Saturday, November 15, 2014

Settling in...?

The last time I blogged was July.  July!  And it doesn't even count because I didn't share anything of my own.  I was spreading the word about a blogger meet up that I absolutely could not wait to attend.  Then I missed it.  And now it's November. So I guess I missed August, September, and October, too. (Sigh!) But, I think I have finally settled in.  My classroom is up and running and it feels like the kiddos are finally getting it.  I was able to get three running records done today during our Daily 5 rotations.  It was heaven!  Now if I could only get the kiddos to remember the routines for the REST OF THE YEAR. Unlikely, but so worth thinking about - don't you agree?  :)

So far, we've implemented three of the Daily 5 stations: Read to Self, Listen to Reading, and Word Work.

Read to Self was, of course, the first Daily 5 choice that was mastered.  I spent a LOT of time on building their reading stamina, modeling what it looks like, and practicing.  It seemed to take longer this year but this is not a station you want to rush through or you will pay the price.  Trust me...

I'm lucky enough to work in a district that supports the students with quality technology choices.  When a group is at Listen to Reading, they are at one of the six computers in my room.  Technically, there are only four student computers, but I bring in my own laptop so that the kiddos can use my teacher laptop.  I was also just handed a Chromebook to 'play with' for a little while, so that makes up the six.  (It pays to love using technology!)  The students at this station can use RazKids or Lexia Core 5.

Word Work was just implemented this week.  Here the students have a choice of a 'word activity' or 'word apps'.  I'm also lucky enough to be married to a wonderfully supportive husband.  He started the craziness by buying two iPads for my classroom.  Technically, one was a Christmas gift and the other was a birthday gift but they both ended up at school.  He was not surprised.  Then that led to the purchase of four more iPads, a quick confiscation of the iPods that my own children outgrew, and a Nexus 7 tablet that was won at a conference.  All of that babbling means that I have 12 devices to use.  That's enough for half of my class!  I will slowly introduce new apps and activities as they master this station.  It's going very well and I am happy.  :)

That's pretty much it as far as Daily 5 is concerned.  I would love to say that my guided reading groups are going just as well but I can not.  This is an area that I need to work on so I'm off to read my favorite blogs for some wonderful ideas.  I hope your year is going well. 


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