Sunday, September 9, 2012
Common Reading Time: Data and QRIs
Yesterday I started an update of how our shift to a 6th-8th grade common reading time is going so far. I explained what it was like the first couple of days. Today, I am going to continue on by sharing what my push-in colleague and I did next.
On the third day we took what we had observed in the various classes, as well as our background knowledge of the various students and met to map out a plan for starting QRIs. From previous years, we knew that conducting QRIs could end up taking a large portion of classroom time. We did not want it to stretch out over a period of a month and a half as it easily had before (or worse, even longer as a result of having all three classes at the same time).
Previously I had administered QRIs on my own to all 6th graders (since they were new to me) and to a select group of 7th and 8th graders since I had already had them for a couple of years. Instead, this year we prioritized students and mapped out a plan. We narrowed down to new students and students that we want to monitor more closely. Once we got to that point, we still wanted to think about efficiency. When we considered how long it would take us to complete the QRIs if we did multiple passages with students, we both agreed that we would want to avoid that length of time.
Instead, we chose one passage to use with all of the students in order to get a general snapshot. We know that we can always go back later and do more in depth QRIs with some of the students if needed. The fourth day we were able to begin the process. Because each of the grade levels was in a classroom with a teacher, we were able to pull students from the classroom to conduct QRIs and we were able to be fully present to the students, rather than also being in a supervisory role of the rest of the class. We also did not have to worry abou the interference of students overhearing responses of students before them. Walking in the hall we were able to have quick asides with students about the books they were reading.
By having both of us conducting QRIs, by being able to fully focus on the student that is with us at the time, and by going in with a plan for one passage, we have been able to move through our lists efficiently. Most likely, we will be able to finish up next Monday or Tuesday. At the end of each session, we typically have a little bit of time where there is not enough time to check in with one more student, so we have been quickly debriefing about what we are noticing so far.
And we are still observing... As we go into classrooms to get students, we notice student engagement. Even though it slows down the QRI process, we make sure to have quick check-ins with students who really need it in order to find the right book. As a team, we talk about what we are seeing and the possibilities of our next steps now that we have a little bit more flexibility in what we do. We consider how we can best meet the needs of the students in the different classes.
Time and time again, I am discovering that one of the aspects that I most appreciate about teaching alongside my colleague is the opportunity to have deep conversations about adolescents and reading and the history behind what we are doing and new possibilities.
In the future I will be doing posts about a shift in the way that we are doing reading logs this year and how that is working out, as well as a post about our post-QRI steps.