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Happy Thursday!  This week, we'll be exploring the second part of chapter 1 of Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller.  Chapter 1.1 is all about creating a schedule for your reading workshop.  It is hosted by:

Ideas by Jivey     

I'm not going to lie.  I LOVE independent reading time in my classroom.  Students are engaged in books which they have self-selected, the room is peaceful and learning is going on at differentiated levels.  There are days when I pull out my own book and read with the kids!

Sometimes, though, this reading gets pushed aside for one reason or another.  Oftentimes, it feels as though there are just not enough minutes in the day and independent reading time is the easiest thing to scratch off the daily schedule.  But that CAN'T happen!  We need to make sure that students are getting in as much reading as possible.

When creating a schedule for Reader's Workshop, we need to consider many aspects.  Those include time, required components, components we wish to incorporate, independent reading time and utilizing the rule of thirds.

Next year, I'll be teaching two reading classes in the morning.  I'll have about an hour for each one.  The focus is mainly reading since I will have a different writing group in the afternoon.  Don't worry, there will be writing intertwined in the reading class too!  I've created a sample schedule for myself:

This is just a sample though.  I just got my assignment last week and I still have two months left before school starts.  A lot can change between now and then!  

I used Miller's suggestion of breaking the class period into thirds.  I incorporated independent reading and small groups in the first 20 minutes.  The next segment would be our mini-lesson time, which would incorporate our class novel that we are required to read.  There is a lot that I need to address in that middle section, which is why I added an extra 10 minutes.  The last portion of the period would be vocabulary instruction.  This is the area that I may switch up still.

What does your reading workshop schedule look like?  Do you incorporate time for independent reading?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Write a comment or link up below!

A few years ago, I got rid of my teacher's desk for good.  It was definitely a nerve-wracking process for me, but I am so glad that I did it.   I thought I would share how I organize and arrange my "stuff" without a desk.  Yes, it can be done!

This is what my desk area looks like now:

And, yes, my table is always that clear.  I use it to work with my students so I don't want it cluttered with stuff.  

I use the drawers to store important information and anything that I need at my fingertips.  Tape, post-its (I use sooo many of those), book order forms, stickers/labels and teacher materials (aka chocolate).  I love these drawers because nothing gets lost in them.  The deep drawers on my desk used to swallow things whole and I wouldn't see them for years!

I keep all my office supplies in this handy tool box that I'm sure you have all seen and made.  This is probably one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.  Seriously.  It makes an OCD girl's heart smile.  

Any papers or books for the upcoming week go in these bins.  I got them in the dollar section at Target (wayy cheaper than Lakeshore's set)!  I have to say that I don't use these a ton (notice how they are empty?), but it keeps things from piling up on my desk.  And my co-teacher can always find the papers she needs!

Lastly, my pretty awesome dad gave me about 20 of these stacking trays:

They are awesome!  They fit perfectly on the shelves behind my desk and I can easily separate my paperwork and student work.  On the top shelf, I have file folders for each committee that I am on (PBIS, RTI, etc).  The second shelf has file folders from professional development and data meetings (math, writing, reading, etc).  I often have to grab these and run to a meeting during the day so I keep them handy.  Then I have shelves of student work that I am saving.  Again, this keeps me from piling work on my desk.

So I say, if you are thinking about getting rid of your desk, go for it!
I am SO excited to start the Reading in the Wild book study hosted by The Brown Bag Teacher!  I have read this book at least three times so far and am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with all of you on Thursdays this summer!

This week, the link-up is hosted by:

Think, Wonder, & Teach

Each chapter addresses one characteristic of a life-long reader, since that is what we want our students to become.  Miller starts off with the idea that readers need to dedicate time to read.

This is hard!  As an adult, I struggle to squeeze in time to read.  But Miller makes a good point, you don't need to sit down for a half hour to read every time.  Squeeze in small amounts throughout the day.   Carry a book with you always, in case of a "reading emergency."  

After reading this book the first time, I decided to do just that.  I carried a book with me in the car at all times.  One day, I got stuck at a doctor's appointment for over two hours.  Instead of playing on my phone and becoming bored/agitated, I whipped out my book!  The time flew by and I didn't mind the wait at all.   Encourage students to do the same and brainstorm together places where they could read.

