Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Series: 1-1...with Class-Getting Started in Reader's Workshop!

In a few weeks, I will be a 5th grade teacher with a 1-1 classroom. Wow! That sounds like a lot of responsibility and a lot of change. But, I am SOOOOOOOOO ready for it. Well, ready, but not exactly prepared I guess. As I was planning over spring break, I couldn't help but think how this or that lesson or unit would be so much better (or different) if I had easy access to laptops in my classroom. (We have a computer lab and a few classroom computers, but the ability to differentiate is just not the same as it will be with EVERY child having access to a computer within seconds.)

So, I'm going to start blogging about my journey through the 1-1 classroom initiative. Sometimes I will talk about how I see things changing (like how reader's workshop will look in my 1-1 classroom), while other times I will highlight a website or resource that I have found. (For example, in upcoming posts, I will share and evaluate websites that I will consider foundations in my 1-1 classroom.)

FIRST UP....Online Conferring Notes and Student Reading Logs

In my 1-1 Reader's Workshop, my students will complete their reading logs in a google spreadsheet and I will log my conferences with them on a separate tab in the same document. In the above pic, I will use the list of reading areas (highlighted in mint) to note the student's main reading goal(s). Moving these documents to an online format will be fantastic for collaboration (the AIG teacher comes in to confer with some of my students) and for sharing conversations around books with parents. My student reading logs tend to drop after first quarter, and I'm fine with that as long as I know students are reading, but with an online spreadsheet, students will be required to either complete it at night or in the morning before the bell rings.

Benefits of an online conferring form and student reading log:
* Increase collaboration and documentation of AIG/inclusion teachers' work with students
* Given that students have completed their reading log, you can take a quick scan of what they have read before starting the conference (make observations like range of reading choices, progress through books, how much time is being set aside for reading at home, and compare pgs the child is able to read at home with their school stamina)
* Students now have access to your confering notes and ideas that you expect them to continue thinking about (this also means that you have to make sure you write all of your comments in a kid-friendly, positive tone)
* The document can easily be shared with parents so that they stay in the loop
* How about upping the ante on your informal record keeping--you have documentation for report cards
* You have access to your "conferring binder" everywhere that you have internet access WITHOUT having to carry around a chunky binder (WIN-WIN-awesome!)
****I can already envision myself adding a tab for documentation of a student's progress towards a specific goal (I use CAFE-ish goal setting in my reader's workshop). How easy to chart some fluency or words per minute progress in one of these files :) ****

If you like this google spreadsheet, you can go to file, make a copy, and have it for your own students. When the year begins next year, I will share the spreadsheet with students, teach them how to make a copy, and then have them include their first name in the title. I also have a classroom laptop, so when we confer, I will be typing notes instead of handwriting.

If you kind of know your way around google docs, here's how I plan to organize these files. I will have a "Reading Conferences" folder in my google drive that I share with the AIG teacher and any other staff members who work with my students in reading. Next, I will place the spreadsheet that I have already made in the "Reading Conferences" folder. Then, I will copy the spreadsheet and add student names until I have made a spreadsheet doc for all students. Last, I will share each individual spreadsheet with the student it belongs to (they have google drive accounts!).

Is your school 1-1 yet? What are you thinking about? How did your implementation go? What "must have" sites have you found? 


  1. I am looking forward to following your blog! I also teach a fifth grade 1-1 classroom. Are you self-contained or do your students change classes?

  2. Hi Regina, so excited that you are going to follow along. My classroom is self-contained. I teach all subject areas! :) So, my 1-1 ideas will cover math, science, social studies, writing, reading, and even morning meeting!

  3. WOW!! Right now we are about 18 to 3. HA! :) I can't wait to hear about your adventures being 1:1. I'm going to try reading workshop this year with my 6th graders and had thought about a couple of apps to keep up with notes-Confer or Evernote, but I hadn't even thought about using a spreadsheet. When I have time to really research I might look into that!! Right now I'm tied up with the National Writing Project! Whew! :)




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