Category Archives: Happenings

So, now what do I do?

October 12th and I’ve been in my reading room for over a month.   It’s like being a new teacher all over again!  I knew the jump to high school would be daunting but I still was unprepared for what direction I needed to take with such different groupings of students.

So the first thing I did was assess, assess, and assess!  I began with Bader IRI from Pearson. During my CAGS program, we used the Bader to complete a case study on a struggling reader.  I chose a kindergartner so this was my firs time using this with adolescents.  I am happy to say it is very comprehensive.  I was pleased with the baseline I was able to gain on my students. With the Bader, I was able to screen for:  Student Priorities, Graded Word List, then Graded Passages.  I continued with Structural Analysis.

Bader Reading & Language Inventory 6th Edition


If I found structural needs, I then administered the Quick Phonics Screener and determined any need for those students.  Most of my high school students did not need this, which was a pleasant surprise.  The few that did, however, mostly struggled with two or three syllable words.  I continued with a spelling inventory (Bader again), a writing sample, and Cloze and Maze passages to assess monitoring for meaning.  My district has very limited resources but we do have some for fluency in the form of Great Leaps and Read Naturally Live, which I am using to set a baseline for my students.

Quick Phonics Screener


Link to full copy of Quick Phonics Screener

CORE Maze Passages

CORE Maze Passages

link to full copy and directions for CORE Maze Passages

So, now what?

This last month I have devoted myself to figuring out what to do with a diverse groups of students with mainly comprehension needs.  My next post will share the materials and resources I used to begin setting up comprehension lessons and practice for my 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

Happy Columbus Day weekend all!


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September is here…

and that means a new school year and for me, a new school and position!

Since I spent the last two years achieving my CAGS in Reading and my state certification as a reading specialist, I decided to take the leap this year and look for a reading specialist position.  And since I always wanted to work with older students, I applied for middle and high school positions.

So, I will be the reading specialist in a sleepy little suburban town about 15 minutes from my home.  Because the town is so small, the middle and high school are in the same building.  Therefore, I will wear many hats — in addition to being the reading resource teacher for grades 9-12, I will teach a 6th grade language based ELA block, and co-teach a 9th grade language based ELA block too!  Very exciting and very overwhelming but I am up for the challenge!

My hope with this blog is to bring the resources for reading and ELA I have success with these older students.  Here’s a few shots of my room:room2roomWho says you can’t decorate in high school?  😉

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I’m back and blogging again… in 4th grade!

So made the switch to fourth grade this year. Big change that comes with more test stress but a better curriculum and relationship with the older kids.

And I am dedicating this blog solely to anchor charts and my love of them! I am a visual learner and I have learned more about teaching balanced literacy from anchor charts than I have from reading lessons.  They just put things in perspective quickly for me and become a sort of- agenda,  if you will.  So I am sharing everything we do at my school.

You may wonder where I work.  I am currently working in a low income, urban district that is a Level 5 in Massachusetts.  My school just came into Level 1 status.  So proud of our hard working teachers and staff, new and old. 🙂

I attribute our success to our strong commitment to balance literacy.  “Student as teacher, Teacher as coach” has propelled our nearly 80% English language learning student population into the highest level in our state.

So sit back and enjoy the charts!  First up, the beginning of the year–

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September Happenings!

Back to school is in full swing this year! We start off the year with some ice breaker activities, and reminiscing about our summer.

This also the time we put our routines into place.

This begins with daily routines: calendar, rules, schedule.We meet here every day before math to talk about the day, the week, the month and the year.  We count our days of school. We record the weather daily.

We also establish our learning community.  Together we learn about each other and share details about our families and our friends.  Things we like and dislike.  We begin to become friends and neighbors.

We do this through literature.  Some of the titles about caring and friendship we read together are Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Kline, Amber Brown Get Ready for 2nd Grade by Paula Dazinger, Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler, First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books by Diane deGroat, Yoko by Rosemary Wells.

Focus lessons are taught on the rug during Phonics, Reader’s Workshop, Math Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, Social Studies and Science. Here is where the majority of our learning happens. Mini lessons last between 15-20 minutes followed by independent practice and share out. Students in our school go to special classes once a day: PE/ Health, Art, Skills, Technology, and Literature.

We also spend a lot of time in September talking about the school rules of TONE.  T= Talk it out, O= Own your own behavior, N= Nurture Feelings, E= Enjoy learning.  Our class did exceptionally well as earning TONE raffle tickets this month and already had several students when the school wide and televised weekly TONE raffle!  Congratulations!

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life in 110

Welcome to life in 110.  🙂 I am sure you are thinking what am I going to share here with you.

Well, a little of everything from Room 110.

It’s my little slice of life– my ongoing passion for teaching reading, growing and sharing my practice and of course, the craziness that is 2nd grade!  Here is this little room in one year, I get to watch my little ones grow up.  2nd grade is the get divide between the needy child we all once were to the independent thinker and worker that we all become.  It’s an exciting and at times frustrating time for students, parents and even teachers.  But there is so much to share about 2nd grade these days!  Education asks students to reason and think more than ever, and of course, we rise to the occasion!

I hope to post happenings in our room throughout the year, as well as lessons and charts for teachers to access.  Due to my recent pursuit of my CAGS in Reading, much will be gears towards Reader’s Workshop 🙂

So sit back, and enjoy life in 110!  I know I do my best to EVERY DAY! LOL

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