Friday, November 21, 2014


I'm having a bit of a rough time finding positive things.  We are under a lot of pressure at work from a lot of different angles.  Granted, it's no where near the tear-inducing chaos of last year, but still.

We are under pressure to perform well on Reading Rangers.  My students are reading independently and quiz frequently.  However, there's a few boys that aren't following my expectations and do poorly.  They are lower readers and need to read books several times.  They need to conference with a peer about the book.  However, they'll sneak out to the pod or sneak an iPad to quiz and often score 60% or 80%, which brings down our class average.  I am then talked to about why I'm doing so poorly and it's really not fair.  I've had a few times I've been called out for the lowest scores and while some find it motivating, I'm mortified.

I don't like coming in last and I certainly don't like that publicly announced.

My students have between 45 and 60 minutes a day of silent independent reading time with our Reading Rangers program.  During that time I'm pulling small groups or individual conferences, they are writing about what they're reading, conferencing with a peer, taking an AR test, or silently reading.

Other teachers will sometimes skip other subject areas to allow for extra reading time to inflate their scores.  I'm not sorry that I refuse to skip math, writing, or whole group reading to give them silent reading time.  They need instruction in all subjects.

We've started some new positive reinforcements and it's helped.  We are in a race to 100 100%s with another class and it's quite motivating for them.  I also started using classroom dojo to reward them whenever they score 90%, 100%, or complete a badge.  They are quite excited about that.

We're all overwhelmed at work and it's showing.  The amount of effort and care I put into my portion of planning is not necessarily being matched by others and that's difficult.  Things aren't getting done in a timely manner.  There's been some miscommunication and that's difficult.

I think we're all just ready for a break and luckily, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I am thankful for that!

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