Miller also mentions talking to students about "binge reading."  This is when a reader just. can't. put. a. book. down.  Discuss with them reasons why they might binge read.  The book was so good.  I was on the edge of my seat.  I wanted to finish it before the movie came out.  So many reasons!  I've always been a binge reader.  When I was younger, I would curl up on the floor of my bedroom and finish a book in one sitting.  Now I struggle to read during the school year, simply because I know I'll stay up too late to "finish one more chapter."  This is what we want students to do!

There are two concepts from this chapter that I want to incorporate into my reading classroom next year; independent reading observations and status of the class.  

Utilizing independent reading observations will allow me to identify students who are struggling with their reading or are finding it difficult to enjoy.  It's a 10-minute observation, for three days, of a student who seems to be "fake-reading" during independent reading time.  The observation then leads to a conference with the student in an effort to help them become successful in reading class.

I'll also have students create a Status of the Class log in their notebooks.  Here, they will record the title of their book, the page number they are on and a one-sentence summary of what is happening in their book.  This is beneficial to not only myself and the individual student, but the rest of the class as well.  Students may hear something interesting that their classmate is sharing and be encouraged to pick up that book next!

Want to join the fun of this book study?  Hop on over to The Brown-Bag Teacher to link up your post! 


 Next week, we will be reading Chapter 1: Creating a Workshop Schedule that Works for You (pg. 37-41).  I am looking forward to picking up some new ideas on how other teachers organize their reading time in the classroom.


We have some AMAZING bloggers and non-bloggers joining us over the next 7 weeks, and I cannot wait! Check out the hosts for each of the chapters/sections and make sure to follow them, so you don't miss anything. :) If your a blogger, awesome! Join us each week by linking up your posts/ideas. If you're not a blogger, that's great, too! You can read/follow and comment. We want to hear your advice, thoughts, and ideas for the classroom, too. The more teachers we have joining, the more amazing out classrooms will be this fall! 

Chapter 1: Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read (June 19th)

Chapter 1: Creating a Workshop Schedule (June 26th) *This is a SUPER short section (only 4 pages), but a great chance to share/showcase your workshop schedule and sneak a peek at classrooms all over the world!*

Chapter 2: Wild Readers Self-Select Reading Material (July 3rd)

Chapter 2: Curating a Classroom Library (July 10th)

Chapter 3: Wild Readers Share Books and Reading with Others & Conferring: What's the Point? (July 17th)

Chapter 4: Wild Readers Have Reading Plans (July 24th)

Chapter 5: Wild Readers Show Reading Preference (July 31st)

Aren't you excited, friends?!?! It's going to be a great few weeks! I'll see you back here on Thursday morning. Oh happy day! :)
Today is Section 5 of the Notice and Note book study at Dilly Dabbles.  I'm actually on time with this post!

Question 9: How do I Judge the Complexity of a Text?
"Who reads the text matters."

As teachers, we spend a lot of time matching students to books that are at their "just-right" reading level.  We use apps and websites to determine the level of a book, but there is so much more than that.  We need to get to know our students in order to determine their interests, their background knowledge as well as their maturity level in order to help them find books that are a good fit for them.  It's not just about a number or a level.

As I read this chapter, Donalyn Miller came to mind.  In her books, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild, she shares how she matches books to her students.  Very inspiring!

Question 10: Are We Creating Lifelong Learners?
"School ought to be a place where you go to develop a passion for learning - for a lifetime of learning."

Yes!!  I agree whole-heartedly with this statement.  However, I'm sad that this isn't the case for a majority of students.  I'm afraid that it's not the case for some teachers either.  One of the best parts about being a teacher is the ability to continue to learn, grow and develop.  Then to pass that passion onto students.  What if that passion is not there?
I'm joining up with Dilly-Dabbles again today to share my thoughts on the book, Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst.  I was off to a slow start, but I am really getting into the book now and it's definitely a great read!

Question 7: Do Text-Dependent Questions Foster Engagement?
"Now students must depend on the text to answer that question, setting aside their own thoughts about this situation."
As a reader myself, I don't think that students should ever put aside their own thoughts.  They need to constantly be connecting themselves to what they are reading in order make meaning of the words on the page.  We want students to develop their own thinking as they read and share that with others.  This section offers the concept of letting students create their own text-dependent questions.

This post by The Joy of Teaching on annotating text is a great way to put these concepts to work.

Question 8: Must Everyone Read the Same Book?
I was very eager to read this chapter because, as a new 5th grade teacher, this was something that I struggled with.  In 2nd grade, I would do a read-aloud every day and the students self-selected their own books to read independently.  This year, there were chapter books that our district mandated that all students read.  However, I still wanted students to read books that they chose on their own, books that interested them.

