Friday, October 2, 2015

Parent Reading Buddies

Earlier this week I shared an easy, no hassle way to incorporate parent reading volunteers in your classroom at Adventures for Literacy Land. It is such an easy program to implement that I thought I would share it here too.

Last year in my class I had "Read with Me" volunteers. These volunteers would come weekly on scheduled days/times to listen to students read. Once I set up the initial schedule the program ran flawlessly for the rest of the year. The parents and students loved the program and it took very little work on my end. Here are some tips to incorporate this in your classroom.

1. Enlist Volunteers
At back to school night I shared this program and put up a sign-up sheet for interested parents to sign up. I listed times that I knew would be ok for students to be out of the classroom for a few minutes (literacy centers and intervention time). I also put a blurb about this in my newsletter for parents that didn't attend back to school night.

You can download a no frills editable copy here.

2. Make a Schedule
After signups I made a schedule and contacted parents. 

3. Train Volunteers
Many classrooms in our school were using parent reading volunteers so our reading specialist had a brief training for volunteers that shared tips for reading with children and helpful prompts to use.

4. Set up a Routine
I put the reading log sheets and a pen on a clipboard hung by my door. When volunteers arrived they took the clipboard, grabbed two chairs to put in the hall, and selected the first reader. After the first reader finished they told them who to send out next. Students brought their independent book boxes with them so they had familiar books to read. The students and parents knew what to do so it minimized distractions and I could continue teaching.

5. Be Flexible
I let the volunteers decide how they wanted to run their session with the child. Some would read a few books while others would focus on just one but have discussions after. Each volunteer seemed to add their own spin which was great because my students were getting different opportunities to work on different skills. I also let the volunteers know that if something came up and they were unable to attend it was not a big deal.

The read with me program was a huge success in my room and I was so amazed at how easy it was. If you're interested in starting something similar you can download a free copy of my student book chart and directions here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Student Book Box Ideas

Today I'm blogging at Virginia is for Teachers about ideas for student book boxes. If you're looking for some cheaper alternatives to the fancy plastic boxes head over to check out my ideas!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Parent Tips for Nightly Reading Homework

A friend recently shared this Nightly Reading Homework: Best Practices for Parents video with me and I thought it was definitely worth passing on. Cult of Pedagogy does a great job informing parents of how to make the most of their child's nightly reading time. The video is 5 minutes and would be great to show at Back to School night or a parent workshop.

If you enjoy the video be sure to check out Cult of Pedagogy blog for some other great tips.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five for Friday: 8-21-15

August is the time to get back in the swing of things (ready or not), which means super busy days. Check out what I've been up to this week with Five for Friday...

Virginia is for Teachers! I'm so excited to be a part of a new Virginia collaborative blog. Virginia is for Teachers launched this week. Be sure to check us out and grab some freebies. We'll be hosting giveaways all month. All teachers are welcome to join in the Virginia fun!

New Adventures!
 I'm super excited to be starting a new job in a new district this year. I'll be a Title 1 Reading Specialist. I'm sure I'll find many perks of the new job, but right now I'm pretty excited that my commute will be less than 10 minutes!!!

 New Learning!
Part of my new job will be Reading Recovery. I started my year long training this week. Even though I had to start back a week early and the week was intense, I've learned so much already. My cohort of training colleagues is wonderful and I can't wait to learn and grow with them this year!

New Pens!
I have a Sharpie/Flair obsession. Since I have such a huge stockpile, I SWORE I would not buy any new pens this year. But then I found these limited edition colors that I just had to have...

New Fonts!
We've been gone most of the summer and I haven't really kept up with the TpT/blogging world. Somehow I missed the June Hello Font release!!!! Needless to say, I was super excited when I discovered this today!

My first week back has been busy, but fun. I'm excited for all the new adventures the year will bring. Head to Doodle Bugs Teaching to check out other teacher adventures for the week or link up with your own fun!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Virginia is for Teachers

I'm so excited to be a part of a new collaborative Virginia blog for teachers! Virginia is for Teachers kicked off yesterday. Each day in August we'll be introducing a few blog authors, sharing some freebies, and giving away some gift cards. What a great way to start the Virginia school year off right!