Hi there! Do you remember me?
I'm sorry for being such a bad blogger this week. I have really jumped back in to school mode 100%. Students are coming on Wednesday and I am pulling my hair out tweaking my units and thinking about some ideas for this coming year.
My mom jokes that I just need to have a baby so I will settle down because right now, teaching is my life. I'm not going to lie, I'm sure I will not spend hours thinking about lesson plans whenever the hubs and I do have kids, but I love teaching and I love coming up (and finding) new ideas to share with my kids. It keeps class interesting and fun for both them and me.
So yesterday I enjoyed staying at home and not going anywhere for my last official day of summer. However, I spent the day doing some research and pouring over my Laura Robb binder. I finally feel ready to really implement the ideas she teaches in her own classroom. I love that everything she practices has all been backed up by research and she shares all of that with you.
Here is why I love her teaching methods:
I LOVE that you are meeting the kids on their instructional level! Research shows that you can teach the grade level standards but by having the kids apply it to a book on their level they will continue to grow and make progress. If I teach them the grade level standards and they are reading a book that is too hard for them (above their instructional level) then research shows they will move backward (aka not make progress).
I can't decide if I want to start small and have only 6-7 books with 3/4 kids each reading the same book so that I can talk to them more about their book and so that they can talk to one another OR if I completely want to jump in head first and let each kid read their own book. I'm thinking groups of 3/4 right now so that the kids can discuss the books with one another too!
Where do I get the books? Oh, this is actually an easy question. I'm looking into the books my school library already has. I'm also looking at the local public library and pulling books off their shelves. These books are going to stay in my classroom, not go home. If they want to take the book home they will have to check the book out themselves.
I am still toying with this idea so hopefully I will be able to figure out the logistics by tomorrow. I think I have them roughly done and am just now into the research process of the specific books for groups. :)
So why haven't I done this in the past:
- My first year teaching I was just so overwhelmed with learning the standards and teaching 6th grade. I thought I was going to be teaching high school (which is where I student taught) so the standards were new to me.
- My second year teaching Kentucky unrolled the common core standards! Woo hoo!
- My third year teaching I switched grade levels. Time to get used to some different standards!
- Last year I switched schools and went back to 6th grade. I didn't want to flip the boat until I got a handle on what was usually taught.
This year, I feel ready! I'm ready to tackle things a little differently. I feel really good about my knowledge of the standards and how I'm going to teach them to my students. I am also really excited about implementing these strategies!
Wish me luck as I tackle this new territory!