Monday, November 28, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good

I have to say that my reading block is a great part of my day. The kids have individual reading time, then buddy reading or literature circles, and stations. I am pulling guided reading groups throughout this time. I love being able to spend this time with small groups of students. I love listening to them read and helping them to enjoy it.

This is the most routine part of our day. Here are my basic guided reading plans.
It also includes our online intervention tool -- iStation. I have another teacher who comes in to work with some of my students and I love her! We are required to keep a log of our guided reading time and turn them in every six weeks. This is the template I made.

Guided Reading Log

I am also happy to say that I have my kids read around the room during individual reading times. I made these "reading spot" signs and taped them to the floor. (Actually, I need to redo several. Chairs and little feet can cause a lot of damage.)

Reading Spot

The Bad

I am having some trouble loving teaching this year. I have a good class, so I don't think that is the problem. I just keep feeling beaten down by all the demands that are sometimes unrealistic. 

I have some issues with some of our assessments, because I don't think they are developmentally appropriate. I hate having to beat the kids down with reading passages, when we should just be focusing on reading with fluency and comprehension. Oh no... there has to be some mandated assessment that "measures" what they are learning. 

I am seeing a big discrepancy in the numbers. Not only do I feel like the worst teacher in the world when my class scores low, but then I have to find a way to share the low scores with my students. That is a tricky thing. I want them to take the assessments seriously (because they will be taking them throughout their academic career), but I don't want them to have a panic attack whenever we take it or feel horrible about their performance. Ugh.

I think the worst part about all of this is I can't do anything to change it. I am just the teacher.

The Ugly
We are really battling bad attitudes and disrespect at my school. Last year we implemented R-time. It is a really great resource for teachers to talk, model, and encourage practice of good manners.

Watch this video if you are interested. I think it is making a big difference for us. It helps us deal with the ugly issues of disrespect, bullying, bad manners, and making new friends. We do a lesson once a week, or as needed, on Monday mornings. I would encourage everyone to check it out!

My goal is to take pictures of my students at literacy stations this week and share them this weekend!


Mrs. Shepherd said...

Hang in there! I too am battling the same thing except our class scores are posted on a big wall outside our principals door. On top of that after every assesment we have to dissect our scores based on our students and have a team meeting with our principals and explain why our students missed what they missed on the test and our plan of action for the next one. Seriously you habe to tell yourself and your kids that any imrprovement is growth and should be celebrated.

Mrs. Morris said...

Our scores are published and sent to the entire district. We also have data meetings. Ours is tomorrow after school. Not fun. I agree with you about celebrating growth. I wish that was the big push instead of a certain number. *sigh*

Denise said...

I feel both of your pain. UGH! UGH! UGH! My friend and I were talking about all this assessing and data posting this afternoon. I am the grade level lead and I have to meet with my grade level about how to get scores up---MY scores are near the bottom--YIKES! I feel like the Statue the Liberty at times--"Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry", but then I hold my head up and think that somebody must think I'm the best one for this job. Just remember that at 20 little people are super excited that you show up each day---this is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. :)

Chrissy said...

I feel for you about not loving teaching this year. I really felt that way last year and it was awful. At my school we have educational consultants coming once a month and giving us scores in different areas. When our new consultant said (as one example) it was important to have every paper on the wall have the date on it and that was one of the few specific things she wanted to see, I was frustrated by what seemed so ridiculous and unimportant. I also work with many people who had become very negative about the standards and expectations that I had let this get to me as well. I have a principal who doesn't pay attention to what anyone does which I thought was terrible, but may be a blessing since I read on some blogs about restrictions and demands of other principals. This summer I found Daily 5 and Math Work Stations and blogging and that's helped so much. I have new things to be excited about and have a community of teachers who want to do more and go the extra mile. It's knowing there are people who have the same frustrations and desires as myself that is really helping me love my job again. I hope you get there too.
Take care.
 Chrissy

First Grade Found Me

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