Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'M GETTING MARRIED and throwing a sale!

 I'm getting married this weekend! We leave this afternoon for Hawaii! In celebration everything in my TPT Store is 15% from today through Sunday, July 17- our actual wedding day!


I'll be gone for three weeks! (One week in Hawaii and two weeks in Seattle!-c'mon be sunny) I'm pretty sure my hands will be shaking from blog withdrawl by the time I return! Enjoy the next few weeks everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back to School Books

 Mrs. Randall and Randall's Learning Library is having a back to school book linky party. She has a few that I've never heard of on her list. (Already added them to my wish list and B&N) I start the first day of school off with

If by some chance you haven't read it it's about a little mouse who is worried about going to school. Some of her worries: What if I'm the only one wearing stripes, what if I can't find the bathroom, what if the room smells bad, what if I'm the only one who has spots? It leads to great discussion about how they might have been worried about the first day of school.

Join in this linky party! You know how we all LOVE books!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mobile Template

 Maybe this is just new to me, but have you tried to look at a blog on your cell phone? It takes forever to download the images and everything. But I stumbled upon the answer!
1) Go to Settings
2) Click on Email & Mobile
3) The top option says. Choose yes then preview what your blog will look like to someone looking at it on their cell phone!


8 things and 2 confessions

Mrs. Owens is hosting a super fun linky party- 10 things about you! You've got to join in!




More Read the Room Activities!


 I just finished the Read the oom activities for lessons 4 and 5 of our Journeys. Lesson 4 is short e, lesson 5 is short u. Click the hen for the short e activity. Click the girl in the tub for the short u activity. You get can my recording sheet here.







Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

 I hope everyone has had a wonderful 4th! I sure had fun hanging out with my niece. And you know I just had to make a big ol' bow for her baldy head!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss Kindergarten- link fixed!

 Happy Birthday to my friend, Hadar, at Miss Kindergarten! In her honor I have created a freebie to share! It's an "I have, who has" card game for numbers 0-21. A perfect activity for the first week of school. Enjoy your day Hadar!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Divide and Conquer

 After my post yesterday on Struggling Readers I had several emails asking me to give more information on how we were able to divide and conquer. As I said yesterday we made a list of all of our students who needed help. This list mostly came from our mid-year benchmark results. But there were a few students who had done fine on the benchmarks, but that we still had concerns about. With seven teachers and our students particular needs last year we split our kids among each teacher.

Teacher 1: fluency
Teacher 2: fluency
Teacher 3: decoding, nonsense words
Teacher 4: decoding, nonsense words
Teacher 5: comprehension
Teacher 6: comprehension
Teacher 7: math- review of key concepts and reteach of new concepts.

Some students struggled in more than one area so the teacher chose the area that they felt they needed the most help with. Each group had four or five students. We tried hard NOT to have our own homeroom students. This was for two reasons: 1) sometimes hearing it from someone else makes "it" click, (2) so that you have another teacher's opinion and you can tell parents in a conference that you aren't the only teacher seeing certain behaviors.

We met with our groups for twenty minutes Monday through Thursday during our "enrichment" time. (We are the tigers so we called this Tiger Time) Tiger Time is about 40 minutes long. We used the second half of Tiger Time to meet with other students in our class who needed small group instruction or one-on-one help with math, reading, etc. We used our Tiger Time on Fridays to progress monitor any students who was attending a group for small group instruction during our  Tiger Time.

Each week during our team meeting we discussed briefly each student that we had in our groups. We added this to our team notes so from January on we had information about all the students we had concerns on. Great documentation! As a team we discussed what we planned to do with our students in our Tiger Groups the next week. If a students was extremely successful for a couple of weeks we would decide as a team whether or not they needed to continue to go to Tiger Groups. Sometimes we would add a student to a group based on things we had seen in class.

So what were my other students doing during Tiger Time?
They were doing their math stations. My math stations last year ran really well. Now, granted, you have to take the time to teach your students how to do each station. But once they know what to do they can work well with their partner.

I tried to partner students up who would be out to Tiger Groups during Tiger Time. However, this didn't always work. Most of my math stations were partner games so if a students was absent they had to join another group. My plan this year is to have an independent activity as well as a partner activity in each math station so that if a student is absent it's not an issue. Also, this way I can partner my students according to need and skill.

Small Groups and Work Stations
During our reading time we have work stations. I do work stations four days a week because we have computer lab and library one day so that takes a significant chunk of our time. I split my students into four groups. At the beginning of the year I had one high group, one on-level group, and two below level groups. Each group has two stations to go to each day. Stations are fifteen minutes each. I meet with two groups each day. I meet with my low group or groups the first day of stations. I usually re-teach the letter/spelling pattern/reading skill for that week. With this system I am sure to meet with each group twice during the week. I can meet with any of my groups again during Tiger Time. Most weeks I was able to meet with my below level group at least four times.

Although this sounds like a lot of work it wasn't too bad. Remember I was only coming up with activities for the kids that met with me during Tiger Groups. It was the only way were able to meet RTI requirements and get plenty of documentation. Our final reading results were all but a handful of students on or above grade level and only one student unable to meet math requirements. We have already decided to do this again in the new school year.

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