read alouds

Stations are drivin me to drinkin...!!

Oh the kids drove me to drinking today that's for sure (coffee of course)!
What were you thinking?!
So, this is a fake smile but I tried my best for you!
Here is today's rant and my fix to it!
Like MANY of you, you have probably reached a point during station time where you look up and you think you are dreaming because your students are just doing exactly what they are supposed to do. They're following the rules, working nicely together, using their whisper voices and you... well you have a glorious little guided reading group who is learning their new words or reading a new story that they just love!  ... That was me last week...
And here is the KICKER.... that sure as pickles wasn't the case today!!!
That is why the kids drove me to drinkin!
I think my kids forgot how to be at school... like that's how bad it was! ha ha!
We began station time, went over expectations like we do every time - I sent them off group by group like I always do at the beginning to get everyone going and BOOM already a fight. SO..... we all come back to the rug, discuss how to make it better and go back to our first rotation....
Glory hallelujah --- They began working right away. So, I sit at my little teacher table, call back my little cuties, introduce new words and as I'm doing so this, this is what else I am doing...
(not real names)
"Carsen what station are you at? -"Reading" "Then show me please"
"Tyler, why are we walking around the room?"
"Kayce, why do you have an eraser in your mouth?"
Little girl, "Um... Ms. Williams - I tied my shoes together"
"Ms. Williams I have an itch"
"Alison, is that how we use the word tiles?"
So.... how much learning got done with that guided reading group? NONE!!!
So.... needless to say I stopped stations today -- please tell me you've also had a day like this... ha ha
Anyway, we went into review station rules and expectations overdrive literally for the REST of the DAY! We are not doing stations for the rest of the week but rather doing WHOLE GROUP rotations this week to work on our behavior.
Today, we reviewed and practiced read to self... come to find the kids were overloading their book bins with not good fit books... we went over our shopping policy & book bin rules. We are going over good fit books again tomorrow.
The kids cleaned out their book bins... here is the aftermath
I only allow my students to have 2 new books of their choice each day in their book bins or else it is just too much chaos. I have our basal series book also in there which contains a bagillion stories and their guided reading book. So, in total they have 4+ books. They had too many in their book bins; they were literally bulging out! Kids also are allowed to replace two of their books each morning after they do their morning work so they don't have the same 2 books all week. (That's what I call shopping)
Here is the aftermath of cleaning our book bins.... calmness started to grace me with its presence...
They're not bulging!
So, after we cleaned and went over book bin rules (again) we went over read to self rules and expectations. We practiced twice. First time we made it not even 1 second!! The second time thank goodness we made it 7 minutes... which is not quite the 11 minutes we do at each rotation so we have work to do this week.
Next up... read to partner...
I had kids today reading to partner across the table?
Um... what happened to elbow to elbow, knee to knee?
That week long lesson I taught at the beginning of the year on how read to partner works must have vanished into no where land on planet Mars....
So, we literally practiced sitting EEKK (without books).... back and forth and back and forth from table to floor and table to floor till we got that down.
Then, we got out the books... I modeled how we should read along with our partner and help them... all that fun stuff. Then, asked them to do it. Then, as I was walking around I noticed something that I actually have never noticed before... when reading to a partner it is definitely useful if the book is not solely on the readers lap, but needs to be on both laps. So, I created a new aspect of read to partner and it is that both people have to have their hands on the book - they help each other hold the book unless they have 2 of the same book.
We practiced and... ahhh...
(I know they're not on the same page but this little guy was following along -- happy teacher)
Oh & guess what during all of this madness the superintendent came in to observe... this was while kids were practicing read to self and I was just sitting there watching them... ugh... that looked good... So, I signaled him over to let him in on what we were doing so I didn't look like one lazy teacher! ugh... any other time that day would've been great!...
Oh, and on the way out he tripped over that pile of books on the floor!
So... that is my day and that is why it drove me to drinkin... a large cup of caffeinated coffee!
Have a good one!! :)
Hope you enjoyed the read!!



  1. Oh yes, Oh yes I have had plenty of days like this!!!!


  2. Its amazing how they can just turn on you during centers! But it keeps us on our toes :) Hope tomorrow is better!
    Three Cheers for First Grade!

  3. Ohh girl! I so understand! That was last Wednesday for me. All we can hope is that with continuous practice and reviewing of expectations they will get it, or that there is enough to DRINK from all the craziness.