Thursday, July 12, 2012

Focus Wall & Reading Groups HELP!!!

I am about to admit to something that will shock everyone out in blog world.  I do not have a focus wall.  I heard it the collective gasp as everyone read this thinking how does she not have a focus wall.  Well here's another confession I had not even heard of a focus wall until I started blog stalking this summer.  Now I want one and I'm trying to figure out what to put on it.  I use Reading Street by Scott Foresman and I like it but it has so much packed in each day that I don't know how to fit it all in.  My bulletin boards are not very big.  I have 2 small ones and a larger blackboard on one wall and I'm thinking this will be my calender, focus wall and morning meeting area. 

Sorry this pic was before they cleaned up my room.  all the woodwork and the big cabinet have now been painted black.  This is the area I'm talking about.  I think the blackboard would be good for the calendar set up.  I'm thinking the black bulletin board could be my focus wall but what about the blue one.  Last year I pinned up my high frequency words on the cabinet and that worked pretty good but if I have the kiddos sitting on the floor in front of the blackboard they won't be able to see them from there.  I could intro them in the meeting and then add them to the cabinet.  I don't know!  Any and ALL suggestions would be much appreciated. 

Reading groups:
Last year I would pull kiddos back to read the weekly story with me, while the school's reading specialist teacher would pull my low students and have them read with her.  My high students would partner read around the room somewhere.  Now last year I only had 11 students.  Yes you read that right 11 students and it was GREAT!! So I got to read with my kiddos just about everyday.  This year I already have 26 students, yes I have doubled my kiddos and then some.  Did you hear that?  No. well it was me crying.  I am at a complete loss as to how I will read with them all.  DO you read with all your kiddos everyday?  DO you read the story with your reading group, if not when do you do that?  DO you take the weekly comprehension test each week?  DO read one story a week or do you take longer?  I'm full of questions as to how to do it all this year.  You would think I'm a new teacher but alas I'm not this will be my 7th year teaching 1st grade. 

On a positive note I have been inspired to make up center games to go with each of my stories.  I have the first 4 stories completed and have begun printing, laminating and cutting the games out.  I figure I will play them with the {I don't know} whole group at morning meeting or should I play them with the reading group.  I forgot I will have a full time/ well most of the time full time par educator in my room.  She would be willing to work with a group during reading groups.  I could have her play the game with her group.  I was thinking she could have a mini lesson on the phonics skill and play the game then.  I'm not sure but the school's reading specialist might be in my room at this time too so she would be pulling kiddos that need extra help and reading the story for fluency with them but she doesn't pull everyone. 

OK, OK I'm going to stop typing and hope someone out there holds all the answers to my questions.  Inquiring minds want to know=)  Well maybe you don't have all the answers but I would love your opinion.

Before I go there is a cool giveaway I want to tell you about:

Kate over at EduKate & Inspire is having a 100 Follower Giveaway!  She has lots of great things that are being offered and it's so easy to join in.  If you don't follower her you need too.  Just click on her button above and head on over and join.

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