It is hard to believe that August is truly here! With it, comes the endless school supply ads, "last summer" mini trips, vacays, movies, dinners, walks on the beach, etc. My own kids always knew it was almost time for school when the fair came to town. The Ventura County Fair is here, so we know it is THAT time!!! To celebrate returning for new adventures, I am participating in a BTS Blog Hop hosted by Tammy from The Owl Teacher.
One of the best tips I have come to rely on is to always plan ahead and be prepared with your materials and have back up plans ready to go. In the beginning of the year, your students are really just the same students who left the school a few months ago, just perhaps taller, sporting new glasses or hair style, along with their same personality. I often forget how my new 5th graders are still really 4th graders. They take extra time to complete tasks, often need to be redirected, aren't used to producing 5th grade level complete answer work that I expect. It is great to have high expectations, but give them AND you a break for a few days until you get your expected daily routines ingrained in them before trying to turn them into the students who recently left your class to go to a new grade were.
I love reading and I love motivating my students to read. We just started using Accelerated Reader four years ago as a means to motivate and steer students towards books that are truly at their current reading level. While I don't always agree with the results or keeping students in a certain level for a length of time, I see that it gives structure to several students who need that constant accountability or they wouldn't read at all. I agree it is not the be all, end all, but I enjoy using it and conversing with my students daily about their reading. We have been trained the last 2 years and diligently spent time talking with students about the books they were reading, their interests, successes with certain books, and guiding them towards a well balanced selection of fiction and non-fiction.
While my students loved earning the AR award certificates that are embedded into the program, I saw a chance to step up my game when our school began using Brag Tags for Citizenship at our monthly award assemblies. Believe me when I tell you that upper grade students love wearing them on necklaces or clips on their backpacks as much as younger students do!! Click on the picture below to grab a sample set to try out for yourself. The link for the full set of 5 books read up to 50 books read along with 5 AR points earned up to 50 points earned is listed below. The next set will include 55 through 100! I have had students who earned over 200 books read!!!!!!! Perfect for allowing your own class rules, whether it be allowing picture books, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry, fables, or every genre!! Easy to store and the diverse options of colors and styles allows every student to find their perfect match!
Don't worry!! The fun isn't over yet!! Be sure and hop to the next blog for more tips and goodies as well entries into the rafflecopters for grade specific items!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway