Friday, February 14, 2014

Novel Studies: Monitoring Comprehension

With the novel we are reading I allow time for group reading, whole class reading, partner reading, and individual reading.

You know how it tell the students to read to a certain page, you walk around to make sure everyone is on task, you do the associated activities, the bell rings, and you are left wondering who really understood. 

I wanted a quick way to tell what students got it and what students needed some additional help.  So, I came up with 6 quick formative assessments to monitor comprehension.

 With my students who struggle with reading, I do a lot of the I Remember and Determined Doodler to make sure they are understanding the basics of what we read.  The higher level students benefit from the Possible Predictions and Notable Quotes. 

I print off the sheets {you can get them here

and have them readily available for a ticket out the door.  With a quick glance I can tell who needs extra help.   It's a easy way to make sure students are not falling through the cracks.  

Happy Teaching,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dealing with Student Absences

I have to admit I am not the best with keeping up with absences and make up work.  I've determined it's probably due to a lack of a system and having 125+ students. Over the past eight years I've tried several things, but nothing has stuck.

With the new novel we're reading, it is imperative students keep up with reading and assigned work...even if they are out.  So I've come up with something new and I have to say, to my surprise and excitement, it is working fabulously!

How I have kept ahead of student absences...

1. I printed off a colorful student roster sheet for each class.  {You can get a free printable here!} and put them on a clipboard.

2.  I assigned every student a number {so elementary school of me} that correlates to the number of their classroom novel.  As the students walk into the door, they grab their book, go to their seat, and start on the bell ringer.

3. As they are writing down their question of the day and getting out their homework, I grab my clipboard and walk over to where I keep the novels.  Whatever books are left in the baskets are the students who are absent that day.  I just write a little AB next to their name and move on with the lesson.  It's so easy and takes a few seconds.

4.  At the end of the day I fill out the absence form {you can get it here}, attach any sheets they need {copy of notes, homework, powerpoints} and stick it in my cute classroom folders.

5.  When the students come back to school, they grab their sheets out of their class folder {I have mine labeled with their class color}.  If there is any reading they need to do as soon at they return, I have them read instead of doing the bellringer and vocabulary portion of the class...I note this on their assignment sheet.

Like I said, it has worked great!!  I think the major thing for me was finding a system that flowed with how my class runs, being consistent, and training students to get their make up work from the folder {middle schoolers tend to need several reminders!}

What about do you keep up with student absences & make up work?

Happy teaching,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Middle Schoolers & Poetry

I wanted to share a picture of my 7th grade students studying and talking about poetry...Annabel Lee by Edger Allan Poe to be exact. 
Real Life Poetry Seminar!!

Implementing seminars {<---- click here for the original post on how to run a poetry seminar} is one of the best things I have done as a teacher....the students take charge of their own learning, they are actively engaged and excited about reading poetry.  {!!!!}

For the month of February my starter Poetry Seminar lesson plan is FREE!!  Click here to get it!

Hope you enjoy...let me know what you think!!

Happy teaching,


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