Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Book Study

Hello friends!

Today I am joining with several dozen bloggers to invite you to an awesome summer book study showcasing Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild!
An amazing reader and teacher, Miller's first book, The Book Whisperer, shares her experiences in middle grades classrooms and how she has fostered a love of reading in her students. Her classroom is INSPIRING! The book is so down-to-earth, a fast read, and filled with simple (but powerful) ways to create a culture of reading in your classroom. In The Book Whisperer, Millers leaves you with her frustration - students leaving her classroom loving reading but faced with future teachers that do not share Donalyn's enthusiasm for reading. Gradually, her students leave the practice of daily, just-because reading.

Here enters, Donalyn's second book, Reading in the Wild. This books acts as a follow-up to the first and discusses how to foster a love of reading that is lifelong and sustainable...even when a passionate teacher is not present. As a 5th grade teacher, this is powerful to me. How do I structure reading and sharing opportunities that set the foundation for life-long reading? Reading in the Wild address this question!

I would love for you to join us! You can click here or the image below to grab your copy.

So, are you in??

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bright Idea for Game Dice

I use dice all the time in my classroom. We have several center games for reading and math that require dice for moving around a game board. I also use dice for some quick math practice. Roll and add, roll and subtract, roll and multiply...lots of options. My biggest problem was dice scattering all over the room, off the desks, across the floors. For some students, that actually became the objective - who can roll the dice the farthest. So, I stopped using them. Until I discovered this little trick. 

Now I use dice more often. I even keep several of these stored and ready to use at a moments notice. I have several sets prepared. Some have 1, 2, or even 3 dice in each container. Then we can just grab the ones we need and are ready to go. 

I hope this tip helps out in your classroom. If you like this idea, please consider following my blog or Facebook fan page. 

For more great ideas from over 130 bloggers, check out the links below. Happy reading!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Test Prep - Motivation from the Dollar Tree

It's that time of year again - test prep time. This year I wanted to do something different to help make reviewing all of our standards more engaging and fun. So, how does the Dollar Tree help with that?

Above is a picture of items I purchased from the Dollar Tree to create our Test Prep - Preparing For Game Day competitions. 

I gathered several reading and math centers that would review skills and standards we have learned this year. Each day the students could earn up to 10 opportunities to try and score points for various sports related activites. I created 10 teams to work together and then graded their center work. If they scored a 100 - they earned ten tries, in the 90's - 9 tries, in the 80's - 8 tries, and so on. This helped the students to become more engaged in the review because they all wanted to score as high as possible to earn the most opportunities they could to try and score. 

We had several sports activites such as free throws, football throw, nerf basketball, mini sports games, baseball toss, etc...

The students were so excited - some even dressed for the occasion each day. 

Here are a few action shots of students trying to score their points. 

We kept a scoreboard and celebrated everyone's hard work with a testing tail gate party!

For those of you getting ready for state testing - good luck!!