Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

Five for Friday

We had a great weekend…between lots of MLB and dancing, I was worn out on Monday morning.  This was our lunch one day…nothing like ribs and baseball on a Sunday afternoon!  This was a picture I posted on Instagram.  

Here is a picture from  my newest Build it! Write it! Draw it! set for long vowels!

Here is my newest set in my TPT store.  I'm a HUGE fan of making students answer in complete sentences- not just for writing.  Even if I ask a question out loud, that is not reading related, I expect them to answer in a complete sentence (I know, I'm a big meanie).
For example....
Me:  What's the weather like outside?
Student: cold
Me: Let's answer in a complete sentence, 'The weather outside is cold.'

 I strongly believe that it helps their language development.  After a while, they get used to answering this way.   This set of task cards helps scaffold that process.  You can use them in a work station, or even use them during guided reading.

If you use them during a work station, I would have them read their complete answers to their partners.  In guided reading, it would be a great way to monitor their comprehension and help them answer questions in complete sentences.

I'm a huge fan of readworks.org 
This was a lesson we did this week where students would find quotes (they wrote the quotes on scrap sheets of construction paper) that characters said and they would have to 1) say the quote in the tone the character would have spoken  2) tell how the character felt   3) explain what the character looked like when they said the quote

My Book Club has picked this as our next read.  I'm only on Chapter 1, but I'm already hooked.  It is completely fictional. 

Five For Friday: Earth Day Freebie

This week is better than last week BECAUSE.... (drum roll) Testing is DONE!!!  YIPPEE!!!  That's two weeks of my life I will never get back, but it is DONE!  Now we can have FUN!

My coworker brought me these beautiful flowers!!

I finished my Build it! Write it! Draw it! Set for long vowels!

I'm excited for the weekend.  Track, football, a dance competition, and a MLB game!  I'm going to need a few days to recover!

I need this t-shirt!

Five For Friday!

Happy Friday!

Only 4 more days of testing!!!  I keep reading about parents that can opt their children out of testing.  We can’t do that where I live.  However, this year they are up to 11-12 tests!  That is crazy.  It used to be 2 math tests and 2 reading tests.   To get everyone scheduled, we have to start so early!  Obviously teacher’s aren’t in charge of this madness!!!

On a happy note….Easter clearance candy!

Sums of 10 butterflies!

Fun new bins at our Everything $1 store!!!  I love these baskets for work stations!

The weather has been great here…shopping for outdoor stuff J

I love this quote!

Updates to my TPT Store!

I've added two new dinosaur products!

They are also available in my Kindergarten Literacy Bundle and in MY ENTIRE STORE.

**Look for new additions in my First Grade Bundle and my Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Bundles in the next couple of weeks!  I'm revamping some old products, adding some additional files to these bundles, and creating some new things!

Currently April 2015

I love linking up with Farley for Currently!  This week was my birthday and I've had a great week :)  I think I'm going to like being 40!  I was kind of dreading it, but since I still feel like I'm in my 30s, that makes me extra happy :)

I feel like my house needs a MAJOR top to bottom cleaning!!!

I don't have a nickname.  Not even a fun and cute one (like Mimsy or Sunny or Button) I wish I did!! In fact, I purposely picked names for my children that would let them have a nickname.

Chapter 8: Book Study

I missed posting a few chapters due to spring break, but I'm glad to be linking up for Chapter 8 with The First Grade Parade.  This chapter on analogies, metaphors, and smilies was focused on helping students make the connections.  The author stressed that this is the most effective strategy.

After reading this chapter I felt like I do a good job teaching metaphors and similes, but when it comes to analogies I need to do a way, way, way better job.  There are so many missed opportunities and this chapter made me realize how important it is to use analogies when teaching new concepts.

I like using picture books when I'm teaching smilies and metaphors.  Having students create visuals of them in interactive notebooks has been a great way for students to make connections with them.

Some resources for finding pictures books are the following:
Read Write Think
Smilies in Picture Books
Read Write Talk

Here is a freebie to help students illustrate different types of figurative language.

The Problem With Nonsense Words....and a Solution

Here is a summary of my issues with nonsense words:
Issue 1:  They are not real words.
Issue 2:  Students are being tested in isolation.
Issue 3:  For years, in Kindergarten, students didn't have to read a single word, and they could still be considered benchmark (now the goal is 44 sounds and 7 whole words read at the end of the year).
Issue 4:  It only looks at points scored to determine benchmark levels, not how students are actually reading the words.
Issue 5: It forces teachers to "teach to a test" in kindergarten.

This year, my district did away with Dibels!!!  Guided Reading Level was our only required data collection.  If students were below a level A, then teachers were to monitor letters and sounds.

At my school, we do walk-to-intervention.  It is 30 min of time where all the teachers at that grade level (plus support staff) teach students in small groups.  They focus on specific skills based on the data.  However, they are required to have students apply the skills into books.  We are not just teaching in isolation.  Last year, we would use our Dibels data and guided reading running records to help form groups...BUT WE WENT ABOUT IT WRONG!!

I'm embarrassed to say this is how our data meetings went.  We focused on the numbers!
"Brad Pitt* got 22 sounds and no recodes."  "Ben Afflack* had 34 sounds and 2 recodes"  "Bradly Cooper* got 14 sounds and no recodes."
We would enter students in a spreadsheet and then split students by how they sorted out by score.  (I'm embarrassed to write that sentence).

But, when we know better, we do better....

This year, in November a group of kindergarten teachers wanted to use the nonsense word test for a group of students that knew all their letters and sounds, but were still struggling with reading.

The teachers administered a one minute nonsense word test and brought them to the data meeting.  Teacher's brought them unscored!! We didn't even look at Dibels cut scores at our data meeting!  Instead we sorted students by how they were reading words.  

Group 1:  At least 75% of their assessment included recoding words
Group 2:  About 50% of the assessment was recoding words and 50% sounding words out
Group 3:  About 75% of words was sounded out
Group 4:  About 50% of the assessment was sounded out, but the other 50%  was read letter by letter
Group 5:  Primarily reading letter by letter, but accuracy was high
Group 6:  Primarily reading letter by letter, but accuracy was low

Sample of Scoring

This worked so well.  The teachers immediately embraced it because for the first time they were using the data to help the students, not just record a score.

Since we started this in November, our data is showing that students are improving and moving to the next level.  Teachers are able to help students based on what they really need and groups are going much better because students are in groups where they need the same skill.

Vocabulary associated with Nonsense Words
1)  recode:  students read the whole word, they do not sound it out 
2) correct letter sounds:  the number of correct sounds students correctly identified.

*Not the real names of students at my school  :)