Showing posts with label Gradually Release. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gradually Release. Show all posts

POW: DRA Comprehension Rubric

 This is the time of year where my team is working thought DRA's for their SLO (Student Learning Objectives) and figuring out what they are going to do when we come back from Spring Break.

A question teachers have been asking is what to do with the DRA rubric after they are scored. How do you use the information to plan instruction and next steps? (I always tell teachers to use the data they have to collect or they have created first before trying to figure out else they may need.)

When you look at a DRA rubric it is broken into two parts: oral reading (decoding and fluency and comprehension.) If you missed the first post in this series click here to get caught up.

This week, I'll talk about how and why I create targeted instruction around the comprehension part if the rubric.

I look at where the student scored on the rubric--taking note or strengths and weakness.

The Comprehension rubric is broken in 3 different skills--book knowledge, retell or summary, and higher order thinking questions.
In this case, a strength the student has is his book knowledge. With this book, it includes using the non-fiction text features as well. He struggled with retelling and the higher order thinking questions. (This would be a great jumping off put to collaborate with SLP to provide extra language support.)

When I start planning where I want to start, I make sure I have the students' previous small group work. I will use them to decide what the next steps need to be. 

This student's guided reading data shows he has been struggling with retells and I also have to provide several prompts. When I think about Bloom's Question Stems, I know retells are easier than reflection questions. (Bloom's Questions Stems: remembering vs evaluating).  This will be the first place I start.

When talking with his Speech/Language provider, she lets me know she sees the same struggles with retelling but she'd been playing with picture supports and was seeing more success. (This is both an accommodation but also a great skill for students to have. Going back and using the text as a resource. Think state testing or STAR assessment--students CAN go back to the text.) 

This made me think about my instruction and the types of books he was reading. He is currently in Fountas and Pinnell G's and H's. Since these books as still mostly pictures, copying the pictures and drawing pictures would be a good place to start. This would also support his language needs. 

To start with, I copied a couple pictures from the book. This would be used to model going back into the book to use it as a resource as I modeled retelling the story. These pictures than could become a graphic organizer like Thinking Maps (Flow Map). This could be paired with a Retelling Rubric below. Here the I'm only scoring the retell. I took it right from the rubric. During my modeled lesson, I will demonstrate a 4. I also model using the pictures from the books. Student's have to be taught to do this skill. In my planning, I will make a point of doing both before moving to drawing the pictures.

As I'm planning out the Retelling Skill Lessons, I keep in mind grade level expectations--no book but then I think about what skills the student(s) needs to get there. I also keep in mind, when teaching comprehension skills I may need to get easier books to work with. I scaffold out the list of lessons so I can see what I'm thinking:
1) Modeled: without resource making sure to reference back to the rubric (at least a couple of days over a couple of different books)
2) Modeled: with pictures from the resource to create a Flow Map (at least of couple of days over a couple of different books)
3)Shared: with pictures (if you are doing most of the thinking then go back to a modeled lesson)
4) Shared: with pictures (moving them to independent thinking)
5) Independent with support using the book or resource to retell.

I will need to make sure the student's score 4s before starting the process over with student created drawings.

Why spend the time teaching retelling a story using student created drawings? Because it is a more appropriate grade level skill plus students will come across books with fewer and fewer pictures as they move to harder text. Student created drawings can be used across all curriculum areas and move the student to take control of what they need to access the curriculum--self-determination at its finest.

The last step is to start teaching the skill. I will plan on reassessing the comprehension part of the whole DRA rubric using the blank DRA forms in four weeks to see if the student has made growth. If so than I would teach, how to answer the Higher Order Thinking questions at the bottom of the comprehension rubric or I will plan on reteaching retelling/summaries again. I love using the Reading Comprehension Stems I've shared below. It's a great jumping off point when I work on comprehension skills. I use them for progress monitoring both in writing and in conversation. If you're have not signed up for my Free Resource Library, click here. (Its super easy and besides did I mention it was free to join. Who doesn't love free!)

I'd love to hear about your favorite reading comprehension teaching strategies. Pictures and my bad draws always seem to make students laugh and grow as a reader.

