Musings from a K-5th Reading Specialist. I encourage my students to think, speak, read, and write, with my support.
I parent two amazing young adult daughters with my husband of 28 years.

September 25, 2012

Assessment Takes Time

Slices of Life stories are hosted by Two Writing Teachers


All these pieces of information are floating around in my head, waking me at 2:00 a.m.

Best Practice
Paper everywhere!
As part of the instructional resource team in my building, these past two weeks have been spent on deeper assessment.  The initial screeners (DIBELS, IDEL, AimsWeb) are finished.  Now we are using the Fountas and Pinnell benchmark system to figure out instructional text levels of our students who may need extra resource help.

Word lists

I have been pushing myself (and my team - sorry, ladies!) to finish quickly, but I've learned that the quick way isn't the best way.  These assessments take time, and it's time well spent.  We are lucky - the classroom teachers value what we are doing.  I haven't heard anyone questioning our assessment plan or how much time it is taking.  I'm thankful for that!


I'm now focused on taking the time to read with each child (no matter how long it takes) to get the most complete picture of their reading, considering all the components.  Assessment leads to instruction.  That's the point.  We're spending our time well.


September 11, 2012

Motivating Readers

Slice of life stories are hosted by Two Writing Teachers -join us each Tuesday!

The reading team at our elementary school is trying something new this year.  We are trying to send one main message to staff and students about reading.  Our LRC director was kind and gave us the first chunk of lab time to deliver our message (thanks, Lynn!). Here are our talking points:
Notice our enthusiasm!

  • Reading is great!  
  • Find good fit books! 
  • Read anywhere, anytime! 
  • Read the genres you like, but don't be afraid to try new genres! 
  • AR points are good for tracking reading, but don't worry too much about the points! 
  • Talk with your friends about what you read!
  • Ask people (adults and kids) about good books!
  • Keep reading!
I've been really pleased by how many students want to contribute to the discussion.  When we ask the students to talk with a neighbor about where and what they like to read, the room starts buzzing with conversation.  When we've asked for examples of genres, the kids know what we are talking about.  

Can you imagine what will happen in the classrooms where the teacher continues the conversation, and builds a community of readers?

I can't wait to find out!!!