Tag Archive: CIM

2nd Grade Procedures

IMG_5181My other 2nd grade group just finished a set of books on procedural steps.  I had started out by reading Monster Sandwich which went over the procedures to which a girl makes a sandwich.  I then used the graphic organizer from Interventions that Work (and our district has blown them up IMG_0003and laminated them so we can use them whole group).  I was going to model, but the kids started shouting out ideas and kind of took over for me.  It was a guided experience, but I was impressed how they really took ownership for what was supposed to be me modeling.  I still had to talk them through the steps as they wanted to jump straight from get out your ingredients to “make taco” and then eat.  We talked about how there is much more to making a taco than just ingredients and eating.  We also noticed how everyone in the group makes their tacos in different ways, which was interesting and brought out the point that just because you think you “know how to do something” that someone else might be able to show you a different way to do it.

Afterwards we did some work on The Fun Club Goes To A Dairy Farm where we talked about how there is a specific process that happens at the dairy farm and then the kids made their own procedural graphic organizers on something they knew how to do or make.

IMG_0005After they completed their graphic organizer, I had writing conferences with each of the kiddos and then went on to model how to transfer the information from the graphic organizer into sentence form.  The kids have already been working on connecting words so they easily put those into their stories (nice job 2nd grade teachers!!)

We are still working on the writing process and how editing can make our writing better.  We are a work in progress, but the students did a fabulous job of procedural steps.

Combo Interactive Writing


This year one of my groups include a 1st/2nd grade combo and it’s fun having kids from different grade levels.  So if you see me talking about my “combo kids” you’ll know it’s my group with both grade levels in it.

IMG_5182This group is working on Interventions That Work’s Interactive Writing.  We have been working on letter identification, letter sounds, word building, directionality, and word by word matching.  I JUST received another iPad from Donor’s Choose (Thank you!) so some of our word work is able to be done on the iPad since both boys have one to use.  You can see them above working on beginning sounds.  It’s just a nice way to differentiate what we are doing.

We started out with a group poem that helped us work on fluency, directionality, and word by word matching.  Kacie Rogan, one of our 2nd grade teachers, came in to observe us on day 1 since she will also be doing Interactive Writing with some of her groups in her classroom so it was nice to have another teacher in to watch.

After we worked on our poem we wrote a group message and worked on building up some more known words such as has, red, go, we, will, or.  We are wanting to see some rapid acceleration in letter ID and known writing vocabulary.IMG_5176

Once we created our group message we then extended our message by writing individual messages.  Once the kiddos were finished with their individual message then I was able to conference with each child and check the sounds they correctly produced in their words.  We are working hard on stretching the word out and writing all the sounds we hear.  Keep checking back on us and see how we work to be the best readers possible.

iPad Accommodations

IMG_1962We are full swing in end of year testing with our kiddos currently.  This can be a really stressful time for our kiddos who have worked REALLY hard all year long and have made so much growth.  It can get easy to focus so much on a number, when we, as teachers, parents, teacher colleagues know there is so much more.

It’s hard to have to tell students they didn’t “beat the timer” for fluency so we have to move to a lower level–especially when these students can accurately read on grade level.  Fluency continues to be an area of focus I work on with many of my students.  It unfortunately holds several students back from technically being considered on grade level.

Some students go into the testing portions of the year already feeling defeated.  I’m blogging today to get your thoughts:

  1. What do you do to help your students go in without the defeated mentality?
  2. What are some possible special accommodations that you utilize with your students during testing times to get them motivated or keep them motivated?

While at one of my CIM (Comprehensive Intervention Model) OPD (On-going Professional Development) (Have I used enough acronyms for you today? Ha!) the Special Needs CIM Coach brought up the idea of taking pictures of the books and having the child be able to read the book from the iPad.  This had never occurred to me as being something I could do.  For one of my students, he really doesn’t want to do the tests.  Despite whatever way I spin it, it just isn’t his forte.  I checked in on him several days with him begging not to go before I suggested to his teacher that we put his books on the iPad.

This seemed to be the trick.  While this isn’t appropriate for all of our students, it’s nice when we can make special accommodations for students to help with incentives and motivation.  I was blown away by how considerably better the reading was on the iPad (for the same exact books mind you) than in December when we had tested previously.

So what are some accommodations you use to help your students during these last few weeks?  It can be a rough time on ALL of us as we are anxious to be outside, some students are anxious to not be at school with the structure, etc.  Let’s all hang in there together!

4th Grade: Comprehension Focus Group

photo4th grade started reading Invisible Stanley by Jeff Brown this week and this is the first chapter book for them.  This is an exciting new venture as instead of having a Guided Reading Plus group they have moved to a Comprehension Focus Group.  This is exciting as they aren’t needing as many foundation skills as they were needing previously.  They are approaching proficiency and need some extra work in comprehension and fluency to really take their reading to the next level.

