Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The 10 Minute Reading Challenge!

For part of our professional development, my principal and I had spoken about how much time our students are spending with their eyes-on-print during the day and at home.  During our PD today, we asked grade levels to determine the number of minutes their students spend with a book in their hand and eyes on the page.  We also are trying to align our at-home expectations to encourage reading, rather than set time limits, and up the ante for each grade level.  What was our motivation?  Lucy Calkins!!

This book is a great resource for the transition to common core standards, but Lucy also shares some pretty great things.  This is, of course, is status quo for Lucy (do you like how I'm referencing her on a first-name basis...I wish we were that close!).  One of the things she talks about is that all students should have 45 minutes of eyes-on-print at school and at home every day!

As we were discussing this, it made me think about how I apply this to my own learning.  Do I read 45 minutes every day between home and school? No.  Do I even open a book and read on my own every day?  Sadly, no.  How can I set an example for my students if I can't even make connections about my own current reading? So I presented myself with a challenge.  Read for 10 minutes, just 10 minutes everyday.

And here is your challenge: to join me!

Justification for the rules:
1. Setting a goal allows you to recognize that you are striving toward something to better yourself.
2. 10 minutes is a manageable amount of time that you could get done waiting for the doctor, waiting for the water to boil for your spaghetti noodles, or before going to bed.  Also, as I've noticed over the past few days of my own challenge, you might... just happen accident...unintentionally...not on purpose... by chance get really into your reading and spend more than 10 minutes reading!
3. Don't sweat it if you miss a day.  When you start adding time, it will make a day or two of built up time seem unmanageable.
4. It doesn't matter what you're reading...just read!
5. 10 minutes...simplify it!
6.  Yes, I would love to hear your stories and reflections about how the challenge is going for you.  Reflecting and thinking about our reading is important, just as we teach our kids to do. Spread the word of the reading challenge so that we can encourage our students through the reading we do ourselves, and to learn from each other!  So pay The 10 Minute Reading Challenge forward, tell others about it, and let's get reading!

Oh, and it was intentional that I waited until October 10th (10/10) to share my 10 Minute Reading Challenge!  I know I'm corny, but it just seemed to fit with all of the 10s.

My 10-minutes of reading on Monday and Tuesday have been with Lucy and the Pathways to the Common Core book.  Tonight, I read People magazine, but am hoping to get in some more time with Pathways.  It really is a good book!

Until my next update about my journey with the 10-Minute Reading Challenge

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pete the Popcorn and the last day of my TpT Anniversary Sale!

On Friday, we had the two authors of Pete the Popcorn visit our school!  Although I had never heard of the book beforehand, we are always honored to have authors come visit and talk.  As most author visits go, the students really enjoy hearing from "real" authors and seeing that authors are just like us.  They are able to ask questions, see the writing and illustrating process, and see how a thought becomes a book.  
Our visit from Joe and Nick, the authors, wasn't only about their road to becoming an author and the writing process, but more about the message behind the book!  The character, Pete, is a popcorn kernel who wants to be popped some day and eaten.  The lesson is that through encouragement of others, we can all "pop" and become whoever we want to be.  It can fit in with any anti-bullying unit, too!  To make their visit even better, in their 4th and 5th grade presentation, they called up a pretty "cool" 4th grade boy and asked him to call someone else up to give this person a compliment and encourage them.    Unknown to the authors, the boy picked a girl with special needs who has always struggled making friends and hasn't had many peer encouragers.  For her to go up in front of all of our 4th and 5th graders and see this boy give her a compliment brought tears to many teachers' eyes.  

The authors also use alliteration throughout the whole book.  I can imagine the repeated readings and mini-lessons that this book could bring into a classroom!  They've already started writing more books that have encouraging themes and lessons as well.  It's definitely a book with multiple uses in any elementary classroom!

TpT Sale
It's the last day of my celebratory TpT Sale!  20% off of all products for my 1 year TpT anniversary.  Enjoy!

You can even come visit and check out some of my freebies!  The one below is a customer favorite, and easy to use!  Download it today and use later.

Enjoy your weekends!  I'll be back on Wednesday for a great 10-10 challenge!  Not sure what 10-10 is?  You'll have to wait. :)


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ELL lessons, my TPT Anniversary, and Currently!!!

ELL Lesson Planning: Make your intro matter!
So I'm sure many of you have learned about the SIOP model, how to implement it in your classroom, and why it's best for your students, but I have really enjoyed being able to see this unfold with my ELL students this year.  With 1/2 of my job as an ELL teacher, I have really been able to see the effects of thoughtful and intentional lesson planning with SIOP in mind.  If you aren't familiar, however, here are the basic components. When I plan my lessons, I now use this as my format.

  • Lesson Preparation
  • Building Background
  • Comprehensible Input
  • Strategies
  • Interaction
  • Practice/Application
  • Lesson Delivery
  • Review/Assessment

My biggest aha, especially with small group reading, is that your anticipatory set, background knowledge, and preview of the text, may take more than one session.  With your "typical" students, your intro may be short and quick.  In order to make texts comprehensible, this is one of the greatest areas of impact to allow students to make meaning.  Don't forget to make your introduction matter!

TPT 1 Year Anniversary...and a sale!
I must first say thank you, thank you, thank you!  Today marks my 1st full year on TpT, and it has been an absolute ride!  Not only do I feel grateful to everyone for your comments, ratings, and purchases, but the personal notes about how it has helped your class or a specific student just warms my heart.

In honor of all of YOU...I'm having an Anniversary Party!

Come on by to visit the sale here!

October Currently
Well it's the beginning of a new month, so what else is to be expected, but Farley's monthly Currently!  I am always baffled with her creativity and the seasonal theme she integrates.  Another home run, Farley! Visit her site, and link up to share your own Currently.