Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Little Thursday Potpourri

There's a lot going on right now. I'm the drama club instructor at our school, and our spring play is next week. AAAAHHHHH! It's always a hectic time right now - making sure kids know their lines, checking with parents to ensure that all the kids have their costumes and props, and getting the set put up and decorated. It takes a LOT of work, and it's usually me and two other teachers (my co-hort/co-sponsor of drama club) and our art teacher. This time, I've had parents step up and volunteer to help out. It has been SO nice!!!

In other areas, we have been reading Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

It's the young reader's edition, and my kids are loving it so far. I'm reading it aloud to them (a chapter or two a day). After we read, we discuss the characters, cause and effect, and we summarize what has happened so far. It's a lot of anecdotal records for me right now - not a whole lot of assessments going on. What do you all do to check students' understanding during read alouds? Do you check at all? Do you give quizzes, reports, questions to answer??? I'm thinking we will start logging our minutes that we are reading in class onto Learn 2 Earn ( Haven't heard of Learn2Earn? I just found out about it recently. (I can't remember if I saw it on a blog or one of my tech articles/magazines, so if you recently blogged about this, please let me know and I can give you credit! :) ) You can watch the video about it here.
I put all of my students into "My Classes" and they each got a username and password. They log in, click on "Log My Reading." They choose the book they are reading. Since we are reading Pay It Forward together, I know exactly how many minutes we're reading. The great thing is after they log their minutes, they are given a good selection of writing prompts to respond to about their book (so far). Here's the BEST part: the writing prompts are very creative, critical thinking prompts!!!!

And did I mention that my kids are KILLING these prompts! They are writing amazing responses. I honestly wish I'd know about Learn 2 Earn since the beginning of the year!
I'll be back this week to tell you a little more about it after I get a few more pics of my kids using it!

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