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Read and Write 180-Day 3e ta

3rd day of school and my 6th graders were wonderful!!! Looks like I might have to take out a loan for the reward parties I’ll probably be giving this year!!! WOW! When the class earns 20 seeds in their box, they get to vote on a reward. They are on the path to many rewards right now! :)

This week we will be doing a lot of assessments and organizing for the year. I know-BORING! But it’s got to be done. I gave them 3 assessments today.

1. Spelling inventory assessment http://www.tc.edu/rwp/assessment/2008/materials/documents/spellingug.pdf This is to see where the gaps are in their spelling ability (not their “I memorized the spelling list for the week” ability. :)

2. Listening comprehension assessment-I read a short passage aloud to them and told them to write a short summary about it.

3. Writing assessment-I had them write a 1 page(hopefully) essay about their literacy goals for this year in my class. I want to see what their writing ability is (along with their thinking process-I told them several times to make their goals specific, but I see they’ve never really had to do this before so some of them don’t even know what they need to improve on!)

We went over how to use our classroom supplies (DO NOT bother me about them-I want them to be independent when it comes to things like this).

 They now know when they can sharpen their pencils, where to get tape, stapler, hole puncher, etc. Also, see the 2 blue carrying containers? That is what they will use when we need to cut and glue-yes, cut and glue mini-lesson handouts into our reading or writing notebooks. :)

We organized the 1st 2 sections of our IPOD binders-General and Technology. Will do the rest of the sections later this week. We talked about our 3 notebooks that we will use this year:

1. Reading response notebook-We will respond to our reading in this one

2. Writing notebook-We will write, write, write in this one

3. Read Aloud notebook-I will read 4 chapter books to them this year, and we will use this notebook to make predictions, question, etc.

We learned how to store our IPOD binder and notebooks along with the books we are reading in our book boxes.

 These blue tubs are our book boxes-plus some more on the other side of the room. We use student numbers in our classroom so that is how the tubs are labeled.

We went over how to come to our whole class meeting area, where to sit, etc. Then we previewed our 1st read aloud for the year:

6th Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe Declements

I read the title, we predicted who “Bad Helen” might be on the cover, I read the back of the book. I’ve never really taken time before beginning a read aloud of a novel to do any previewing. I got this and more fabulous ideas from a MUST BUY book called Day to Day Assessment in the Reading Workshopo Day by Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak. More on this in a later post.

We also talked about a little chart that I created based on an idea from proteacher.net. You can print the chart by clicking here:

MOUNDS of homework

It goes like this:

We do MOUNDS of homework in the 6th grade.

We have ZERO tolerance for bullies in the 6th grade.

You will make GOOD AND PLENTY friends.

Keeping your agenda book up to date is a LIFESAVER.

We talked about each statement and what it means. Then of course I had to throw in some of that candy (apologies to my 2nd class-we’ll get to that part tomorrow!). If they were able to say the statement without reading it they got the piece of candy. I think they liked this part of class today best of all-wonder why????? :)

SIDENOTE: I learned last year that even though 6th graders are a lot more capable than Kindergarteners I still need to take things slow, lay out clear expectations, and MODEL MODEL MODEL! We will definitely be taking it slower this year before we jump into the academic stuff-I want to make sure they understand routines, how things are setup, and feel ownership in our classroom and their learning.

Stay tuned for Day 4 coming tomorrow.

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