Friday, January 17, 2014

Stacy's Five for Friday FUN!!

Happy Friday, friends!  I don't know about you, but I am sooooooo looking forward to the three-day weekend!  It's been a little bit of a crazy week.  I think the full moon is to blame :)
I can't complain too much because our February vacation week is right around the corner!   However, that means we are at the half-way point of the year!  My goodness time flies!  Today we are linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday weekly linky party!
Poor Colleen can't catch a break!  After dragging herself through the week, she finally broke down, went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pneumonia.  UGH!  Not something a beginning teacher needs this time of year!  I know she would appreciate positive thoughts and 'get-wells' so please send some her way!
As for me, I am PSYCHED that we are almost done with the DIBELS January Benchmark!!  I would love feedback from folks about other assessments you use (i.e. AimsWeb, MAP) for benchmark testing because I am struggling with the notion that my struggling readers are missing out on valuable instruction in order for me to assess close to 200 students in my building.  Please don't get me wrong!  I believe periodic assessments are valuable however I am always apprehensive about lost instruction.  So, I'm curious...those of you who use different monitoring tools (other than DIBELS) long does it take you to administer a typical sized classroom?
Even though I have been in full-swing DIBELS mode, I was able to squeeze in "Game Day Friday" with my second grade group today.  I pulled out Freezing Syllables from our Winter Literacy Center bundle to practice multisyllabic words.  They absolutely loved it!  It was interesting to watch them struggle a bit working through the syllables but eventually they got it!  Writing the words on their recording sheet also helped!
My second grade groups were also working hard at a new comprehension skills this week.  We focused on asking and answering questions using informational text.  I love using A Year of Many Firsts' What Makes a Good Reader? strategy posters to begin my comprehension lessons.  The posters create almost an anchor chart that I can refer back to as I am teaching or reinforcing strategies.  I also am in LOVE with her Common Core Aligned graphic organizers.  Using the organizer for questioning, my struggling readers did an awesome job working together to create questions about the text.  
Finally, I wanted to share another favorite product that both Colleen and I have been using in our classrooms.  I have been using Text Detectives-Find the Text Evidence from Luckeyfrog's Lilypad with my third grade intervention groups and it has made a WORLD of difference helping them find text evidence to support their answers.  I have one little guy that really struggled with this skill at the beginning of the year, but after presenting this activity to him, he has become much more comfortable proving and supporting his responses.  My kiddos also LOVE the coloring!  Hee Hee!  They don't realize that they're learning too!

Colleen (from her bed) and I wish all of you a wonderful weekend!  Rejuvenate, relax, and do something fun!!


  1. Hi Ladies!
    I just came across your blog, thanks for sharing your adventures:)
    I work at a 2-4 school with about 8 classes per grade in northern Illinois. Currently we are benchmarking with STAR Reading and Math from Ren Learn and we also are using MAP/NWEA. Because we have so many students it takes a while. Right now we are on day7 of 11 for our Winter benchmarking/screening. All assessments are done on the computer and the student who place below the 10th percentile on both assessments are put into the Tier 3 program. The students who fall under the 20th percentile on both STAR and MAP are then placed into the Tier 2 program and students under the 40th percentile are Tier 1.
    I am one of the Tier 3. Title 1 Reading Specialists at my school and I only see students about 90 days out of the year due to assessing. That is the hardest part for me because these are the students who need the most help.

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences. How long does it take per child on the computer?