My first impression was a good one. They have settled in quite well, rituals and routines were getting firmly established, and classroom instruction had begun. The unannounced snapshot gave me a glimpse across content areas with lessons in technology, Readers' Workshop, Writers' Workshop, Math Workshop, and Science Workshop.
In two other rooms, I found students in the Work Period part of the Readers' Workshop. Students were in their book nooks with their Books in a Bag reading, were selecting new books from their leveled libraries, or were diligently adding a text to their book log that they had just finished. The teachers were monitoring the classroom to be sure that students were following the rituals and routines of the Work Period. Teachers need to make sure that students are building their independence and reading stamina. This is critically important, because on my next visit, during student work period, teachers will be administering DRA 2's to the students. After that, they will be using the DRA 2 data and diagnostic data to run guided reading and strategy groups. In order for the teacher to be doing the student conferring or small group lesson, the other students in the classroom will have to be actively reading and not interrupt the teacher.