Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Made It: Status of the Class and more!

Holy Smokes...it's "Monday Made It" and I have a lonnnnnnnnnng post for you today--see if you can stick with it to the end!  Thanks to Fourth Grade Frolics for the link up!


So...to get things started, I feel that I need to give the disclaimer that the number one thing I made this week was...
A MESS!  That's right...I was cleaning in my classroom and cleaning in my office.  Mess. Everywhere.
OK...on to the more "crafty" side of life.  I like to give my students reading suggestions and encouragement to read all summer and I always make them a personalized bookmark of some sort.  This year I decided to make bookmarks with their names and a small picture of a stack of books we read aloud as a class as a reminder of the year.  I used up extra scrapbook paper for the backing, laminated them, and hung a little ribbon on them.  I think they will love them!



Here is the photo I put on each one...a picture of a stack of books I read aloud to them this year!

The finished product!
Here's where things get long.  If you have followed me for a while, you know I am a firm believer in taking "status of the class" nearly every day in reading.  In addition to letting me keep my finger on the pulse of what my students are reading (I LOVE that I can, at any time, tell you what my students are reading!), it is a great way for me to have a mini conference with a student every day!  Students can do quick book talks about what they are reading, I can comment on how much home reading they must be doing, and we can set quick goals--and I can do an entire class in 10 minutes!

Want to read my post from last year? Here is the key part of the text:

"The Power of Connections!

One of the most valuable times of my day begins when my students come in from lunch recess, casually make one last little bit of small talk with their friends, and make their back to their desks to get their independent reading supplies--book...reading log...response notebooks--out and ready for action.  Once I see that they are settling in, it's time for me to take "status of the class".  Each day I write down what my students are reading and what page they are on.  The entire process could take 3 minutes but each day I make it last about 10.  Why?

Those ten minutes are what I consider a "guaranteed connection" time with my students. At that time, I know that every single day I can have a meaningful connection with each and every one of them!  Whether it simply be my asking how they are liking their book, or noticing that they MUST have read a ton at home the night before, or to mention another book they may enjoy--this is my time to get in touch with them as readers and as people.  Every one of them gets my attention for 30 seconds...which doesn't seem like a lot until you really think about your day.  Which kids demand your attention the most?  Who are your invisible kids? This levels the playing field!

Of course, there are added bonuses as well!  I learn about their independent reading behaviors...about their home reading habits...about their taste in books...about their abandon/completion rate...about their thoughts and ideas about their books...and more.  But that's not all!  The other students reap the benefits as well!  I have 5 students waiting to read "The Eye of the Storm" simply because of the little snippets they have overheard during those status of the class "mini conferences".  Think of how many mini lessons the students will have heard over the course of a year!

I have taken status for years and have taken small breaks from it during that time and I always return to it...I simply get so much information from it that I can't let it go!  It's funny...I always thought that status time was essentially a data collection time for me until, around the holidays, I missed a few days here and there.  One of my fourth graders chimed out "Hey! Aren't you going to take status?  I don't know what everyone is reading!" and I then realized that it isn't just about me after all!  My students have grown to count on it to share their successes, to point out things they have noticed in their texts, to brag that they read for 80 minutes straight the night before without losing stamina, and to get great book recommendations from others.  There is not much more a teacher needs to do when you hear students saying, "Oh!  Ashley--if you liked 'The Lemonade War' you will LOVE 'Lunch Money'".  Mission accomplished.  Reading community established.


So what happened around the time I posted this is that I was inundated with questions about how I keep track of everything...so I put all the information together in a resource so people could see it in action.  Lots of people gave it a try and found it to be super helpful.  My biggest accomplishment of the week is that I have updated it with all new calendars for this upcoming school year, so if you DID buy it last year, it's time to go "reupload" it from TpT to get the updated version!  I posted even more detail about it last summer.  Click HERE if you are interested in reading THAT post!

Want to see a few shots of the resource in action?  Here you go!

Using the calendar pages to record what book they read...what page...and any anecdotal notes.
A place to add goals
I note "A" for abandoned books an "F" for finished books
I use the back of the page to do word work with students during their conferences
Notes that I want to remember
As I look across the month, I can judge how many pages are being read per day and get a quick glance at notes I needed to remember.  Some students get met with more often than others!
I keep it all in one easy to find binder.  It's a great reference for me during report cards and conferences!

