Yesterday I talked about different types of lesson planning sheets, and even gave you a copy of my lesson planning sheets. Another thing I used last year was a Strategy Group Planning Sheet for Reading. I came up with the idea towards the middle to end of the year, and I wish I had come up with it earlier. This planning page is a quick reference page that you can either keep in your lesson plan book, or you can keep it in your anecdotal reading records binder (I'll talk about this at a later date).
This page will give you a way to plan your strategy/skill groups and what days you want to meet with them. It also has a space for writing down your individual conference schedule. Not only will it help you plan out your week as far as your groups and conferences go, but it will also keep you on track during the week so that nothing gets forgotten.
Last year, I only used this template for reading. However, this year I am going to try it with math and writing as well! At the bottom of the post, I've uploaded all 3 templates for you. If these don't fit your needs, just use my idea and create your own! :)
How to Use These Templates
This coming year I am going to be more intentional about my grouping. Last year I based grouping mainly upon DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) testing (at the beginning of the year) and then my observations of what my students needed. I also based them upon our school's testing system (NWEA- a computer based test given to the students 3 times a year), and Study Island diagnostic information.
These were all fine and dandy, but I felt like I was missing something. At the end of the year, as I was considering how I could make grouping even more focused, I came up with the idea to give my kids a 10 question quiz each week in reading, writing, and math which will cover what I taught that week. That way, I can break down their answers and see which kids need help in which areas. Then I will group the students with the same needs together, and I will have my groups for the following week!
Ok...don't get scared! I know that sounds like a lot of extra work. But I've found a way to do it a little easier. Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is friggin awesome! Did you know you can create a survey with multiple choice and short answer questions? I am going to use this survey to create my quizzes each Friday. Students will take the quiz on the computer, and then Google Drive kindly breaks down all the info for me... how sweet! :) I got the idea from one of my favorite math teaching blogs, The Creative Apple. The link is to her series on how to set up Guided Math. This blows my mind. I totally wish I had read this before I started teaching in an elementary classroom. I love the Guided Math system, and definitely plan to implement it this year. Sorry for the tangent... but I just had to share!
Anywho, from the info provided by Google Drive, I will then create my strategy/skill groups and also will see what students may need even more help (during an individual conference) than just a strategy group. I will do a whole post later on about how to use the survey document on Google Drive.
So, does that kind of give you an idea of how to use these templates? How do you group for instruction?
Mahalo for reading,