Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mid-Week Madness

Crazy!  We've been back from February Break for 2.5 days (we had an early dismissal day yesterday) and I am already feeling stressed about the upcoming Connecticut Mastery Testing.  Isn't it funny how fast all that stress comes right back to you?

I dragged my (fabulous) student teacher out to the Dollar Tree yesterday in search of new book bins for our library and found the cutest bins!  I am going to try and upload a picture.  They didn't have enough for my entire library...I mean, I have almost 2000 books, so I need a LOT of bins.  Did you know you can order from Dollar Tree online?  You can buy entire crates of a product (still only $1!)  and have them shipped to the store nearest you.  I didn't find the same bins, but I did find some that were similar and I think I may order them.  I think this discovery might be bad for my wallet!

In other news, I finished Day-To-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop and was so glad I re-read it.  There were so many fabulous ideas that I had forgotten about from five years ago when I first read the book.  Right away Monday morning I started creating assessment webs for each of my students.  I will post a copy here.  Now that these are finished I feel so much more prepared for conferences at the end of this month!
(sorry...I can't figure out how to rotate it yet...I'm pretty proud I figured out how to upload at all!)

 I also really love how the authors create "preview-packets" for books they are going to read-aloud to the class.  These packs include the front cover of the book, the back blurb, any reviews or quotes that are included in the book, reviews from places like or Horn Book, and the first few pages of the book.  What a great way to get students to actively preview a book!  I can't wait to try this when we start our next read-aloud!

My student teacher is getting ready to start our next round of Book Clubs - this time focused on Historical Fiction.  Maybe I will suggest to her that each group should start with a preview packet, before they read their first chunk.  Maybe she could also include some background information on each time-period so that the students had a starting point with the genre.  Ooooohhhh!  Ideas are just flowing out of my finger tips this morning!

I feel like maybe this blogging thing might really help me figure it out a lot about my teaching and I am so excited to share my thinking with you all!

Once our next round of book clubs start up I will post about how I structure those...this really is a huge component of reading instruction in 6th grade!

PS - Any suggestions about blog design?  If I wanted to get a really cute blog designed for me...who should I check out?  Thanks!

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