A Few of My Favorite Things {about this year} #1

I can't believe how busy I have been since the school year started! I don't know if my life has ever been this busy. I'm not sure if it's my very active and feisty 7-month-old -or- all of the changes I have made in my teaching -or- maybe a combo of both. Either way, I have been so busy that I have only posted twice since the school year began.

Then suddenly tonight I find myself sitting here in front of my computer with 2 sleeping kiddos and no planning or grading to do. While my husband takes a quick trip to the store I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on some of my favorite things about this school year. Unfortunately, I am short on time, and completely overwhelmed with ideas that I want to share. So, I thought that I would start by sharing one SMALL THING that has had a HUGE IMPACT in my classroom...Status of the Class...

{click the pic to share}

I have read about Status of the Class in different books about teaching reading and many of the teachers at my school used it last year and raved about it. I reluctantly gave it a try this year, thinking that it might take too much time, that it might not have the impact that I intended, and on and on with the excuses. However, it has been such an amazing and invaluable tool in encouraging and monitoring the readers in my classroom.

Here's how it works...
  • I copy one of the forms above for everyone of my students and wrote their names at the top. I keep them in 3-ring binder. 
  • Each day during "Reading Zone" as my students read independently, I call out their name and they tell me what book they are reading and what page number they are on. I then record the info on the sheet. {If they are reading the same book from the previous day, then all I record is the date and the page number}
  • I also record an "F" if they "finished" a book or a "Q" if they "quit" a book. 
  • Then I repeat the process the following day. {I usually do it 4 out 5 days a week}
  • In the beginning the process takes a bit of time. However, now that my students and I are used to the routine, it takes me less than 5 minutes to get through all 29 of my students!!}

The Benefits:
  • I always know what my students are reading.
  • I know how quickly they are finishing books, and how often they are quitting books. 
  • Students know that they are being held accountable for their reading.
  • I am able to praise students when they finish books or when they have read a lot from one day to the next.
  • I am also able to slightly urge students to spend more time reading if I see that they are progressing slowly through a book.
  • Most important, students look forward to it each day because they simply can't wait to report what page they are on compared to the previous day, or because they are so excited to share that they finished a book!!!
Status of the Class is definitely worth a try and it's never too late to start. 
I am LOVING it!!!