I enjoyed sharing a book with the students for the exact reasons that the book mentions:

"...there's a need for community, for learning to listen to someone else's opinion, for learning to disagree respectfully, for discovering how to support ideas with reason, for discovering that when you talk with another about a book, you learn more than when you think it through alone."
Good day, friends!

Starting next Thursday, I am joining with several dozen bloggers to invite you to an awesome summer book study showcasing Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild!

An amazing reader and teacher, Miller's first book, The Book Whisperer, shares her experiences in middle grades classrooms and how she has fostered a love of reading in her students. Her classroom is INSPIRING! The book is so down-to-earth, a fast read, and filled with simple (but powerful) ways to create a culture of reading in your classroom. In The Book Whisperer, Millers leaves you with her frustration - students leaving her classroom loving reading but faced with future teachers that do not share Donalyn's enthusiasm for reading. Gradually, her students leave the practice of daily, just-because reading.

Here enters, Donalyn's second book, Reading in the Wild. This books acts as a follow-up to the first and discusses how to foster a love of reading that is lifelong and sustainable...even when a passionate teacher is not present. As a 5th grade teacher, this is powerful to me. How do I structure reading and sharing opportunities that set the foundation for life-long reading? Reading in the Wild address this question!

I would love for you to join us! You can click here or the image below to grab your copy.

So friends, are you in??

One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to read professional books.  I find that it rejuvenates my love of teaching and gets my mind thinking about the upcoming year.   Luckily, I have many blog friends who think the same thing!

The first book study that I'm joining is Notice and Note hosted by Melissa over at Dilly Dabbles.  My original plan was to join each session, however, I'm getting a bit of a late start.  Better late than never, right?

Question 5: What is the Role of Talk?
"...teacher-centered classrooms see the student as the passive recipient of knowledge and not as a co-constructor of meaning."  

One of my favorite parts of my 5th grade classroom this year was the amount of conversation that occurred.  Granted, we were loud but we had the best discussions!  And I say we because it wasn't just me talking to the students.  I helped guide the conversation, but it was the students who were asking and answering each other's questions.  It was amazing!  

This section goes on to share tips for improving student conversation in the classroom.  One that I would like to try next year is having students record their group conversations to share with the class and even post to a class website.  What a great way to add in technology as well.

This anchor chart from My Life as a Third Grade Teacher is a great resource to help students develop their conversations with each other.

Question 6: What is Close Reading?
I'm not going to lie.  When I first heard about close reading, all I could picture was a student holding a book really close to their face.  As I've learned more about it, I've realized that this is not the case.  I think that close reading is very easily misinterpreted.  As a result, it can take away from students' enjoyment of their reading.  I found this statement to encompass exactly what close reading should be:

"Close reading should suggest close attention to the text; close attention to the relevant experience, though and memory of the reader; close attention to the responses and interpretations of other readers; and close attention to the interactions among those elements.

This has definitely opened my eyes as to how close reading should be approached in my classroom.

Hop on over to Dilly Dabbles to read more thoughts about Notice and Note!

Hi my name is Sara and I have a clipart and font addiction.  Who's with me?!  Ok, hands down.  

I am a very visual person and as much as I love using the computer, I have a hard time viewing things on the screen.  I need a hard copy in front of me.  It's more of a processing difficulty than a visual one.  I hated searching through all my clipart and fonts to find just the right one for my project.

Insert my most favorite thing ever...my Clipart & Fonts binder!!  I can't take credit for the idea, I borrowed it from Katie at Teacher to the Core.

The front holds all my fonts.  Nothing fancy.  I have the artist name at the top of each page and then I type each font name in its' actual font style.  Does that make sense?  Some bloggers, such as A Cupcake for the Teacher, provide a preview for you.

If an artist, such as Kimberly Geswein, has a font that is images, I print out the pdf map of the images.

Then comes the clipart!  Again, I have the artist name at the top of each page.  I have the pages in my binder alphabetically, by artist.  Some artists have multiple pages!

When I purchase new clipart, I add the preview picture of the set to my powerpoint file.  I don't reprint the page every time I get new clipart.  I usually only go through and print pages every few months or so.  Unless I know that I am going to use the clipart right away and want to view all the images.

I'm not going to lie, this binder was a lot of work to make.  However, it has made my creating process SO much easier!  It was definitely worth it.  I keep this binder with me all the time and use it every single time I make a product.  I know this is not for everyone, but I hope that some of you find it useful!

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