So I started back to school last week! Our first day with kiddos was on Wednesday. I have 26 students and I am LOVING my new schedule! I only teach from 7:20-11:40. Sweet, right?! I will be showing you pictures of my entire classroom very soon. I was just too busy last week to even take pictures. ...how I will be integrating more technology into my classroom this year. Some of the most meaningful assessment data that we collect comes in the form of observation. Everyday, we listen to our students read, watch them problem solve and encourage them to participate in class discussions. These observations give us so much insight into topics a student has mastered and areas for future instruction. However, the observations are only useful if we remember what who we observed doing what! I know that I can’t keep every student’s needs organized in my head. (And believe me, I tried.) So I started writing observations down on paper. I would grab any scrap or sticky note...
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I can't believe that we are already on our third chapter of this close reading book study! If you have missed any of the previous posts, you can click HERE to read them. Prior to reading this book, I was very stuck on the idea that close reading had to be informational passages and articles. There is NOTHING wrong with this...but now I am thinking outside of the box and adding tools to my toolbox. When I read chapter two, I fell in love with the idea of having students close read music lyrics. Well chapter three was even more exciting! How about having your students close read advertisements?! Advertisers carefully choose every word that they use because space and time are expensive. Students can learn so much about the power of word choice when the close read these advertisements. Why did the other choose these words? What alternative words could they have chosen? Wouldn't this make them better readers AND writers?! After this lesson on close reading advertisemen...
This week in our Guided Math book study, we are talking about assessment. The word "assessment" would make every teacher at my school groan last year. We were required to record three assessments for every student for every standard. Oh boy, it was so much work! And it felt like all I was ever doing was assessing! Thank goodness, it seems our school is going in a different direction this year! Sammons talks about the need for assessing often when using a guided math model. A teacher using guided math needs constant feedback from their students in order to effectively plan mini lessons and small-group lessons that meet the individual student needs. The thing that I really took away from this chapter is the need for students to have rubrics so that they new exactly what was expected for mastery. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of having students create the rubrics !!! I want to do this with my math journal. I can ask students to come up with the expectations of a response th...
In case you missed the first post, I am currently reading this book about close reading. I am hoping to discover some new ways to help my kiddos read deeply without making reading a chore. In this chapter, Lehman and Roberts talk about some introductory lessons on close reading. The examples are from a sixth grade classroom, but I still think I will be able to use some of the ideas with my third graders. The first lesson that they did involved close reading the lyrics to a popular song. WHAT?! Doesn't that sound fun? My third graders are just getting into music. When the song Dynamite comes on, the whole room breaks out in chorus. It's awesome. (I actually turn it on sometimes just to get a laugh. Lol) But I digress.. Lehamn and Roberts would play a popular song for their class. They would ask students what they thought the song was about. After making a list, the students would be provided with written song lyrics. After closely reading the lyrics, students ...
I have to admit that this chapter about having math conferences with your students, was the toughest chapter for. That being said, it is probably the chapter I needed to read the most to improve my instruction. Isn't that the way it usually works?! In this chapter, Sammons breaks down the framework of a math conference. First, the teacher must do some research. The research phase is the time that the teacher is observing the student as they work on independent math work. During this time, the teacher is watching the strategies that the student is using and making note of any misunderstandings. After a couple minutes of observation, the teacher must now decide what and how they will teach to this child. The "what" should be a particular skill or strategy that you noticed the child struggling with or one you believe they are ready to learn. The "how" might be through guiding a child using anchor charts from mini lessons. You might also choose to model for...
Every year, I watch as my class parents spend a good 30 minutes filling out paperwork at open house. They have the paperwork required by the school and then the ones that I ask for. I know that after they leave my room, they will be heading to the sibling's class to fill out another stack of paperwork.  I have four kids. So I can feel their pain. By the time I get to the fourth set, I just write "See siblings' paperwork" at the top. I kid...kinda.. After I am done feeling bad for the parents, I start to feel bad for myself. I know that I spend the next two weeks tracking down papers that are missing, making check lists, typing email addresses, sorting and filing all this paperwork t hat I will not look at again until I shred at the end of the year . Am I the only one who thinks this is madness? I vowed to make this year different! I can't change the amount of paperwork that the school requires, but I can limit all extras from me! This year I made a Goo...
I am excited to be linking up with 4th Grade Frolics again for Monday Made It! Of course my project is for school again! I actually made a couple other things, but they haven't been photographed yet. So stay tuned! I am super excited about my new math vocabulary display! I purchased a couple of yard sticks and some clothes pins. The clothes pins were spray pained and then glued on to the yard stick. They will hold the words we are currently working on. The words that we are not using are on a jump ring organized by domain. Students can still access them but they aren' cluttering up the board. The word cards are by Teaching and Tapas and can be found HERE . What projects did you complete this week? ...
I am super excited to be participating in a book study on the book Falling in Love with Close Reading by Lehman and Roberts. My school started really talking about close reading two years ago. We had a brief training and were told to make sure our kids were close reading. I felt a bit lost. I didn't feel like I really knew what I was teaching them to do. Needless to say, the first year was a mess. I don't think the kids got anything out of it and I gradually stopped asking them to do it. Last year, I gave it another go. I taught some specific procedures and did lots of modeling. It went much smoother. But I still feel that something is missing. I am hoping that something will be found in this book! I will be rioting about one chapter each Sunday. The moment my book came in the mail, I dove right in and read chapter one. My husband thought I had completely lost my mind when he saw how excited I was to get a book about reading! The first chapter is an easy read ab...