Thursday, August 1, 2013

Flipping Classes, Workshop Wednesday & Monthly Goals

First, I gotta tell you what I learned today and the irony of the mail in my mailbox when I got home tonight...I went to district PD and heard keynote speaker Dr. Jim Warford speak about how today's students are "wired" differently, and about Flipping your Classroom.  So, what's a flipped classroom?  He suggests that by using podcasts, videos, texting, and basically allowing students to get the instruction at their own pace outside the classroom, we facilitate their learning by guiding their collaborative work inside the classroom, based on what they've learned online at home, or before school, in the case of kids who don't have access to the Internet.
Here's the irony:  My Costso Connection newsletter came today in the mail, with a cover story about...the flipped classroom concept.  WEIRD!  It featured Sal Khan of the Khan Academy, which is a totally free library of classes and videos on youtube.  You can click on his photo to go to the Khan Academy website, or just search youtube to find him.
Then, inside the Costco Connection, there's all this talk about standardized testing, Common Core Standards, the National Teacher of the Year, and back-to-school technology.  I'm telling ya, that's just kinda strange all in one day!

Now, I'm linking up with Jivey for Workshop Wednesday.

It literally was Workshop Wednesday for me today.  I was in professional development from 7:45 am to 3:35 pm.  Interestingly enough, the PD class I was in was all about reading workshop and how to get started.  I may have mentioned that I'm teaching a new type of class this year.  Still second graders, but my class will be for a max of 12 students (yes, you read that right - don't be a hater!) who don't quite qualify for special education, but aren't quite on grade level, but also didn't need to be retained in first grade.  You know, the "fall through the cracks" kids.  So, my training was in how to set up and teach reading workshop with LLI, or Leveled Literacy Intervention by Fountas & Pinnell.  My friend Joelie taught the class with another teacher from my district.  Last year, they got to go and actually meet the famous F & P, so they were passing along the training to us.  Here it is, in a nutshell:

Suggested times:
30 minutes
5 minutes
5 minutes
15 minutes
5 minutes
If Time Allows
Odd numbered days
Reread Previous Day's Book with focus on comprehension
Phonics & Word Work
New Book (at instructional level)
Letter/Word Work

Even- Numbered Days
Rereading of Previous Day's Book and Assessment (running record)
Phonics & Word Work
Writing About Reading
New Book (at lower/easier level)
Optional Letter/Word Work

The LLI system is set up in several kits, beginning with green, moving to blue, and finally, red.  Each kit has ten lessons for each level of guided reading, with a benchmark assessment at the end of the ten lessons. Every other day, one student in each group is assessed with a running record.  Whoa, Nellie!  That's a whole lotta assessment!

Also, the kits include printables with homework, games, flashcards, word work, and more for every single lesson.  So to set up this reading workshop, I will be unpacking about 40 boxes, cutting apart a spiral-bound teacher's guides, printing and filing each lesson, with all its components, leveled readers, and the teacher's guide for that lesson in a poly file folder, then filing all those in hanging file folders, then finding three more file cabinets, and putting all the materials in them.  Only, I'm still in PD tomorrow, too, and the hallway outside my classroom has wet wax on the floor, so I can't get in my room.

Can anyone come over Friday and Saturday to help?  Remember when you moved around a lot just after college graduation, and had those packing/moving/unpacking parties, where you got paid in pizza and beverages of choice?  I'm game!

Finally, I'm linking up with Jess at I {Heart} Recess for her Back to School Goals.

Feelin' the pressure,
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