Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hmm...what are those things called again?

Oh yeah, REPORT CARDS!  I cannot believe that it is 3 1/2 days before we are done for the summer, and I just this evening thought to myself, "Hmm...what's that thing that I need to make sure I get done asap?"  Ugh.  Now I definitely know what I'll be getting done, getting a great start on, attempting to do tomorrow during my prep time, (instead of trying to organize the disgusting mess that is my classroom).  Today was a great day overall, which to me is precious considering that this time of year tends to get pretty nuts.  This morning our students visited the AR store where they were able to cash in their earned points for prizes.  My group this year has not been motivated to reach their AR goals at all, I had six students who were waiting outside of the "AR store" because they hadn't earned any points towards their goal this last term.  I know what you're probably thinking, and yes, I've been doing whatever I can to motivate them, encourage them, etc.  And it's not that they don't enjoy reading, they genuinely do.  They just aren't motivated to work towards their AR goals.  I should add that some of my students really are motivated, and do try their best on their goals.  It was quite frustrating for me this year though.  I even stopped sending home a reading log a few weeks into our third trimester because certain parents were just signing the form and having students fill in that they had read whatever, when they weren't really reading.  I decided to stop wasting paper at that point.  After talking with a colleague at school I think I've decided that next fall their AR goals are going to be tied into their report card grades.  The schools in our district emphasize AR reading differently, and in the past I had worked in a building where AR was encouraged, but it wasn't part of their reading grades.  In my building now many teachers count students' AR reading as part of a reading test grade towards their report cards, and I think this is something that I will try out when we come back in the fall.
     After the AR store visit we had about an hour and fifteen minutes before recess/lunch before our 3rd grade Jr. Olympics (field day).  I had read on some amazing teacher's blog earlier in the year (I can't for the life of me remember whose it was =(, sorry!) about the idea of having the students have a "Reading/Writing Marathon."  Basically what I did was give each student a 12 X 18 sheet of white paper, and had them fold the paper so they had eight boxes.  After all students had a book that they would be able to read for an extended period of time we settled in to read.  I set the timer in our classroom for ten minutes of silent reading, and when the timer went off we set it again for ten minutes of silent writing/drawing about the books that we were reading.  I also took part in this with my students, and it was cute to see them keep peaking over to see if I was really reading with them.  I have a group of 22 very active, very conversational (read can't sit still/can't stay quiet for more than 15 seconds) students.  In our classroom this morning, on this exciting day that they've been looking forward to for weeks we had over an hour of SILENT READING AND WRITING!  I'm serious, even my boys who normally moan and groan about independent reading settled in and did an AMAZING JOB!  I was so happy for them, it was such a pleasant experience for us to have at the end of the year.  It also left me wishing that I had attempted it earlier in the year, but now I know right?  We went on to participate in our Jr. Olympic events after lunch and our class did a fantastic job.  We came in second place over all out of our five third grade classes, and they were so proud of themselves.  Best of all for me was being able to see students who have struggled with teamwork and cooperation all year long working together to achieve a common goal and enjoying it.   Definitely a good day! =)
3 1/2 days to go...


  1. Oh, wow, your silent reading day sounds great - and I'm glad the kids helped you pull it off :)

  2. It was was a peaceful moment of teacher heaven! =)


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