IMG_5485Day 1 we did some work work and I read the prologue as the students wrote predictions in their composition notebooks.  Then I had them each ready chapters 1 and 2 individually.  This became a time where I could sit down with each student individually, listen to them read orally, and then conference with them.  What a great opportunity for me to listen and talk about the story with students.  I have missed this!!  After everyone finished reading, we got back together for a conversation about the book.   This does not come naturally for most students.  It’s uncomfortable and awkward, so dialogue was rather scarce.  This will be a goal of ours to really be thinking about the book, what is the author saying to you, and then being able to speak your opinion, which may or may not be what someone else in the group believes.

photo (3)Day 2 we got back together and I did oral accuracy checks on the kiddos.  While I did this, they were rereading chapters 1 and 2 silently and then summarizing the chapters in their comp notebooks.  We regrouped and started a graphic organizer together.  They paired up and worked on the who, what, when, where component and then went out to work on event #1 together.  They got 5 minutes for both categories and then we came back as a whole group and put our answers collaboratively on the master graphic organizer.

photo (2)Working together was also a bit of a struggle–not because they couldn’t handle it, but because I don’t think they are used to working together collaboratively.  It was very quiet as they worked and I had to encourage them to talk to their partner about what each of them was thinking and how they could take both of their ideas and put it into one.  This, too, will be something we work on.  Teamwork makes the dream work!!

We’ll continue our way through the next 5 chapters over these next couple of weeks and will get a chance for more dialogue and more collaboration with a partner.  Stay tuned!

IMG_6825I haven’t gotten the chance to write about my new 1st grade group, which I’ve only met with a few times.  We looked at data and shifted our groups around back in March to better serve our 1st graders.  I now have 3 lovely ladies and with all kinds of things going on in our building I haven’t had the chance to work with them very many days, but the days we have seen each other have been a lot of fun.

We just finished reading a book calling All About Sharks. (Can you tell I love the “All About” series??–The kids go absolutely crazy for them.  Plus the first graders have had an obsession with sharks all year long.)  We did something a little different than we normally do in group.  We did a mixture of Guided Reading Plus and Interactive Writing.  I noticed that I wasn’t getting accelerated growth from this group (partially because I haven’t seen them very often/consistently) but I wanted a way to get more “bang for my buck.”  My CIM (Comprehensive Intervention Model) coach suggested doing a group Interactive Writing message and then having the students write individual messages.

After we read the story, the next session we met we re-read the story and came up with the group message.  They liked the way the last page had bullets that looked like sharks.  They wanted to write those shark facts and then use bullets in their writing as well.

This was a good opportunity for me to see some of their writing vocabulary as they knew words I wasn’t expecting them to know.  I really was able to nearly sit back and watch them cooperatively work together.  I just facilitated the next word in the sentences and someone in the group already knew how to write it.   They really enjoyed creating a group message and then writing their own message, fashioning it after how the author wrote.

Mr. Brace Taking Over

IMG_0130Mr. Brace started teaching my 2nd and 3rd grade groups today.

It was an exciting time to see how the 2nd and 3rd graders are such Lowell STARS as they completely embraced Mr. Brace and continued to work hard.

Mr. Brace is continuing to use the CIM (Comprehensive Intervention Model) Guided Reading Plus (GRP) format that I have been using this year by using word work, fluent writing, phonemic awareness, new books, group discussion, running records, and writing in response to reading.

Today was a neat experience to watch the kids hard at work from a different perspective.  It’s interesting how you pick up new things the kids are able to do when you aren’t teaching.  I’m super proud of Mr. Brace and the kids for embracing new experiences!

Next week Mr. Brace will start teaching my 1st grade and Kindergarten groups.  After that he will continue to pick up additional groups.

Go Lowell!

IMG_0068Part of the Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) Guided Reading Plus intervention is to have reading and writing conferences with your students.  I conference with my students regularly, but I was beginning to feel like what we conferenced about wasn’t sticking with the kids.  And to be honest, it wasn’t really sticking with me either.  I often times couldn’t (and can’t) always remember what I’ve told the kids we should work on.  Then I started to feel bad because 1. I couldn’t remember giving them praise on anything particular they were doing well, and 2. I don’t think I was showing value in the conferences if neither of us could really remember what we had talked about.

So I had seen plenty of guided reading conference sheets online, but I wasn’t finding any writing ones.  I decided to develop my own.  I thought about all the things I was harping on the kids to do and typed them up.  It’s a half sheet and we ended up conferencing today by looking through each of the journal entries and decided what they were doing well and what things we could continue to work on.  I highlighted what they were doing well and what they needed to work on.  To make sure I didn’t lose them we glued them to the back of their journals right by where they glued in the synonym rolls.  Now before they write I can ask them to check their writing sheet to see what they need to focus on for the day.  This is a good reminder for me so I can check it before I conference with them.  Then as they start to make those goals into strengths we can check them off the list.

The students seemed pretty excited about the sheets.  I hoping this helps make our time a lot more productive and meaningful.  If you would like a copy of this please shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post so I can get it to you.