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Teacher of the Year Blog


Teacher of the Year Blog
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Independent Reading
This year, I am looking for new ways to get this year's group excited about independent reading. In previous years, independent reading was a required part of our class. We did everything from reading journals to dialectical journal to projects to document our reading. This year, I'm reconsidering how we experience this part of our class this year. I want it to be different. Our librarian, Mrs. Kukula did a few book talks with the class last week, and they were jumping out of their seats like fish on hooks to get the books as soon as she finished. As I watched, I thought: This is the excitement that I want to generate about reading. I don't want this part of the class to be work, so how can I make changes, yet hold them accountable for reading. I came across this link from a teacher who gives an independent reading project. This one is a weekly reading assignment that students complete and a introduction form, one activity a week from the reading menu, and an end of book form.

I'm also reading a few blogs and articles about Independent Reading. One such blog stressed the importance of "talk time" in the IR program. I usually focus more on journaling during and after reading, but now, I plan to incorporate time for students to talk with their peers about the books they are reading.

I'm also wondering whether I should be reading while students are reading. I've read many articles that advocate for or against reading during the independent reading  period. Check out this one that stresses modeling (reading, thinking, and responding).  Hopefully when I model good reading behaviors, I'll have the book right-side up--not line Mr. Jourdan!


Maryland Terps Game with the TOY Group

What a great opportunity to reconnect with the other Maryland Teachers of the Year! On September 22, 2018, I got the opportunity to attend a Terps game. Our complimentary suite included snacks and phenomenal seats. We were invited onto the field after 3rd quarter to be introduced to the fans. It was electric! The terps really rolled out the royal carpet for us!