Although the quarter ended a few weeks ago, we have just had time to recognize our outstanding readers and reflect on our progress during our first nine weeks.  We had several people in each class that met or exceeded the goals they had set for themselves at the beginning of the year.  We honored our Highest Lexile Growth and our Most Words Read students in each of our classes.  Then we looked ahead to the new quarter and set our goals to work to achieve.  I am so proud of my READ 180 students.

Keep Reading

Our schedule in the lab has been interrupted the last couple of weeks with class field trips, assemblies, and conference week early releases days.  But the good news is that students can practice the skills we are learning anywhere, at any time.  That is right – all you need is a book, computer, tablet, magazine, cereal box, newspaper flyer, highway sign….you get the idea.  JUST KEEP READING!  Put the strategies and lessons we are learning into practice.  You will be amazed at how easy reading becomes.  

Scores are Rising!

Last week completed the first quarter of the 2017-2018 school year!  Can you believe it? And in this short amount of time we have seen lots of growth as readers.  This week students in all of the READ 180 classes took the Reading Inventory to find out their new Lexile level.  Of my 50 students, most of them saw a rise in their Lexile score, some as much as 245 points!  This program really works if you try your best and obviously Big Shanty students are up for the challenge.  Congratulations!

Time Out

The last two weeks have been hard for finding time for READ 180.  First we had 2 days off for Hurricane Irma.  We had one day of classes then our fifth graders had IOWA testing for four days.  Although 4th graders did not have to test, I was involved with the testing and make-up testing for 5th graders, so my classes could not meet. We had two days of classes and then a curriculum day for our 5th graders and SOAR day for our 4th graders on Friday.  Hopefully, when we get back from Fall Break, we will be able to get back on a more normal schedule.  Have a wonderful time on your Fall Break!  See you in October.

Putting It All Together

Although this was a short week because of the Labor Day holiday, it was our first full week of working the program in the R180 Lab.  We went through 2 full rotations of Small Group Instruction, Independent Reading, and Instructional Software.  I won’t say it went without a hitch but we are getting the pacing down and remembering to use our time efficiently.  We set quarterly goals for each of the learning stations in our Data Notebooks and reflected on how we were planning to achieve the goals. 

4th graders read a personal narrative about how a 13 year old girl who survived a wildfire in Yellowstone National Park.  5th graders read about a man who kept a pet tiger in his New York apartment.  There was a lot on good discussion and learning going on!

Busy Week

This week has been a little bit confusing with Picture Day, Early Release, and STEM Day causing changes in the schedule.  But we managed to get a lot done in the READ 180 Lab.  We have continued to work on putting our procedures and routines into place.  A favorite activity seems to be getting Brag Tags!

A Brag Tag is a way to help us celebrate successes and recognize the hard work that is being done each week.  We have had many students earning Brag Tags and taking pride in their achievements.

Modeled and Independent Reading

This week, as we continue to learn the Read 180 program, we focused on the Independent Reading center.  The usually takes place in the “living room,” which consists of a couch and comfy chairs and rugs where students can get comfortable and get lost in a good book!  We started by doing a modeled reading lesson.  This means that we listened to an audio recording of the book as we read along.  My favorite part is when the “reading coach” steps into the story to help us tackle difficult words or plot points that might need further explanation.  For every book read, there is a Reading Log to keep and a Quick Write or Graphic Organizer to complete.  These help us to summarize and focus on a particular reading comprehension skill that can help us better understand the story.  After we feel confident that we understand the story, there is a Reading Counts! quiz to assess our comprehension.

My 4th graders have enjoyed Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun’s Kung Fu by Emily Arnold McCully.  The 5th graders read Favorite Greek Myths retold by Mary Pope Osborne. Although they liked stories of “King Midas” and “The Weaving Contest”, their favorite seemed to be “The Golden Apples.”  As someone put it, “those gods and goddesses don’t mess around!”

Read 180: The First Two Weeks

The first two weeks of Read 180 are all about learning everything there is to know about the program.  We will spend time learning about each other, going over routines and procedures, and having an introduction to the three components of the program.

In the Instructional Software center, students are on the computer.  They pick a topic of interest to them and begin by watching an engaging video.  They read a passage and answer questions in the Reading Zone.  They learn new vocabulary about their topic in the Word Zone, and finally learn to spell words found in their reading in the Spelling Zone.

Reading Inventory and Math Inventory

During the first two weeks of the school year, students took the Reading and Math Inventories to help teachers plan for meaningful instruction as we begin the year.  Here is a brief explanation of the two instruments.

The Math Inventory (MI) is a computer-adaptive screener that measures students’ readiness for math instruction. MI tracks progress from kindergarten through Algebra II.  Cobb County School District screens all students in grades K-9 three times per school year to assist teachers with personalizing instruction for their students.  The Math Inventory reports a Quantile measure for each student.

The Reading Inventory (RI) is a computer-adaptive screener that Cobb County School District uses to provide immediate, actionable data on students’ reading levels and growth from kindergarten to 9th grade. Cobb County School District screens all students in Grades K-9 three times per school year to assist teachers with monitoring growth and personalizing instruction. The Reading Inventory reports a Lexile score after each screening.

Check the blog soon for more information about helping your child choose books that match his or her Lexile level.


Welcome to READ 180

Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!!

I hope that you had a wonderful summer.

Did you remember to read?  Stop by to tell me about one of your favorite books or authors.

We should be starting READ 180 soon.  I can’t wait!  Check the blog often for updates,