Thursday, September 4, 2014

Testing and Characters

Today was DRA testing day for me. Does anybody else use this? 

Depending on their level - lower levels read a story out loud and then tell about it; higher levels read the story to themselves and then retell it, and finish up with reading part of it to the teacher for a running record.

I fee like I need to get all these books back off the shelf!

I put these books up when I started back to school, thinking I wouldn't have time for them. However, only 5 of my students moved up from their end of 1st grade level. And my four lowest students - argh - almost torture listening to them read. Watching one little friend just pull and pull on his hair as he tried to read and another do nervous giggles while I can smell the sweat - trust me, I feel their pain. And all I can say is that we are in this together little friends. This 2nd grade teacher may be pulling out all the stops - and working to find new tricks - as I hope to help these students find some joy in reading.

On a better note - we've read several character building books since school started. I shared a couple of them on my last post. We also read


And then I realized we hadn't really actually discussed the character traits I wanted to emphasize. So one day last week, I had the students wander around, then high five a partner, and talk about a character from one of the books. Then we all talked about the character. And we did it for another character. Next we made a chart {This little guy is a little funny looking - but I decided to go with him.}

Then {after a quick die cutting session in the teacher's lounge} I gave each student a little person die cut - it's actually a gingerbread person, I guess - and each student added words to their little person describing the kind of people we would want in class. I put them on the wall - and darn it, forgot to take a picture. I'm sure that's all they will need to remember to be kind and nice and helpful and etc. Right? 

Well, I leave you with this - and if you're a fan, you know it's good news. No, GOOD NEWS!


  1. I like your gingerbread idea for character traits. It would work great to turn it into a character and put adjectives on the back. Actually, I might use that to teach adverbs tomorrow. The gingerbread guy will be doing something and they have to describe how he's doing it. Also, I'm reading Teaching With Love and Logic right now. Speed reading, as I have a few active boys. I love it. Did you like it? ANn

  2. We do AIMS testing. In second, I only have them do the RCBM--three 1 minute reads. Thankfully this year I only have a few struggling. I promised each of them it will get easier and we are in it together!

    Teaching Little Miracles

  3. I own most of those books on your shelf. They're great. Some of the best professional development I've had over the years has come from the books that are on my shelf.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  4. I'll have to check out some of those books too. Most of my Kinder kiddos are not reading yet, so for us it's more just testing hfw and letters/sounds-but it still takes FOR-EVER! You know I have never watched Scandal! Scandalous, I know! I may have to check that out too! :)

    Not Just Child's Play

  5. No DRAs, but Aimsweb for us. And thanks for the Scandal update. I found that show in June, binged, and am eagerly waiting for the show to start!!