Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mystery Reader

No, you are not hallucinating......Two posts in two days!  I think that qualifies as "on a roll!"   Just a quick general announcement: I saw Courageous the other day.  Awesome movie!  You need to see it!  One of only a handful of movies I've ever seen where the entire theater gave it a standing ovation at the end. 

So...anywho.  Back to "business".  This year I started something new with my class called Mystery Reader.  I carefully select our Mystery Reader and send home a Top-Secret invitation along with a questionnaire.  Our first Mystery Reader was the grandfather of twins in my class.  The last one was our "custodial engineer".  So really, they never know what to expect.   I then use the questionnaire to come up with five clues.  I give them one clue each day leading up to Friday, and they carefully record each clue on their form.  Just before I introduce the reader, they are to record their final guess.  Then, I bring in our Mystery Reader, and he or she reads either a book they brought from home or one I have already chosen for them.  It has been so much fun!! Who will I choose next?..........dun dun dun......

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pizza Pages

So, yeah.....it's been a while, I know.  I've been super busy lately. In the classroom and out. What's up with that? 

But here in Room 165, we are hanging in there!  The beginning of school is always a huge review of foundational things they should already know. But now is the time when we take the next step, and I have to tell you, it usually scares the mess out of me.  I always find myself trying to compare my class to previous classes, but it never fails.  They are just different. What worked one year, just might not work at all the next.  And that's exactly what I'm going through. But it's all good. in the neighborhood. :)

I started doing a new thing I got from Teacher Tipster.  If you have never checked him out, do it.  He seriously cracks.me.up.  So, anyway, I got an empty unused pizza box from the nice folks at Pizza Hut.  I printed tons of extra worksheets and told my students that when they finish their work and are all !BORED!, they can complete a "pizza page" worksheet, slap a big P on the front of it with their highlighters, and place it in the pizza box.  At the end of the month, I will randomly pick a pizza page from the box, and if the worksheet is completed and correct, that person will receive something special.  (Not sure what yet....Maybe sitting with a friend at lunch, or switching desks with someone, or doing their whole day's work in a colored pencil. It's the simple things really....) Let me tell you guys (or more specifically--Laura, my one follower!), they are ALL.OVER.IT!  And I certainly have no complaints because they are actually doing more work...shhhh, don't tell them that.