Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

Independent Consultant sharing my learning with others. Please scroll way down to follow me!!


November 2013

Extending Your Word Sorts

Once your students are becoming faster at open word sorts with their PWIM words, it is important to extend their sorts into other words in the classroom, as well as in the books and other material they are reading.

In the photo below, the student had classified the words three times, which I recorded on a recipe card from their  bag.

                        word samples

I tell students that the first time they classify is the easiest, the second time you are pushing your thinking a bit further and the third time you are making your brain work even harder. It doesn’t mean that the last category they sort is the best, but that they had to try harder.

Once the student has classified three times, I ask them to choose one of their categories. I write the category on a sticky note.

word study 2

The student then searched for the category in her book during silent reading. The student extended her thinking by looking for ing words. She added anything, bouncing, stepping and tying to the original category from her PWIM words. She was very excited to share her thinking with her classmates.

Students can extend their categories on their own or in small groups.


Saskatchewan Learning Reading Fluency Levels

 I worry when teachers tell me our  Saskatchewan Curriculum “doesn’t have explicit guidelines” for fluency. It is very clear in the cues and conventions (Table 5) of each grade.

For more information on fluency I highly recommend; What Really Matters in
Fluency: Research-based Practices across the Curriculum by Richard Allington.

Best way to improve reading fluency? READ

Outcome / Grade Fluency Saskatchewan Curriculum
Grade 1     CR1.1  Read and comprehend grade-appropriate texts (including narratives, informational texts, scripts and poems) by relating the sequence (i.e. beginning, middle and end), the key points (who, what, when, where and why) and the problems and solutions.i)Read and re-read “just-right” texts independently or a sustained minimum 10-15 minute period daily for enjoyment and to improve fluency (30-60 wcpm orally) and comprehension.
Grade 2   CR2.4  Read and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate literacy and informational texts read silently and orally by relating and retelling key events and ideas in sequence with specific details and discussing how, why and what if questions.i) Read appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts at a reasonable rate (70-100 wcpm orally; 95-145 silently) with fluent pacing on practiced texts.
Grade 3   CR3.4  Read fluently and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate fictions, script, poetry and non-fiction from various cultures (including First Nations and Métis) and countries (including Canada) and explain reactions and connections to texts read.i) Monitor for meaning and reread when meaning is not clear; read and reread just-right texts to increase fluency (80-110 wcpm orally; 120-170 silently) and comprehension.
Grade 4   CR4.4  Read for various purposes and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate fiction (including stories and novels), scripts, poetry and non-fiction (including magazines, reports, instructions and procedures) from various cultures including First Nations and Métis and countries (including Canada).i) Read grade-appropriate texts silently (e.g., 20 minutes; 135-185 wcpm) and orally (with fluency, accuracy, pacing intonation and expression; 100-140 wcpm), adjusting reading rates to the complexity of the materials and purpose for reading.
Grade 5   CR5.4  Read and demonstrate comprehension of a range of contemporary and classical grade-appropriate fiction, script, poetry and non-fiction (including magazines, reports, instructions and procedures) from various cultures including First Nations, Métis and Inuit and countries (including Canada).i) Read grade-appropriate texts silently (150-200 wcpm) for extended periods of time; read orally to increase fluency, accuracy, pacing, intonation and expression (110-150 wcpm); adjust reading rate to purpose and text demands.
Grade 6   CR6.8  Read Grade 6 appropriate texts to increase fluency (120-160 wcpm orally; 160-210 silently) and expression.
Grade 7   CR7.8  Read Grade 7 appropriate texts to increase fluency (130-170 wcpm orally; 170-220 silently) and expression.
Grade 8   CR8.8  Read Grade 8 appropriate texts to increase fluency (140-180 wcpm orally; 180-220 silently) and expression.

Classroom Community and the Circle of Courage

In the grade 2/3 split I have been working in, we wanted to try co-constructing  class rules in a new way. We were inspired by an idea from our colleague  J.B. and decided to try using her idea of the medicine wheel as our format. It represents peace and harmony-an excellent model for any classroom.We also looked at some of the work from The Circle of Courage .

Thanks CR for once again letting me learn with you!!

Introducing the importance of the Medicine Wheel  was the perfect way to engage our First Nations students from the first day of school, and begin our Treaty teachings. I love the idea that as a wheel, the four spokes keep the wheel strong and that is what will keep the class strong.

The wheel is divided into 4 sections. Generosity, Belonging, Independence and Mastery

As we moved through each section, we read and discussed many books. Our aim was for the children to tell us how they would feel and what it would look like if they felt they belonged, if there was generosity in the room, if they had choices and if they were learning well. After each conversation, the children wrote what they felt were the big ideas onto sticky notes.

2013-09-12 14.59.42 HDR

We shared the sticky notes out loud and typed them into a Wordle. The kids  loved watching the process of making a Wordle and before the class Wordle came up on the screen, we had them predict which words would be the largest.

Belonging and generosity are done! Now-on to independence.

2013-10-07 09.52.01                                    2013-10-10 15.07.39

With independence completed, we finished up with Mastery.

Wheel final

The wheel is posted in a prominent place in the classroom,where it can be refered to daily. It has really helped make classroom expectations both shared and valued by the entire class.

Some of the books we used to co-construct our beliefs were:

Belonging: I am loved-Bucket Filler, Elmer, Leon the Chameleon,Pebble, We are a Family, Jingle Dancer

Generosity:I have a purpose for my life- Bucket Filler ,Oddrey, Rainbow Fish, The Yesterday Stone, The Tree

Independence:I have the power to make decisions-Bird Child, Howard Wigglebottom,Listen to His Heart, Only One You

Mastery:I can succeed-The Little Engine That Could,I Can Succeed, What Are You Doing?

Please share any suggestions you think might work!!

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