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Showing posts from April, 2016

Comfort or Control

Over the past few years, I have been rethinking some of my classroom rules and expectations.  I always thought that it was important that students  sit up straight in their chairs with both feet on the ground After all, that is what I did in school!  I also remember hating it.  It felt like being strapped into an airplane seat for six hours straight. 

Today I looked around my classroom and noticed a change.

Few of them were sitting up straight in their seats with both feet on the ground.  One student was lying across the table, another was sitting in my "comfy" chair, and another was lying across the tables!Students were reading a play, and every single one of them was engaged in what we were doing. They read  their lines with enthusiasm; some of them even adopted accents!  They looked comfortable and happy!

This is my Read 180, so I have fewer students and more room.  I wish I had enough space in my other classes for students to spread out and get comfortable.  I do wonder wha…

Student Teacher

Over twenty years ago, I began my student teaching at San Dieguito High School.  I was mentored by two amazing women-Sandy Boldway and Judy Henry.  Both were excellent role models and exceptional teachers.  Sandy was brilliant; she forced me to think deeply and creatively. I am certain she was a genius.  She arrived at school at 7AM or earlier and sometimes didn't leave until 9 PM. Students loved her.  Judy showed me how to love and appreciate students for who they were.  She found the best in every student and made sure they knew it. Her desk and walls were covered with pictures and letters from students.  Students loved her.

Now, I am a that teacher- the teacher in charge of mentoring a future teacher.  It is such a privilege and one I don't take lightly.  My hope is that I will convince her that she has made the best decision of her life in choosing this profession. I am hoping I will provide her with great lesson ideas and strategies to implement in her own classroom. More …

More Reasons to Celebrate in Read 180

Four or five times a year, I assess my Read 180 students using the SRI test.  I am not sure who is more nervous-the students or me!  Students are giving up their elective to be in my class, so I want them to feel that it was worthwhile.  I want them to see results! Last week, students completed their fourth assessment.  As we draw closer to the end of the year, students are even more motivated to raise their score!  Almost every student has made HUGE gains this year as illustrated in the reports below! Two students have even gone from below grade level to above grade level!

Not only are students proud and excited about their own progress, they are proud and excited for their classmates, as well!  I make sure to send all of the results to the entire staff, so they can congratulate the students they have in their classes.  I also send growth reports home to parents. This time I decided to have students celebrate their success with a class bulletin board.  

We have one more test in June!  …