Until next time,

The Art and Science of Teaching

In an earlier post, I mentioned that this past year I started reading Robert Marzano's The Art and Science of Teaching. This book whispered to me. Many of his topics overlap with my districts new teacher rubric. One important idea being students knowing "how they know when they got it." I love the idea of having students using rubrics to assess themselves before, during and after their learning of a specific standard. This past year I use a Gradual Release Rubric but I found this year that it worked best for my older students.

I am not data obsessed, (well only sort of). But this year, I feel like I need to take a step back from my environment and instead focus on my instruction and my student's learning a bit more.

In many of my posts, I emphasize the importance of "learning targets" and how to use them as a formative assessment. Learning targets are important for ALL of your students because it tells them where they are headed during the lesson and where you want them to land. It tells our students what they are to learn, how to deeply learn it, and how to demonstrate their new learning. (Think of it like a treasure map--it tells students where to find the treasure.)

Learning goals are really pretty easy to make-I make mine from our district curriculum or extended evidence outcomes from Colorado's state standards (EEOs). EEOs I use for student who are functioning significantly below grade level standards.

With my instruction I first communicate the lesson learning goals to your students, plan a guided learning activity that takes place in the classroom, and then plan for assignments that are engaged learning experiences.

I use Backwards Planning to plan all my lessons, so formative assessments get planned while I'm writing outcomes and learning targets. With these formative assessments comes Marzano's rubrics. By using a scale the teacher and the students have a clear direction about instructional targets as well as descriptions of levels of understanding and performance for those targets.

I plan to start my year off slowly and remind my students how they will use these rubrics. I plan to align each rubric with each lesson and students will score themselves at the end of the each lesson. I will also rate them at the end of each lesson and justify why they rated themselves at that level. This will allow me to track their levels of understanding through the unit and help them to see why they are or are not at that level. This should help limit wildly inaccurate scores in a short time. I hope to see them internalize the rubric over the year and become are accurate with their own placement and justification.

It is most definitely a gradual release of responsibility! With these posters, as well as more student directed data tracking, I feel like my students will be more in control of their own learning and growth. I also think that this is something that my kindergarten students will be able to take on for the first time EVER. These will soon be posted in my TpT store as part of my new data binder. I'll have more to share. Have a great week.

Math and Common Core

Math has been challenging for me this year. I go into one class and pull out two other groups to teach/reteach math. Last year the comment that I got from evaluations was, "How is what you're doing helping students access core in a timely manner?"  Meaning, stop spending all your time filling in the holes and do it as your helping students understand core. Well-easier said than done.  But I had a light bulb moment early in the week, when I was talking with my coach about my math instruction.

I have to say it has been easier to do than I thought. My district has done most of the work for teachers. They have broken down each unit using Understand By Design: Backwards Planning. I can then take the unit and figure out what skills students must have to make through the unit and that is where I put my time when I'm working in small groups. I must admit this thinking gives me the time that I need to reteach skills that students should have mastered years ago. Using the Gradual Release framework, I have been able to at least help student's do better in math if not out-right master the content being taught. 

My building coach, has also been pushing back on my thinking to increase the rigor of my instruction by helping to redesign my learning targets to increase students depth of knowledge. I usually start my targets with an essential question--it tells them what I want them to walk away with at the end of lesson. In many cases for the last few weeks they have started with "Can I." She asked my if I thought my question got at the depth I was wanting and if it matched my lesson. The day she visited, students had to create two different graphs and find the measures of center, so they could interpret the graph but the posted essential question was Can I create the graphs. See the disconnect.

As we talked, she showed me a Common Core Resource that was a summary of math standards and questions I could use to develop math thinking. Between this resource and spending time making sure that lesson matches with the depth I'm wanting, should help me increase my rigor and help students get more out of what I teaching. I have shared this resource below. How do you increase and maintain the rigor for your students with exceptional needs?

Progress Monitoring with GRR

I have spoke at length about how I use Gradual Release throughout my teaching. Last month, I began using the Gradual Release Student Rubric for my students to self-assess after each lesson. This past week I started  asking them to tell me why they are that number. I tell students right after reviewing learning target then I will ask them to tell me where they are on the rubric for "Collaborate" ate the end of the lesson and why. I use it for all four parts of the lesson, so it doesn't matter if Monday's is an "I do" or "Independent" wok on Tuesday. They have to tell me and why.

