Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quit That Book

I thought it was funny when she quit her first book of the year, especially when I saw the book.  The Magician's Elephant by DiCamillo is an exciting story and a fairly easy read.  Plus, she seems to like to read so . . .

. . . But then when a teacher from another class brought in the book that she found in her classroom, it all came together.  When you loose a book, you pretty much have to quit reading it.  You don't have to pretend to return it and try to fake out your teacher though.

There are good reasons to quit reading a book.  These include:

1.  The book is boring;
2.  You cannot understand the story, even when you reread parts of it;
3.  There are several words on each page that you don't know and can't figure out;
4.  Once you get into the book, you realize the topic or genre does not interest you;
5.  The topic or some of the details make you uncomfortable;
6.  The book just is not that good of a book;
7.  You can't finish the book in a couple of weeks ( It is too long).

In Reading Workshop, I am hoping for a lot of used books on the shelves by the end of the year.  This can only happen when books are read.  Quit reading if you have a good reason, but not because you lost the book.

Image from

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Christmas Poem

There is no better present than a Christmas poem.  Students in Reading Workshop will be writing a poem to publish and take home as a gift.  Then, they will partner with a first grade student to help them write and publish a poem to take home to their parents.

Christmas Thoughts
Henry Van Dyke

I am thinking of you today,
because it is Christmas,
and I wish you happiness.
And tomorrow, because it will be
the day after Christmas,
I will still wish you happiness.
I may not be able to tell you about it every day,
because I may be far away or we may be very busy.
But that makes no difference--
my thoughts and my wishes
will be with you just the same.
Whatever joy or success comes to you
will make me glad.
Clear through the year. . .
I wish you the spirit of Christmas.

What part of this poem means something to you?  Why is this meaningful to you?
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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Students Speak

Students recently completed a Reading Workshop Student Survey.  This is an easy way for me to see their thoughts and opinions about our class.  Frequently new ideas or changes in focus come from information the students supply.  The survey was embedded in the blog using a form from Google Docs.

Thank you to the students for the effort and honesty in their responses.  To see the complete answers, visit the Reading Workshop Blog Student Survey.  However, here are a few interesting excerpts.

My Favorite part of Reading Workshop . . .

My favorite part of the Reading Workshop is our awesome blogs. I really like to put our opinion on our blogs and have other people comment and even if they disagree with you it is fun to see what they say.

My favorite part of the Reading Workshop is SSR because I really like to read.

My favorite part of reading workshop is getting to write about what I have read and just getting to be able to make post that people can read from all over the world.

If I Were the Teacher . . .

If I were a teacher I would tell my students to try and not sit at a desk do nothing because if you don't do anything then what's the point in going to school? Students have to understand school is not just a place to chat with friends and spread gossip. School is where you go to learn so you have to try.

If I was a teacher what would I help students learn is how to be successful with their life so when they need a job they can just go out and get one.

To help students learn I would have them take notes of everything and if they get stuck then they can look back in there notes and if they still don't get it then I would explain it to them. And if that don't work then I have no clue.

What has helped you most . . .

Bethany K
One thing that has mostly helped me to be more successful in the Reading Workshop would mostly be SSR, because it helps us learn words and help you out with life.

I think blogging has helped me become successful by helping me be my own original person, and not like everyone else. It also helped me learn how to get into the hard core details and become a better writer.

Hannah Hop.
I think that our blogs have helped me be most successful in Reading Workshop because it pushes me to understand my book, to comment, and to post.

How Much Does Study Island Help You?

1 -
Very Little Help     



5 -
Extremely Helpful

How Much Does Brain Pop Help You?

1 -
Very Little Help     



5 -
Extremely Helpful

What is Your Favorite Thing to Do in Reading Workshop?


Read Aloud

Study Island



Brain Pop

Group Work (like on Reading Articles)

People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

To see the complete answers, visit the Reading Workshop Blog Student Survey.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Tug of War of Learning

What issues are pulling you?  What keeps you from learning?  No one goes through life consciously wishing to fail.  Everyone has thoughts of success.  Some people just find it easier to overcome obstacles.

 On Tuesday, as we returned from a week out of school for Thanksgiving break, the word for the day was "disjointed."  The break was long enough that getting back into doing school seemed weird.  Brains just did not seem to be working quite right.  The tug of a week without in-depth thinking left many students and teachers walking through the day with a dazed look.

One of the biggest problems in attaining a high level of achievement is knowing your road blocks.  In all of us, there is a constant tug of war between success and failure.  In order to maximize the chances of winning, you must first know what is getting in your way.

What is tugging on your rope?  How can you win the tug of war to succeed?

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