I’m linking up my very first post ever with Corinna from Surfin’ Through Second. I love her blog!
Figuring out how many years I taught second grade would require a level of thinking that doesn’t happen while I’m enjoying my summer break. Let’s just say I was teaching second grade between 5-10 years.
Next year, everything will be different.
Everything? Well, most things. I think.
I asked to be moved to 5th grade. I’m ready for a change. (What was I thinking?)
I love structure. I love routine. I had a system in place for everything. Why couldn’t I just ride the wave? Go with the flow? Some other water cliche’? It’s not like my students don’t provide enough of a challenge each year.
Well, here I go. New grade. New room. New (and first) blog. New schedule. New routines. New team.
I have to bring something old with me.
Surfing to Success – my name for this blog and my theme for next year was inspired by a phrase I had up on this wall for years. I can’t leave everything behind in 2nd grade, so I’m bringing my love of the ocean and a phrase from this data wall with me.
I’m sorry the photo quality isn’t great. It’s from 2009. These were the best I could find without kids in them. I’m new to blogging but erring on the side of caution and not including student faces.
Years ago, my helpful husband set up this bulletin board for me. Well, back then he was my boyfriend. At the beginning of the year, the students decorated a swimmer and a surfer. I laminated them and used them to display reading progress. It was an incredible motivator.
There were two lanes. The lane on the bottom went from right to left. This lane showed students DRA score. The DRA is a reading test where students read to the teacher so we can find the right level books for them to read. Our school uses it for K-3.
It said, “Swim to your goal!” I put it in a sleeve protector and moved it around to where ever it would fit depending on their scores at the time. The scores were written on seashells and stars. As their scores went up I would move the swimmers to the new score and give them a congratulatory bookmark. I used larger stars to show the goals for different times of the year.
The top lane was for the surfers. They surfed from left to right. The sign said, “Surf towards success!” This lane had lexile scores. The students take a test called the SRI on the computer to get a lexile score. Our school uses this test for 2-6. My classroom library and the school library is leveled by lexile score. I’m really strict about only allowing students to check out books that are + or – 100 points from their score. The students often actually cheer when I tell them it’s time to take the SRI. They REALLY want to improve their score and read higher level books.
If you are interested in leveling your library, check out lexile.com You can just put the book’s title in the quick search box and it will give you a score.
When I told my husband I was moving to 5th grade, his first reaction was to ask if I had to switch rooms and take down “his wall”. Well, it’s down. Luckily he survived. I’m sure I will too. Change is good.