You would not believe how they have risen to the challenge. They can clearly articulate how their behavior was and what they need help with. This is HUGE--having students who can clearly state what they need is tied to my districts teacher evaluation rubrics.

I have created a track form that helps me with differentiation. It's a simple--using the essential question as the base I then add the students feedback and note what I need to do for the next lesson for the student to move  up on the rubric. (This move covers two other items from our teacher rubrics.)

How do you track student self-assessments? Have a great week!

Assessing Student Learning

Assessing student learning is easy for me. I give a quiz or ticket out or play 20 questions. But I want my students to tell me what they need--do they have it or don't they. I've talked in the past about using the Gradual Release strategy as how I teach each day. Gradual Release works both ways.

Before going to Christmas Break, myself and several classroom teachers, introduced a Gradual Release Student Rubric. This rubric was designed to have students know what their responsibilities are during each stage.  We have all been amazed about how students have been able to clear state where they are on the rubric and those student are the "goofballs"--they have stepped up.

I have always used a paper/pencil assessment to determine what students need the next day. With this I know before I pull small groups which students think they  need more help before they leave for the day. After my mini-lesson, I tell students that if your a 1 or 2 they need to stay with me for more help before working on their own. Sometimes I will name students who I know need more help.

I love that my students can identify where they are on this rubric at the end of each lesson. This has encouraged my students to become more independent and taking responsibility for their own learning.  They know what they need to do while I'm giving a Focus Lesson and they can tell me where they were doing

Yes, I still assess but what I've noticed is that their scores have gone up. I'm spending less time going back and reteaching material. Even my learners that are several years behind their grade level peers are getting the material in a shorter amount of time and are more able to tell me what kind of help they need. They have become more independent--taking on their own learning has helped them. This has helped me focus small groups into something that directly targets what a student needs while not waiting for an assessment; with me missing what why really need. Talk about student focused, student centered learning!!!

What do you use to help students assess themselves so they can become independent learners?

Gradual Release Student Rubric 

Think Alouds

I finally have some energy for my last blog post of year. After visiting my parents for Christmas, I got the flu. Or I should say they "shared" it with me since they had it as well.

I've blogged in the past about how I've structured my lessons using Gradual Release (Fisher and Frey.) Not to mention over half of the Teach Evaluation Rubric is based on integrating gradual release into every part of my day. (Easier said than done.) I've been focusing on the "I do" and "We do" pieces with my math groups.

The point of an "I do" is that I get to model my thinking and what I want students to do. This means I get to do all the talking. And the students HAVE to be QUIET. Yeah right!! Sixth graders don't like sharing the air waves. This is only to be no more than 5 minutes most of the time. This would happen if I got to do all the talking. We're getting there.

I created this visual to help me make sure that when I'm doing a "Think Aloud" to hit some specific ideas by the time I'm finished. This has helped me stay on track--even with the distractions. This is for me and not so much for my students. But I have seen them attend better to the lesson because it gives them very specific information about the days think aloud. I've noticed that they are making connections to other think alouds since I've added this.

Have a fabulous week and a great start to you New Year.

Guided Math Chapter 5

Welcome to Guided Math Chapter 5: Using Guided Math with Small Groups

My take away from this chapter was that small group math instruction is the perfect place to provide all students with access to core instruction. This means you have to differentiate the what (curriculum) not change it. Small group math gives you the time to do that--just like you would in Guided Reading.  

This got me thinking about how flexible, needs based grouping affect student learning. I know with guided reading, students move all the time. Why could the same not happen with math. My building has been playing with adding small math groups to the math block. You'll see the schedule below. But I do know that when you group students by math need and provide them time/practice to access core they do get it. They get it and it shows everywhere when they do. 

