Read and Write 180-Day 29
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Today was a quiet day. Today was a good day. However, today was sort of boring! 🙂 It was the last day of the 1st 6 weeks, and we had to take an english test and a reading test to get enough grades in for this 6 weeks. It won’t continue to be like this-BUT I didn’t grade anything the first 7 days of school because we were going over procedures, rules, routines, setting up notebooks, book boxes, taking baseline assessments to see where the kids are in reading, doing other assessments for spelling, writing, comprehension, fluency, etc. AND getting to know each other and get settled into 6th grade. It is SO VERY important to TRY and establish the culture/environment that you want in your classroom during those first days so that you don’t pay for it later in the year by not having clear procedures!
With that being said, I ended up only having 22 days to get 10 grades in reading and 10 grades in english. Break that down-you do the math-that would mean averaging a grade every 2-3 days! WHAT?????? Can I please teach?? 🙂 Someone suggested that I visualize a cool waterfall and say those words when I’m feeling stressed, so…. insert “cool waterfall” right HERE! 🙂
OK-where was I? Oh yeah, the tests from today.
We talked about our word study words for this week and then practiced labeling a sentence for english. We took the english test (maybe 35 minutes?). The english test covered parts of speech, subjects and predicates, and prepositional phrases. (There were A LOT of good grades yesterday on the prep. phrase test!!!!) I hope it will be the same for the english test today!
I checked their homework-they wrote lots more after I showed them on the ELMO how I want them to complete the boxes-One class only had 1 student who didn’t have homework and the other class had 3 that didn’t have theirs. Sigh. (same students each time mostly)
I finished the chapter “Healing Stones” from our read aloud. Have I said that I LOVE this time when I read aloud??? We have good thinking and discussions and sharing!!!! When we finished the chapter I had them do a quick write for 2 minutes about Uncle Leo (Helen’s uncle who has come to visit). They had to write down what they think about his character. I love to listen to what they write and have to say!
I gave out comprehension bookmarks for them to use with the book they are reading. Hopefully, it will remind them to use the comprehension strategies that I have taught AND to think about the literary elements as they read (character, setting, plot, conflict, etc). Here is a sheet with 3 bookmarks if you want to print and use. I got these ideas from a couple of websites and can’t remember the names of the websites so please let me know of any so I can give credit where credit is due.
We took a “fresh read” reading test today. Well, it wasn’t really a TRUE fresh read because I went through some strategies with them on the passage before they took the test. I found an “I CAN DO” test taking strategy sheet on the internet (of course now I’m searching and can’t find where I got it from!)(When I find it I will post the website for you!). Anyhoo, this is what we did together BEFORE they took the test: not necessarily in this order
1. read and circled the title 2. activated schema (background knowledge) about dollhouses (The title of the passage was “Grandma’s Dollhouse” 3. looked for standout items (bold words, italicized words, dates, special names) 4. read the questions and answer choices (this sets a purpose for their reading) 5. read the passage 2 times silently 6. THEN they took the test-there were 3 multiple choice items (33 points each) and 1 open ended question-I am grading these separately
We will do this kind of reading practice/test about twice each 6 weeks. Not only will it help them prepare for the standardized test in the spring, but it is a TRUE measurement of their reading comprehension since it is NOT a story that has been read 57 times that week and discussed until everyone is blue in the face. 🙂
I conferred with a student today about the book he is reading. He really opened up with me and does NOT participate much in class because he is so shy! I have GOT to get my small group and individual instruction going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shhhhh…don’t tell any other teachers, but I would love to have about 1 more hour with each class everyday!!!