Interested in getting it all put together like this?  Click the cover to take you to the product.

So today is my last Monday of school, so I can't wait to sign back on next week in "summer mode"!  Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check out the other great link ups over at 4th Grade Frolics.

21 comments:

  1. The last Monday of the school year! What a great feeling! I love how you stated that the first thing you made was a mess! That is how all my projects start out!
    ThePolishedTeacher

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    1. ME too! Everything starts--and most end--in a mess! Sigh.

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  2. First off... I love the idea of taking a picture of all the books you read for your bookmark- how special! Second... I love the idea of using the calendar for notes; it gives me an idea for next year's book log ;) Thanks for all the great ideas (and I'll be making a mess today for our final staff day so I feel your pain!)

    Kelli
    Tales of a Teacher

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    1. Glad to hear some ideas struck a chord with you! May your mess today have been manageable!

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  3. I love the bookmark idea! I want my kids to keep reading over the summer and this is a great idea to hopefully give them some ideas.
    Thanks!
    Janie
    Are We There Yet?

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    1. Summer reading is SO important! Anything we can do, right?

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  4. Thank you for sharing this post. I went back and read your previous posts on the reading status. I have my students for literacy for several years in a row because I am a resource teacher and this looks like a great way to keep track of their individual reading status. I am constantly putting things in folders for each student and then I have to dig through to pull out what I need to remind myself where they are at. This looks much easier and I love your premade calendars and spines. This year my 2 blocks of reading and writing have been condensed into one literacy block per day so the school can also have me teach resource math. I am in desperate need of something like this so I found your blog at the perfect time. I will for sure be using this next year! Heather

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    1. I hope that it works for you...it is one of the few systems that has really worked for me and is easy to explain to a sub, etc. I'm glad you found me! :)

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  5. Great post! I was JUST reading a the part in Reading in the Wild that sounded "similar" to this, but the kids keep the log. I usually do this once a week, but I think I will definitely try your daily routine. When kids are working on their certain genre, I could easily find a buddy who could recommend someone! I want my kids to be reflective in their reading habits--this is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
    3rd Grade Pad

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    1. Hey there Debbi! My students keep reading logs on their own as well...this is my record. I switch up my reading logs throughout the year, but I want them to be able to look at their own patterns of reading as well!

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  6. Oh my goodness Meg! The bookmark idea is genius. It's actually a priceless souvenir for your students. I no longer have a homeroom but when I did I took a status of the class each day also. I did it for the reasons you listed- I needed to know what the kids were reading and how it was going. It also made me pay attention to every kid- at least once a day. I kept my log in a binder and jotted down page numbers and notes about what they were reading and their progress. I took notes about what they should read next and sometimes would dash off to the library and help them find the book I was talking about! I miss that!
    Carol
    Teachers Are Terrific!

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    1. I just LOVE status...students ask on days I don't have time or think I can "skip it"! They often come inside in the morning to share HOW MUCH they read overnight! I love watching them get so excited about reading!

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  7. Those book marks are adorable! I wonder if you could even let the students pile up their favorite books and then snap a picture of those to add to the bookmarks.

    I may have to do this!

    Great idea, girlie!

    -Sarah
    A Rocky Top Teacher

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  8. I made it all the way through this long post and went and read the other post you linked to. :) I love the idea of doing a Status of the Class. Usually during my guided reading time I check in with my kiddos on what books they are reading independently. But, it is only between them and me. I love the idea of everyone hearing all of these little snippets of book talks. How engaging is that!? Your product is now on my wish list! Thanks for sharing.

    Cassie
    Funky in Fourth

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Cassie! I hope it works for you...I love how it builds a community of readers!

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  9. I need to get into my classroom to clean. I am moving to a new school so not only do I have to clean up my own stuff and get it organized, I'm sure there are going to be some things that are not mine that I have to organize as well.
    Jennifer
    Jenuine Possibilities

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    1. UGH...cleaning and organizing are NOT my strengths! Best of luck to you!

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  10. I started my mess on Thursday last week, and finished it today! Love the bookmarks. What a great idea. I teach math/science, but love to craft, so I am going to help the language arts teacher make these for the students next year, as well as pass on your "status" idea. Happy Summer!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! How great that you and your teaching partners help each other out like that! I'm hoping to be done with my mess on Friday, but I'm not optimistic!

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  11. Party in Mrs. Anderson's class this week

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane
    4mulaFun

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