Why Small Group Math?
The Kids 
 Learn at their ability level
Experience Success
Grow in Self esteem 
Enjoy math 
Gain new understandings
Are allowed frequent movement 
Participate in activities of appropriate length
The Teacher
Knows exactly where each kid stands
Has time to work with individuals in small groups
Has less frustration
Uses time more efficiently

Small Group Math Instruction allows you to address the needs of your class, in a way that targets students’ strength and needs, tailor instruction to provide the specific instruction that best challenges all learners. Students receive the support they need to expand their understanding and improve their math understanding.  Fountas and Pinnell say this about small group instruction, "in the comfort and safety of a small group, students learn how to work with others, how to attend to shared information, and how to ask questions or ask for help." For students who struggle with math learning these things is key for their success. Small group math allows teachers to challenge all learners by providing instruction at varied levels of difficulty and with scaffolding based on needs.  Small group math instruction lends itself to differentiation. It fits perfectly into the Gradual Release Strategy that is used in Guided Reading.

One example of how students could be grouped is from low to high. 
The low group starts with the teacher at the Work With Teacher Station. This group is met with first, so that they are taught the lesson before being asked to work independently or play a game related to the concept I am teaching.  I use a small dry erase board or the interactive whiteboard for my instruction, and the students sit in front of me on the carpet.  They bring their math journal with them because I often have them work on the math journal pages with me during the lesson. This would be the time to provide remedial instruction for students as well. 

The medium group starts at the Math Games Station.  They are often playing the game that is part of that day's Math lesson, but they may also be playing a game that they have played in the past that corresponds to the concepts in the unit.  Sometimes students are also doing projects at this center, especially during the fraction and geometry units. 

The high group starts at the Independent Practice Station.  I have them start at this station because they are often able to do the math journal pages without much instruction.  Each day, they are asked to complete the journal pages that correspond to the lesson I will be teaching.  The high group is also given a math packet created by our "Gifted and Talented" teacher because they often finish the math journal pages before it is time to rotate to the next station.

Depending on the need of the students, like in guided reading, you may not meet with all three groups every day. But you need to meet with every group at least once a week. You may meet with your lowest group four of five days, the next lowest group three of five days, the middle group two of five days and your high group only once. 
Daily Schedule for Math Block
I have one hour and 30 minutes scheduled for math each day (90 minutes).  Below is how my building uses that time.

Number Talks: (8–10 minutes) As a building we use Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, Grades K–5 By: Sherry Parrish 

Lesson Introduction & Directions: 15 minutes) During this time, I briefly introduce the concept I will be teaching for the day, announce any materials they will need to do their daily work (rulers, protractors, etc.), and explain the game that students will be playing at the Games Station (if necessary).

Rotation #1: (20 minutes)
Rotation #2: (20 minutes)
Rotation #3: (20 minutes)
Closing: (5 minutes) At the end of math, I call the class back together quickly to reinforce the day's concept.  If there is time, we will correct the daily math journal page as a class.

I have included two videos examples of what guided math can look like in classrooms.

I have created a Small Group Lesson Plan Template to help in your planning for Small Group Math.

A couple of questions to get the juices flowing:
1) Do you use Guided Reading, how can you use that idea to work in small group math to accommodate all learners? What would be easy? More difficult to adapt?
2) What data do you already have that would help you create those groups?

Gradually Release

Over the last two years, my building has used the gradually release strategy from Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. In gradually release, the teacher gradually releases control of the use of the skills and strategies to the students. The expectation being students apply the strategies and skills learned in guided reading lessons to other reading outside of the lesson. Students should begin to 'own' the strategy as they mastery strategy or skill.  Guided reading is mosty on the students, where Modeling the strategy is totally me as the teacher, and in the middle is shared where both the students and I are working on the strategy together.

A highlight of their work is the learning goal; making sure that I have a clearly definded focus no matter what lesson I'm teaching. I weave my learning focus into my introduction. For example: Today, we will be reading another text that has lots of interesting information. When we read a text it has important things, sometimes something strange or not so important things. Today, we going to learn how to sift and sort what is really important and what interesting. This strategy is very helpful because you'll be able to use it with lots of different text.

For Wilson, this is far more interesting because it moves back forth between all three many times in a lesson but the lesson plans don't include a learning focus. Will I fixed that! I not have a lesson plan that includes lesson focus. I also couldn't find a lesson plan for think alouds and shared reading, so I made those as well. Just in time to use before Spring Break.
Modeled I Do Lesson Plan Shared Reading Lesson Plan Wilson Lesson Plan With Learning Goals

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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