I Hope You Are Reading

I hope that you are enjoying the Snow Days this week (in addition to our MLK Day holiday).  I know it can get boring sitting around the house so this is a great time to find a new friend – a good book!  I hope that you will take advantage of some additional down time to read, read, read!  And remember, you can let me know when we get back that you finished a book and would like to take the Reading Counts! quiz for that book.  It will be added to your scores and earn you a new bead for your brag tag.

Looking Back and Ahead

December was a wonderful month full of lots of special things. We continued our second Workshops, had a chance to “show what we know” as we took the Reading Inventory, and celebrated our successes. I was so proud of the many accomplishments of the READ 180 students!
January is a fresh start and I am looking forward to starting back with renewed energy and drive that will take us to the end of the year. We will be finishing up our second Workshops, working on eReads, making use of our Audio Books, and moving through the software, tackling new segments and topics daily. Welcome back!

Good Sports

Fifth graders are working on a new workshop called Good Sports.  It is a work of fiction about a girl who is not good at sports and her attempt to change that.  We will be looking at the elements of fiction writing including setting, characters, plot, and theme.  We will also be working with the academic vocabulary and multiple meaning words and word families.

Coming to America

Fourth graders have begun a new workshop entitled “Coming to America.”  We will be learning about young people who have moved to America to have a better life.  We will hear about immigration in our country and how we truly are a mixture of many cultures and races.  Our comprehension strategy focus for the workshop will be sequence of events and we will introduce new academic vocabulary and review synonyms and antonyms.  If you would like to share about your ancestors’ heritage or tell about your own “journey to America”, we would love to hear it!


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.