Friday, June 30, 2017

Reading Strategies-Getting Started




Happy Friday! I hope you have had a fantastic week. This summer I am reading "The Reading Strategies Book" by Jennifer Serravallo. I have heard amazing things about this study and can't wait to share learning with all of you.

I am participating in a blog link-up for the study. I can't wait to jump in and want to thank our host Teaching Little Miracles for this opportunity. I love collaborating with other teachers. The schedule for the different goals is listed below.  We will be reviewing two goals a week.




Getting Started

Now that we have that part out of our way I am excited to jump into the first section of our book study. 


Goals

As teachers' we are always setting goals. We set goals for ourselves and goals for our students. I love seeing the excitement on a students' face when they see the progress they are making towards meeting their goals. I also know how overwhelming goal setting can be.  You might even be thinking in your head, "Oh, great...just what I need, one more thing to keep track of. I barely have time to get in all of the curricula I am responsible for teaching". Stick with us during this book study.  Goal setting doesn't have to cause extra stress. I truly believe the results you will see will be amazing. 

The way the author has set up the book it is easy to navigate. I love how each goal tells you who it is used for, the level of the text, genre, teaching tips, prompts you can use with that strategy and so much more!

I don't know about you, but I am definitely a visual learner. So, seeing the visuals that are available in the book helps. 

Here are a few tidbits that I have taken away from the getting started section. 

  1. The first step is making sure we are matching the right goal with the right reader. (pg. 2) We have to know where our students are so we can meet their need. 
  2. The level of text a reader can read needs to be considered when choosing strategies. 
  3. As teachers, we need to make goals visible to students as a reminder what they are working on during their independent reading time. (pg 8)
  4. Visuals should be seen as a tool to help them practice a skill that will eventually become automatic. (pg 9)
  5. Strategies should be introduced one at a time. This allows us as teachers to guide them through practicing the strategy before moving on to a new one. We want to make sure they feel secure in the strategy before moving on to a new one. I love how it shows on pg 10 the process. Students practice strategies repeatedly with many books they choose themselves on their own reading level. (pg 10)
  6. Think of prompts as gentle ways to encourage the child to do the thinking, talking and working through. We are there to give gentle nudges. (pg 11)
  7. Look for patterns in students needs when grouping them for conferences. 
  8. Use the ideas in the book to help when planning think alouds during interactive reading.
  9. Create visuals for students when teaching to help students remember what we say. (pg 15)
  10. Start with what students can do, pick a strategy and begin. 
My favorite quote from the book is below. I hope it hit home with you as much as it did me. 

"We must meet children where they are, we must understand them well to teach them, and we must offer them the right amount of supports and challenges to grow." pg 19

Be sure to check out the link-up to see what others have to say about the book as well. 

I look forward to seeing you next week and reading your thoughts.  

Blessings,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Boom Learning



Hey, guys! I hope you are having a fabulous summer. It is hard to believe we are almost to July, which means summer is half over (for me).

I have a question for you. Do you ever use task cards in your classroom? If so, I can't wait to share with you what I have been working on the past week.  I have been creating online digital task cards through Boom Learning℠.  Have you ever heard of Boom Learning? If not, don't feel like you are too far behind the tech times. I hadn't heard about them either until recently. When I did, I had to check it out because I use task cards All...The...Time... in my classroom.

What is Boom Learning? 

Boom learning in an online digital platform for task cards.  The cards can be played on any electronic device. 

Here is something that I thought was super cool. Students can log in, play the task cards and it will track their progress. I'm not sure about you, but any extra data that I can collect without a bunch of extra work is a win-win for me. 

The cards are self-checking. This means students get immediate feedback when playing their decks (what the cards are called in Boom Learning). 

There are many task cards you can choose from plus all types of subject areas. 

Why do students love Boom Learning? 

This day and age lots of students play games on some form of electronic device. They have technology that wasn't available when I was a kid.

Boom Cards™ are played on any electrical device. When a student chooses an answer it jiggles if it is right. If it is incorrect, it shows a circle with a line at a diagonal. Right and wrong answers also have a different sound that happens when students click on an answer choice. It also allows them to try again before moving to the next card. They also have an option to click the surrender button and it will move them to the next car.

I had my own kiddo's to try out the decks to see how they liked them. Their verdict...two thumbs up!

How do I set up an account? 

Teachers Pay Teachers is allowing Boom Cards to be posted on their site. The cool part about this is if you download Boom Cards from TpT Boom Learning will give you a year free membership. If you have a membership, you can set up your class, and it will track how they do on the task cards assigned. 

There is still an option to play the cards in Fast Play mode if you chose not to keep your membership. 

You can also set up an account directly from their site. The set-up process is easy either way you choose to access the cards. 

I created a free set for you to try. You can access it by clicking on the picture below. It will take you to the product in my TpT store. Then, you can download the file and follow the direction to access your free link.





I hope you enjoy this fun, new learning tool as much as I do!

Blessings,