Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Year in Review

Well as usual my attempt to blog on a regular basis failed again but here I am attempting it once more.

I'm pleased with how the past school year progressed. Here are just a few notes.

Highlights of the Year:

*     Sticking with the Daily 5/CAFE Model-Ok, it's mainly a Daily1-Read to Self with CAFE for grades 2-5. On the occasional day we didn't do it the kids were disappointed. One of my 4th graders proclaimed reading was her favorite class because she gets to actually read a book! I took an online course on Daily 5 and CAFE and found that very helpful.
*     No formal checking out of books but when kids found a book that was too hard for independent reading or they didn't want to wait to finish it I let them take the book home. I wrote their name, date and book title on an index card and stuck it on a bulletin board. When the book was returned I crossed off their name. A few books didn't get returned but I know there's a good chance they'll make it back next year.
*     iPads were used weekly, although some grade levels used them more than others.  I worked to avoid the worksheet type apps. A few of my favorite apps are Popplet, Skitch, iTalk, Storia, and Book Creator.
*     At the beginning of the year I told myself I would not do test prep. The kids get enough of that in the classroom. I stuck with it all year. The only think I did was with my 5th graders. I had them use Popplet to make an organizer of all the test taking strategies they knew.  Then we went over them and pulled their ideas into on final organizer.
*     I think I only got pulled to sub for a classroom teacher once! My subs continued to get pulled but that's not so bad. I personally hate getting pulled to sub.

Things That Need Improving:

*     Doing more writing-I struggle with how to fit in reading and writing when I only see students 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes. If anyone has suggestions let me know!
*     Letting all students know they can take home a book if they'd like.
*     Doing a better job of conferring with students and keeping daily notes on the CCPenseive. Keeping up with the notes is one of my biggest struggles.

Ideas for Next Year:

*     Using origami for reinforcing reading skills-reading carefully, following directions in a sequence, comprehension... I'm beginning to collect ideas. One teacher sent directions home for a weekly homework assignment after introducing and practicing origami directions together. I like that idea but I'm also pondering an origami corner in the room as well.
*     Finding more ways to incorporate the iPads with writing and reading.

Summer Plans:
*     Looking for iPad apps
*     Reading books for 3rd-5th graders. I know K-2 books but am weak at this level.
*      Review Daily 5 and CAFE books before school begins. Also finish reading The Book Whisperer, Notice and Note and begin Reading in the Wild.
*     Design a reading inventory for the students to take at the beginning of the school year based on ideas from the Book Whisperer.

Well,  this was my last year as a K-5 reading teacher. Next year our schools will be reconfigured and I'll be one of two reading teachers in the 3-5 school and we'll be sharing a room. I'll be the first to admit that I did not take the news of the sharing a room well at all. I'm embarrassed to admit I was a cranky ol' lady for a few months. But finally at the end of the year I got my head screwed back on the right way and I'm ready to give it a try. I'm nervous, I know K-2 curriculum and skills so much better since I taught all three levels in the classroom. I've never taught 3-5 but I'll continue with my Daily 5, I mean Daily 1 or 2 and CAFE and watch them grow and find reading an enjoyable activity. After all that is my main goal.

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