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Home : 2002 : Jul : 10

    By J/IA

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    I worried about the same thing last year, but I'll tell you what, once our routines were in place, things went extremely smoothly when I was gone. I had subs even comment that they were amazed at the kids' focus during language arts. One of the things I love most about this model is that the students are so very independent and also so engaged!

    Word study pretty much runs itself, in a way, once routines are in place. If nothing else, the kids can have the procedure understood that when there's a sub they will do an additional Making Connections page, or an additional buddy-study, or whatever you decide. Heaven forbid, they can also do a "traditional" spelling assignment of writing the words 3 times or creating sentences, writing out definitions.

    As for reading workshop, I sometimes had the sub do a guided reading group (of sorts) if absolutely need be--maybe just bringing the kids together to read to her. There are also opportunitites for students to fill in many of the forms from the Appendices in GRW that you may not have used in awhile if you wish--story maps, etc. The biggest thing I noticed is the kids' enthusiasm for SILENT independent reading time (and journaling). As we've said in previous posts, the noise is there, as quiet as we try to be, and I found that the students really appreciated being left completely alone to read and write in their journals. For the off-task few there is the opportunity to conference--again, with specific instructions, I believe subs can be expected to do this. If nothing else they can just ask the students what they are reading and how it is going--maybe leave the sub your bookmark or whatever you use with the list of prompts for conferences (to get the kids talking).

    I found WW to be similar, in that they saw it as being "left alone" to write--no ML necessarily, just a group check-in, work time, then group revisit to see what was accomplished. The poster of the writing process with the stickies keeps everyone accountable.

    These have been my experiences. It made sub plans easy to write and my students stayed out of trouble (for the most part ).

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