Saturday, January 26, 2013

Snowy Day Treats!

If you are from or have ever lived in the South, you know that our winters can be wacky!  Warm, HOT, warm, sleet, warm, snow day, warm again, is pretty much how it goes from January until March. It's hard to know what to wear daily, so we live in layers. As my best friend says, "It's either flip-flop weather, or it's not."  I guess that about sums it up.

With a five-day weekend last weekend and a three-day one this week due to the wacky weather, I've been hard at work (from my couch!) dreaming up some new ways to get my kiddos motivated to read.   
I've noticed that since we've returned from Christmas break, the kids are not as engaged in their independent reading time as they used to be. Books are out and stacked up, but most of the reading I see from my guided reading table looks fake and as if they are passing the time, instead of becoming lost in the book.  Growing strong readers is important to me, so I'm looking for new ways to get my kids excited about reading again. Since most of my kids are on or above grade level, I know that decoding isn't the issue. Advice is encouraged and welcome!
In the meantime, I decided to rework my reading log and book bin shopping list.  You can find them in my TpT store... click here to check them out!

I also created a new reading focus board for our class to use. This week I called the kids to the carpet for a little chit-chat about reading. It was quite eye-opening! I asked them what they thought about reading lately. Most of the kids said that they couldn't find any "good books" on the shelves that they haven't already read a million times. The kids also said that they were "tired" of reading, which was very troublesome to me. We agreed that we needed to fix our reading block in a major way!  So we sketched out a quick chart on the SmartBoard and listed our reading strengths and weaknesses, our goals for reading and a plan for how to get there. I promised the kids that I would stock more books for them to read ---they had no idea that a big shipment of books had just come in from our county the day before, so they were happy to see me follow through on my promise! I am also brainstorming some reading incentives to help them focus on a reading goal and work toward it by doing quality, "close" reading daily.   

You can download the posters for the focus board here, and they can be used for reading, math, or behavior.  Click below to see an example of the board that inspired me.  

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a fun new mental math game I'm working on for my students to play!


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