Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things {about this year} #1

I can't believe how busy I have been since the school year started! I don't know if my life has ever been this busy. I'm not sure if it's my very active and feisty 7-month-old -or- all of the changes I have made in my teaching -or- maybe a combo of both. Either way, I have been so busy that I have only posted twice since the school year began.

Then suddenly tonight I find myself sitting here in front of my computer with 2 sleeping kiddos and no planning or grading to do. While my husband takes a quick trip to the store I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on some of my favorite things about this school year. Unfortunately, I am short on time, and completely overwhelmed with ideas that I want to share. So, I thought that I would start by sharing one SMALL THING that has had a HUGE IMPACT in my classroom...Status of the Class...


{click the pic to share}

I have read about Status of the Class in different books about teaching reading and many of the teachers at my school used it last year and raved about it. I reluctantly gave it a try this year, thinking that it might take too much time, that it might not have the impact that I intended, and on and on with the excuses. However, it has been such an amazing and invaluable tool in encouraging and monitoring the readers in my classroom.

Here's how it works...
  • I copy one of the forms above for everyone of my students and wrote their names at the top. I keep them in 3-ring binder. 
  • Each day during "Reading Zone" as my students read independently, I call out their name and they tell me what book they are reading and what page number they are on. I then record the info on the sheet. {If they are reading the same book from the previous day, then all I record is the date and the page number}
  • I also record an "F" if they "finished" a book or a "Q" if they "quit" a book. 
  • Then I repeat the process the following day. {I usually do it 4 out 5 days a week}
  • In the beginning the process takes a bit of time. However, now that my students and I are used to the routine, it takes me less than 5 minutes to get through all 29 of my students!!}

The Benefits:
  • I always know what my students are reading.
  • I know how quickly they are finishing books, and how often they are quitting books. 
  • Students know that they are being held accountable for their reading.
  • I am able to praise students when they finish books or when they have read a lot from one day to the next.
  • I am also able to slightly urge students to spend more time reading if I see that they are progressing slowly through a book.
  • Most important, students look forward to it each day because they simply can't wait to report what page they are on compared to the previous day, or because they are so excited to share that they finished a book!!!
Status of the Class is definitely worth a try and it's never too late to start. 
I am LOVING it!!!

15 comments:

  1. Love this! Gonna start it next week...we only have 3 student days this week and one is a field trip. Have missed your posts in bloggy land:) Don't know how you do it with little ones...mine are teens and I still can't keep up with life!!

    4th Grade Frolics

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  2. Oh My Gosh!! Starting this tomorrow!!!
    Beth
    Thinking of Teaching

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  3. Love! Now that I have DRA testing coming up this week, there will be plenty of time for independent reading. Starting this tomorrow.

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  4. Me too...starting tomorrow! Thank you!

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  5. I want to say THANK YOU for this! I came across it on "A Teacher's Bag of Tricks" on Facebook.

    I am a student teacher in a 3rd grade class, and sometimes I think that my students are just going through books to "rack up" the pages in their logs, but I'm not convinced that they are ALL reading upwards of 8-12 chapter books in a day. =)

    I think I will mention to my Cooperating Teacher about using this system, and really hold them accountable for their reading.

    Thanks again!

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  6. Love this! I am new to reading workshop this year. I'd like to have a record of what my students are in process of reading. Brilliant!

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  7. This is PERFECT!!! I have 25 students and find it hard to keep up with their independent reading!! What an awesome, easy way to hold them accountable!!

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  8. Thank you! This is a quick and easy way to hold students accountable for their reading. Most are doing 'quick reads" which is totally what I don't want happening! Thanks again!

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  9. It is always good to hear someone else likes something you have doing. It gives us affirmation!! I too love Status of the Class. I have been doing it for years and like you I love it because it tells you so much about their reading progress and it so easy.

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  10. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I have been hesitant for the exact same reason - TIME. This has inspired me. THANKS!

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  12. I love that it's not only a tool for the teacher, but encourages accountability in our students.

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  13. This is great! I am planning on using it this year. Funny question... what is the font you used??

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  14. Woa that's cool!! I teach second grade, and I'm interested in this. When do you do Reading Zone? We have Daily 5 stations, but depending on the load of work we need to get done, we don't always get to it.

    Do students keep the books they chose in their desk? I have a mini library, but I'm sure I could allow them to keep their one book in their desk. I also found some papers that they'd need to complete after they read it (like about the character, setting, etc.).

    Please email me back because I'm not sure that I'll get notification if you responded in the comment. sarah@scissorsandawhisk.com.

    Thanks!

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