Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Flying Solo

Flying Solo Powtoon by a fifth grade teacher Have you ever wondered what would happen if your teacher never showed up for class one day? That is exactly what happens in Ralph Fletcher’s book Flying Solo. Mr. Fab is absent and a substitute never arrives. Flying Solo. The class wants to prove that KIDS RULE, so they decide to run the class on their own. Super smart Karen leads the way in the class routines and most of the kids join in. But for Rachel White, this isn't just any other day. Rachel's been silent for six months and communicates by writing notes. Rachel knows today is exactly six months since their classmate Tommy Feathers died. In her own way, Rachel reminds the class about this--and for the first time, Mr. Fab's students reveal their true and sometimes hurtful thoughts. Where is Mr. Fab's class headed now? The school day isn't over yet. Will they keep flying solo or crash? I really enjoyed this book. It was a great balance of funny, serious, and sad. I wonder if my class could successfully fly solo! Before the bell rings you should find a copy of this hilarious book and get reading!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Entering a new state of thinking about exit slips


When I saw an article “The Many Uses of Exit Slips” by Robert Marzanno, I thought this would be an easy pat on the back for me.  I have been utilizing exit slips in math and recently expanded them to more curricular areas. But what I realize is that I have really only scratched the surface.  Marzano spoke about the four different ways you can utilize exit slips.  I realized upon reading this article that I have really been using exit slips only one way- getting formative assessment data.  

I would like to utilize them more in student self-assessment.  I can see asking questions after writing asking students to assess their effort (especially in editting).  I can also see using some instruction strategies in science/discovery ed to inquire about what part of the lesson they felt were the most informative (videos, explorations, etc.)

I have a low-tech way of collecting exit slips (stickie notes on a poster board).  But that system is working for me (and my aging eyes).  Now I need to ramp it up and use it more regularly in a wider variety of ways.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


I felt very inspired and challenged when reading Sal Khan’s article on being smart versus showing effort.  I agree that effort should be the focus over perfection or the correct answer.  I was so inspired I further searched for more articles and resources.  I found another article “Reinforcing, Reminding, and Redirecting” and books: The Power of Words, Choice Words and Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives.  I plan on purchasing them and working on language that I can feel authentic about using.

 
There was an interesting take that rather than do a shout out for a kid: “I like the way Johnny is standing in line.”  Turning that into “I see that some students have remembered the procedure for lining up.  This puts the ownership and pride on the students.  The students must then self assess whether or not they qualify for the praise. Students need to begin working on whether or not their performance is ok rather than rely on the teacher to praise them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blogging again

It has been awhile since I have blogged.  But I have been inspired to start a new blog dedicated to reading.  Here is the post that I would like my students to respond to:

Knowing yourself as a reader is really important.  Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you grow and improve your reading enjoyment.

I am an avid reader, but mainly in the summer when I have down time.  This summer I read over 16 books (adult books, chapter books and even picture books!).  I read textbooks, realistic fiction, true stories, humorous stories and enjoyed them all.  Sometimes I was reading four books at a time.  I don’t think that is a good idea because my focus became too divided.  I felt like I was juggling too many balls.

Who are you as a reader?

Link to my new blog http://carrollreading.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 7, 2014