Weeky Schedule 2012 Update

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



6 thoughts on “Weeky Schedule 2012 Update”

  1. So, then, have we discontinued the sending of books to one another for FVR? And instead of building up class libraries, we are buying sets of readers? Please clarify, Ben. Somehow I missed this thread. Thanks.

  2. I thought SSR and FVR were different names for the same thing… i.e., everyone reads silently for a given period of time. Would you write more about how you do SSR on a single novel and have everybody at the same place on Friday? How do you accommodate different reading rates?

  3. I’ll respond to both questions lori and Nancy here. SSR is, in my own view, when the kids read the same text quietly together at the same time for a group academic purpose using R and D. Great for novels but can be for any text. FVR is of course where the kids read different texts at their own rate for fun and no academic group purpose.

    The sending of books to each other never really got off the ground. It was a fail. skip send some books to MN I believe but the original idea of all of us sending like one book media mail to one teacher until that teacher – possibly in a week – had a full FVR library – that didn’t happen. That’s fine in my mind. I have tried far more failed stuff in this work than successful stuff, for sure, over the years.

    Now to clarify – I am doing the Susie Gross plowing reading this week and next with that book. I am actually combining the two – Blaine’s R and D and Susie’s plowing idea. I can’t describe that conflict – Blaine seemed very intense about it when I discussed it with him in 2008, but the two were at odds on reading and I just combined them – I plow through a novel (Susie) using R and D (Blaine) while foregoing my normal weekly schedule – which I am overly addicted to, which is a good thing – whenever the stories get boring to the kids.

    So now I’m plowing through Houdini with R and D using the above daily scheduling template. By choosing a novel like Houdini, which is in my own mind a second semester level one novel, but waiting to do is as I have now in a second year class who have tons of stories from level 1 in their background, even the slow readers can read a chapter every day, or maybe in two days on the longer (3/4 page) chapters. And there is a glossary.

    So whether they read one chapter a day or one chapter every two days, the slow kids have no choice but to keep up. That is the power of a daily quiz as an exit ticket in teaching! And why do those kids read slowly – mostly bc they are lazy and expect to be coddled by the teacher who is then supposed to differentiate and all that shit. I don’t do that. I hold them to my expectations, not theirs.

    Don’t get me going, all this differentiation kid gloves handling of kids who are just lazy. Screw that. They are not lazy when they are taught in a way that is effective. In what we do, they cannot help but learn – it is all so clearly presented that they can’t play the “I’m confused” card in our CI classrooms.

    So the general expectation of the class is that we will read for awhile, then translate it together and take a quiz on it after reading and discussing it, and be ready for a big processing of all we did that week on Friday with the quiz on Friday, just as there was a quiz each day of the week, all written by my Quiz Writer.

    In conclusion:

    1. the kids are expected to read an easy text and take a quiz on it, a chapter every day if it is a short chapter and every two days if it is a longer chapter (none are long in Houdini).
    2. there is no coddling. They can’t complain bc we go through the novel chorally each day.
    3. kids who read fast are simply given another book. I praise them and set them reading into another novel. It is a badge of honor for them. But they are still responsible for all Houdini content.

    This works really well. I am going to do it a ton this year. It’s an effortless class for me. Effortless.

    Speaking of effortless, let’s remember, now that the frenzy is over, to get into quiet weekends. If you are new here, we take the weekends off, even though a lot of people still comment, I may put up few posts that I consider pressing, and we generally rest and go back into the archives on the weekend. I think we are finally ready for that. We couldn’t do our quiet weekends up to now, understandably, esp. with jGR kicking it’s heels up and all.

    (Last night Diana had a few experienced teachers working on Circling. You should have seen them. They look awesome. We are attracting some serious talent to Denver Public Schools. As I coached my group of three – they circle much better than I do – for a very brief moment I wanted to just go in the corner and cry a bit, bc I knew that, despite all the opposition, this work is now going to be done right by by some really talented people and the torch will be passed very soon from all of us oldies (Susie is alreay retired) and these new ones will take comprehension based instruction far beyond what we were able to. I saw that clearly in that talent laden group last night – it was like looking into a crystal ball. It made me very happy.

    Nancy and lori let me know if this too long answer was sufficient.

  4. In 2006 or so, maybe earlier, Blaine came out and announced his Read and Discuss technique. Right about then I was working with Susan Gross on my book and she felt that R and D was too slow and what the kids needed was massive continuous uninterrupted reading input. The idea was that in the same way we talk to the kids without stopping and letting the brain organize everything, they read that way as a group. That’s where the choral reading comes in and why I think it is so valuable and why I don’t agree in all the pair/share other types of options in reading that some people do. Just choral translation – unstopping comprehensible input in the form of reading – like a train moving down the track. Very little stops for explanations of anything. And so Susie would get through a book in a few weeks, plowing through it. The criticism came back to her as it was just too boring for the kids but she defended it. Laurie and others let me know if I have this history right. But then you can see how R and D was the option for a break from the boredom where you could hold the kids responsible for a paragraph by stopping and discussing and comparing and all howwe do in R and D. Jason Fritze is the master of that. BUT the problem with R and D – both methods of reading have their drawbacks – is that we would get these big spinoff discussions (some became actual stories) and not enough time was spent reading.

    Now don’t confuse this reading of novels with how best to read a story that was created by the class. That is another kind of animal. I developed that in 2009 and 2010 at East High School and it works for me – it’s exactly what I want to do in a reading class of a story that the class created. I call it Reading Option A and whenever we do a learning lab in my classroom Diana asks me to provide that to the teachers as a handout. Here is the link on that (the reading option is discussed about half way through that text):


    Ultimately as individual teaching artists who are all drawing from a big pool of knowledge, we choose what we want and mix and match. Like what I did on the novels was to mix plowing through with R and D. It’s what each of us wants to do. It will continue to evolve.

    How’s that for a complicated answer to a simple question?

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

Research Question

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

We Have the Research

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben