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Sunday, September 22, 2013


I can't believe that we have been in school for a month.  After a month of testing and meeting and talking with teachers, I finally have my schedule finalized (for the most part).  I currently serve about 25 first through third grade students in half hour time slots.  I also have a reading teacher who is at our school daily for an hour and she is able to see 9 students.

Testing is always necessary at the beginning of the year, but very time consuming.  We have always used Aimsweb for a quick assessment at the beginning of the year.  In the past, our school has always given the Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI) to students in grades 2-5.  However, our district is making a push to move away from those into using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System.  Some of our teachers have been using this for a few years.  They have some former, retired teachers come in and give the assessments to their class.  It is wonderful information and I feel like heading in this direction is a good thing. You get so much more information from this assessment than you do a QRI, especially if you as the teacher are able to give the assessment to your own students.

Our district has laid out a time-table for teachers and other school personnel to get trained on how to give the assessments.  Right now the only 2 who have officially been trained are myself and the all day kindergarten teacher.  The awesome thing about the teachers in our building is that they are ready to make that transition and want their students to be given that assessment.  The un-awesome (if that's a word) thing is the time that it takes to give the assessments.  One assessment can take up to 20 minutes with a 4th or 5th grade student.  Then, depending on how the student does with that level, you may have to give another higher or lower passage to find their instructional level.

Do you use this assessment in your school?  I would love to hear how other schools or buildings manage to "sweep" (give the assessment to) an entire grade level or school for that matter.  What kinds of assessments do you give at the beginning of the year?  Who does them?

Switching gears.  I saw this last week, but finally bought mine this weekend!  I found this great deal at Educents.

I am becoming quite the Melonheadz fanatic!  So this is what I saw on Educents!  I knew that I had to buy it!

Seriously, really cute stuff.  I think I am probably a little late to the party (shocker), but their stuff is really adorable.  I have been using My Cute Graphics which is all free.  The artist really supports teachers. Between My Cute Graphics and Melonheadz, I feel like the products I make for teachers, and the materials I make for my reading program can't be beat!

I will show you what I made with the Melonheadz bundle tomorrow (yes, don't be shocked, I am going to blog 2 days in a row)!  I am really liking it!

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