Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting Excited!

I posted this picture on FB today as I was getting my new digs all set-up. Sometime next week, I'll hopefully have a "proper" room unveiling. For right now, things are going okay. None of my stuff has been moved from my old classroom yet, so I'm kinda stressy right now... nothing a few dozen Reese's peanut butter cups can't handle!


So, I've got a new product to share with you. For the record, I really don't like to make a product the subject of a blog post, so please see the above picture and blurb and pretend that my Chinese lantern and picture are the real focus here :) Now, let me bring your attention to this:

This is my new Reader's Response Journal for the upper grades and I'm in love with it!! First a little back story... So, I love to incorporate reader's workshop into my day. I did it for YEARS!! Each month, students would self-select a book (a "Just Right" book if you've read Fountas and Pinnell!). Then, every day after recess, we'd read silently for 15 minutes. And then twice a week, students would write in their Reader's Response Journal (a marble copybook) and tell me about their book. Like a fool, I'd lug all those marble copy books home over the weekend and grade them. It was a great. I loved it. The kids loved it. They were READING!

Anyway, as our curriculum changed over the years, Reader's Workshop was slowly edged out of my day. Last year, I didn't do it at all :(

Well, this year, with my new move to 7th grade, comes a fresh start... and a longer ELA block!! Sixteen minutes longer to be exact! Just enough time for reader's workshop!

I'm so excited to get back into it! There is nothing I love more than a dead-silent classroom filled with kids reading all over the place. It just makes my heart swoon!

But, since I have a lot more students then I am used to having in the past, I knew there was no way I was going to carry all those marble copybooks home! Enter this Reader's Response Journal! In the past, I've had students make little booklets like this for writing and in their ISNs. They are a breeze to make and super portable. I can't believe I never thought of using one of these for reader's workshop!

So, you print this puppy out and then fold and staple it into a little booklet.

Inside is room for ten entries (summary + a literary analysis question), and then one final prompt after students finish the book. It's perfect because it fits right into students' fancy-schmancy gallon storage bags that they use to transport their books to and from school.

I love it! No more bulky notebooks! I am so excited to have students make these and get them reading self-selected books, again :)

So, do you incorporate reader's workshop into your day? Any helpful tips or strategies you can share? I'd love to hear from you!!

Happy Teaching!!

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