks like in it's entirety:
I have a file folder for each strategy category: Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to CAFE, so I know as I become more comfortable I may have multiple folders for each category, but this works well for me right now. To set up each file folder I taped an extra nameplate I had onto the front of the folder then covered it with a blank transparency. This made it so that I could use dry erase for the current skill I'd be teaching. In the picture below, I wrote reread text as the skill I'd be teaching, but since it's erasable, I can easily switch it out. For each skill I also put the Ready Reference sheet for the strategy inside the folder. (I keep an extra file folder behind each category that has the Ready Reference sheets for easy access). It's good to review often!
I use sticky notes with the students names on the file folder-one thing I've changed since this picture is putting the sticky notes inside the folder so they don't fall off or get crumpled. I also thought of writing their names in dry erase underneath the skill, but I like the stickies for now. I would really appreciate if anyone shared how they organize strategy group lessons!
Happy Conferring and Pinning!