Sunday, March 4, 2012

field trips and frustrations.

Wednesday we took a fabulous art and music field trip in Kalamazoo {and yes, for those of your who do not live in Michigan, there really is a Kalamazoo *grin*}

Our first stop was to a Glass Blowing Factory. The kids were absolutely fascinated by it! 8 volunteers were even able to help cut the hot glass. It was really neat!
Our second stop was to the Kalamazoo Symphony. I am always a little nervous about this since it is a whole hour of sitting through orchestra music ... but the kids did GREAT! It did help that we were in the very first row! It was a really neat experience and the kids genuinely enjoyed themselves.

The last stop was to a history and science museum. They had the neatest hands-on activities. I think I may have enjoyed it as much {or more} than the kiddos *smile*
The two "hits" were definitely the news station, the diner {where they got to serve each other} and the general store ... what fun!
 Yes, that is me ...I love dressing up - we had a blast in this room buying and selling, and talking in old fashioned accents ;)
 Coal mining was a hit too ...
 Who can resist a good photo op! 
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 Needless to say, the frustration did not come from the field trip ... since we had such a fantastical time!

The frustration is coming from READING. 
I try very hard to follow reading workshop to the best of my ability. My district gives us a reading basal program {of which I am NOT a big fan of} which I generally only use the leveled readers from for guided reading and such. With that said, I am pretty much on my own to figure out any thing I want to incorporate concerning reading and writing workshop since they do not send us to any workshops. I feel that I have good systems in place with Daily 5, CAFE, mini-lessons, guided reading groups and  independent reading time but I can't seem to mesh them together into one, smooth, effective block. I am struggling with figuring out what, when and where. 

I am curious to know how those of you who have successful reading workshops figure out the following: 
1} Without a text book telling you, how do you figure out what order is the best for teaching strategies/concepts/genres? It is truly just your own judgment? 
2} How do you gauge your time on each section/strategy/genre/ etc.
3} When, during workshop time, do you do the actual activities that go with the strategy or concept (like summarizing or point of view) 

I would LOVE some ideas or perhaps a link to a blog you may have posted concerning one of these areas. 
I have learned SO MUCH from all of you - really I don't think I would be going out of this limb alone if it weren't for all of your amazing ideas and inspirations!




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