I told myself that I was going to try and get better at posting through the school year. One post a week is sufficient... isn't it?? lol
I made it through my first week of school! With teaching ELA this year instead of math, I still feel as if I'm not sure what is going on! We have spent all of our time working on our Daily 5 routines. So far, we have learned and practiced read to self, and work on writing.
If you read my blog then you recall that I moved up from 4th to 5th with my students. Last year was a very challenging year for me for many reasons, and I honestly was not THAT excited about being with this group for another year. But, I am so amazed with how well our first week went. The students have matured so much over the summer and I am so blessed to have each and every student in my classroom. They are very special to me and I love them all. I had also forgotten just how much I missed teaching reading. We started Hatchet last week and I just love snuggling up with them on my rug and reading to them. I worked very hard over the summer on my classroom and I think it's so worth it! I think I have built a sense of comfort and community for my students. On Friday, we were all laying out on the floor in front of me... shoes off, relaxed. It was so much fun!
I'm hoping that week #2 is going to be just as fun. I am amazed at how much these students are enjoying reading and writing. It seems the more you limit their time, the more they want to do it! On Friday, they were begging to continue writing... I loved it! :)
Now for Part 3... Goals & Progress.
Goals & Progress
This is probably one of the most important sections of the binder, in my opinion. This is where students create reading goals for themselves. Why is it so important for students to create their own goals? First of all, it encourages the students to take responsibility for their own learning which is so important, especially for intermediate students. Secondly, if students create their own goals, then they are aware of their goals. If students are aware of their goals, they are more likely to work towards / meet their goals. What will be included in this section is really dependent on the needs of the students. Each student may have different needs therefore different goals. Beth Newingham includes several types of goals for all students. Some of the goals she includes for her students are:
- Word Attack & Fluency
- Reading Behavior
How will students assess if they are meeting their goals?
Every two weeks, students will assess if they have met their goals. Some of the goals, like genre, are pretty simple to assess. Others, like thinking and reading behaviors are a bit more difficult. For these goals, students will complete their My Goals form and meet with me. During our meeting, I will ask the students a series of questions to help me assess their progress. Once our meeting is complete, we will discuss what their next goals will be or if they should continue with the one they are currently working on.
Our school uses AR a lot and we are encouraged to use it with our students. I'm not sure if the questions are the best they can be, but the students do get excited about it. They have several goals they work on with our Media Specialist to meet. If students meet the goals, there are incentives for them. We have a huge party at the end of the school year as well as a field trip for students who have 100+ points. There are guidelines that the students must follow like reading on grade level and scoring a 70 or better on the test. The students will track their progress with AR in the goals tab as well.
The forms the students will use will vary depending on their needs. I don't have it all figured out yet, and I'm not sure what type of format I will use, but I know the AR form will be a graph-type form similar to the genre graph.
I hope this was helpful as you begin working with your students and their goals.
Have a great week!