Search This Blog

Friday, September 2, 2011

Reading Pensieve

I wrote in an earlier post about how much I love using the Daily 5/Cafe method in class. I had tried Daily 5 in my homeroom and it was working well but something wasn't quite right. Luckily for me, The Sisters (Joan and Gail) were coming to do a 2 day workshop about Daily 5 and Cafe that summer and it was literally just a few miles away from my house. Yes, it was pricey, but my whole grade level team decided to go and we actually got some professional development money to offset the cost. It was the best money I've ever spent. Two days with other teachers, Gail and Joan (who are hilarious, informative, and SO kind!), and meals and snacks...heaven. I'd go again in a heartbeat and I recommend their workshop (especially the 2 day) to my teacher friends.

Check out the Daily Cafe website for more information about their books and methods.

One of the main components of Daily 5/Cafe is small group and individual reading instruction. The Sisters organize their paperwork and all of their notes in something they call a Reading Pensieve. If you remember, Harry Potter's mentor Dumbledore had a "pensieve" that he kept all his most treasured thoughts in. That's basically what this binder is- notes about your students as readers.

I wanted to share with you my Reading Pensieve (or "My Brain" as I sometimes refer to it with my students) so you can get an idea of what is inside. The Sisters have downloads for most of the pages I am referring to but you might have to be a member. They are also available in their book, The CAFE Book, which has a CD of printables.

Here is the cover of my Pensieve. I custom-made and ordered the binder from It was pricey but I have a birthday dangerously close to the start of school and there is a promo code here and if you sign up for the Zazzle e-mails the deals are even better.
Here is what's inside:

I've kept some essential tools in my pencil pouch in the front- highlighter, pen, etc.

The main tabs are "Keeping Track," "Whole Group," "Small Groups," "Reading Data," and "Students."

In the "Keeping Track" section, I have a calendar for the year. This allows me to make appointments with students and small groups- and keep them! If I tell a student I will meet with them in two days, I can write that in my calendar and remember to follow up.

In the "Whole Group" tab, I have several lesson plans that are available on The Daily Cafe to help me teach my mini-lessons in a whole group setting.

In the "Small Groups" section, I have lots of notes about the different small groups I teach during Daily 5. Above, you can see that this group was working on chunking and blending. I write a quick note to myself about what they did and then, to the right, the members of the group and how they seemed to do with those skills that day. I use a + if they seemed to understand, a check if they did okay but might need more reinforcement, and a - if they will definitely need more help with this strategy.

One photo I don't have is what is in the Reading Data tab- this section is basically for the students' reading scores on running records and the NWEA MAP tests for easy access for me.

In the "Student" section, I have a tab for each student in my class. In each one I've put a Cafe menu, another printable from the website to collect data when I meet with individuals during Daily 5.

One document I did not take a photo of is my check-in sheet for Daily 5. During Daily 5, the students can choose from five different options: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Word Work, and Listen to Reading. In my class, students must choose Read to Self sometime during our three rounds. They can only do Listen to Reading twice during the week. I keep track of their choices using an Excel spreadsheet I created. I typed in each student's name, laminated it, and then jot down their choice each round with a Vis a Vis marker. I have a code system: R is Read to Self, RS is Read to Someone, W is Work on Writing, WW is Word Work, and L is Listen to Reading. Would you like a copy? I have a Google Doc just for you! Please note- this document only has enough spots for three choices each day since that is how many we have in my class. Also, I only keep track of their choices on a weekly basis (which is why I laminated the sheet and can wipe it off easily) because I found it was wasting quite a bit of paper to keep track longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment