March 24, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book: Goal #7


Hop on over to join Jen at Refining Our Craft for the next installment! We will be discussing Goal #7 and I can't wait. Hurry!

If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

March 22, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book: Goal #6 - Book Study


Welcome! Join Nikki from Uncommon to the Core to discuss Goal #6 - Supporting Comprehension in Fiction:  Thinking About Characters.


If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

March 20, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book: Goal #5


Join Theresa from Tried-and-True to discuss Goal #5 - Supporting Comprehension in Fiction: Understanding Plot and Setting.

If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

March 18, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book: Goal #4 - Teaching Fluency



Teaching Fluency 

Oh the joys of fluency! Reading with awesome fluency means you have great phrasing, intonation, and automaticity.

I completely agree with Jennifer when she says holding up a stopwatch does not help detemine fluency. In fact (and I might get clobbered for writing this) I think Dibels is hurting fluency rather than helping. Is that just in my school or do others feel this way too? At my last Parent/Teacher Conferences I had a parent ask me how fast her child could read. I told her that her child reads fluently at a level K (which is low for 4th grade, but the student had made improvement). The parent then said, "I don't care what her level is. I want to know if she can read more words than last year." This happens often and is a reason I struggle with Dibels.

Jennifer says, "So instead of a stopwatch, I think you can listen as students read aloud for a running record, and record their pauses and instances of expressive reading. You can then go back to evaluate the number of words in a phrase group, where the pauses were and whether they were syntactically appropriate." I LOVE this!

TOP 3 GOALS
(disclaimer: I like a lot more than three and it was hard to narrow this one down)

4.3 - Use a "This is Interesting" Voice
-I really like the anchor chart that goes with this strategy. I am always telling my students to use their "teacher voice" when they read. In fact, one girl tries her hardest to "read it like Mrs. Crofts would read it" and is always asking her peers if that sounded like Mrs. Crofts. So funny!

4.6 - Punctuation at the End of a Sentence
-Does anyone else have students who MAJORLY stuggle with this one? This is the reason I selected this goal to discuss. About 40% of my students this year struggle with punctuation and read right over the end marks or they stop at the end of the line no matter if there is a period there or not. I have retaught this strategy at least 7 million times this year :) Any suggestions would be very welcome.

4.16 - Read Like a Storyteller
-We use TumbleBooks at my school and my students LOVE it! When we talk about reading like a storyteller, I have them listen to a few books and we jot down things the reader does well and that they can practice. We then get a storybook from the book baskets and practice one of the things we wrote down. We do this with a partner and the partner helps the reader (which is also Goal 4.18). This is FABULOUS practice for fluency.

That wraps up Goal #4! Please, please, let's discuss in the comments (as long as you don't kick me out for not being a huge Dibel fan :)



If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

March 16, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book - Goal #3 - Supporting Print Work


Welcome to the next post in our series! Click here to jump over to Chocolate Covered Classroom where Alexandria will be discussing Print Work strategies.


If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

March 14, 2017

The RSB - Goal #2: Teaching Reading Engagement


If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom


So as a preface to this post, I need to tell you a few things about my classroom.

1- I teach fourth grade in southeastern Utah (think the Bears Ears National Monument, which I am not going to discuss...promise). The town I live and teach in is just above the Navajo Nation. We are definitely a Title I school.

2- My students this year (and pretty much every year) range from a pre-k/k to an 8th grade reading level. Serioulsy. I have two students who have learned to read for the first time this year. So the span of reading levels is huge.

3- I run my "guided reading" a bit different. I am fortunate to have an awesome reading aid come in and run my traditional guided reading groups. I pull students who need extra help as she does the groups. The students who are not being met with work on Book Clubs, Spelling and Writing.


Okay, so there is the low-down of my environment. The rest will make a bit more sense now.


This section of the book is FABulous!


First off, engagement is SO VERY IMPORTANT when reading. With such a wide span of reading levels in my class it is even more important. I really need my students to be engaged when they are reading their book club books. Now, I let my students select their books for my book clubs. I know, I know, some teachers are cringing, but hear me out please. I lay out about 10 books and then I go over them with the students. I flat out tell the kids what level the book is. My students know what level they are so they can make a decision about the books. The reason I let my students select their own books is because they are more engaged when this happens. Engagement is essential for growth!  .........and it is essential for my reading rotations, because I wouldn't be able to meet with students if I was constantly trying to get kids engaged in their books :)

Okay, so my top strategies from this section.

2.1 - A Perfect Reading Spot. Oh oh oh, how important is this. Love the anchor chart that goes along with it as well. I always go over this at the beginning and middle of the year, but never with an anchor chart. I am going to do this strategy ASAP!

*Question - Does anyone create a reading space for students? Like pillows, comfy chairs, etc.

2.3/2.4 - Keep Your Eyes and Mind in the Book. I am throwing 2.3 in with this one because I feel you can hit them both with one stone. I like how the anchor chart GOes over the three steps of what to do when your attention shifts. The second step is back up and re-read (2.3) and the third step is so very important - rethink your book and/or environment (2.1). Love this anchor chart as well.

2.14/2.18 - Tracking Progress on a Stamina Chart & Reading Log Reflection. I am going to throw these two together as well. Tracking progress is a great idea on anything students do. I have never been a huge reading log fan, but I love the reflection part of this strategy. Brilliant!

*Question - Does anyone do reading logs with their students and have them reflect like this? If so, how is it working?

*Question - What is your favorite strategy from this section?

I really do like the anchor charts that go along with the strategies. I actually happened across this post on Facebook today and I am going to start an anchor chart binder. Do you have an anchor chart binder or sketch book? If so, will you share a picture of it with me?

Well, that sums up this post. Please leave any questions or comments below. I am excited and eager to discuss this section with you.

March 12, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book - Goal #1


Kit, from MCguire is Crazy, is hosting the next discussion on her blog. Click here, the picture above or the link below to read her fabulous post! I'm excited to hear what your favorite strategies are!

If you are just joining us, please get caught up with the links below.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

March 10, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book - Getting Started


Welcome to our book study on The Reading Strategies Book by the amazing Jennifer Serravallo!

First off, I am SO excited for this book study! This is an atypical book study, because this book is set up as more of an exploring strategies type of text rather than a read it from to back kind of text. Below is a list of the different sections with the accompanying host. We still have a few spots available if you would like to host, because we threw this book study together rather quickly. Please please please shoot me an email if you sign up so we can chat :)

If you would like to just follow along and comment, then please do. No hosting necessary.

Getting Started - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #1 - McGuire is Crazy
Goal #2 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #3 - Chocolate Covered Classroom
Goal #4 - Crofts' Classroom
Goal #5 - Tried and True Reading
Goal #6 - Uncommon to the Core
Goal #7 - Refining Our Craft
Goal #8 - A Lot A Lot
Goal #9 - Andrea Yaun
Goal #10 -Jimi' Rogers
Goal #11 - The Classroom Link
Goal #12 - A Teacher's Ruminations
Goal #13 - Read Reflect Teach
Conclusion - Crofts' Classroom

Getting Started
This section is an introductory to the book and is a must read because it is clear full of great info. I have lost count of the times I have read different parts of this section. Jennifer Serravallo is so wonderful to share her knowledge. Here is a break down of the section...

Choosing a Goal to Begin With
-Give a formative assessment to determine where to start.
-Identify where students need help.
-Students will more than likely need help with more than one goal.
-The chapters in the book are in a hierarchy, so go in the order of the student's needs.
-Refer to the image on page 3. I go back to this picture a lot when thinking about students' needs.
-The strategies have an attached Reading Level/Genre/Skill. Be aware of each before you teach that strategy.

**Question - What kind of formative assessments do you all give in order to match students with goals/skills?

Making Goals Visible
-Have "goal-setting conference" with your students.
-Make the goals visible for each student so you (the teacher) aren't running around like crazy.

**Question - I would LOVE to see more goal-setting sheets. Anyone out there want to give us a glimpse of your sheet?

Prompting Readers
-Phrase your promp in as few words as possible.
-Use your language wisely.
-You can work with students in a group who are all working on the same goal.
-Be aware of the support the student needs. Might be a lot, might be a little.

How this All Fits in Your Classroom
-Assign every reader a goal.
-Group students if needed.
-Create a schedule for yourself based on the time you have.

**Question - What does your schedule look like when fitting all this together?


I did not even come close to discussing the whole chapter, because I didn't want to overwhelm this post. If I didn't discuss your favorite part (like the visuals) of this section, then I would love to discuss it in the comments!

Can't wait to hear from you and come back on Sunday, March 12 because the amazing Kit will be discussing Goal #1!

Link-up below so we can hear your thoughts, or leave a comment.


Book Study, Reading Challenge, iXL

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for



1- Starting a book study on this awesome little gem. Join in!


2-  Started our Reading Madness challenge in class this week. My students read like cRAzY every year when I do this. Love it~


3- We have started our Utah County Reports and I am planning on getting them published this year using Student Treasures. My classes have published books the past couple years and it is so much fun! I will keep you up to date on our journey this year. If you haven't ever used Student Treasures, you should ABSOLUTELY go check them out.


4- My school has purchased the science section of iXL and it is fabulous! My students actually LIKE getting on it. Can't beat that any day :)



5- Speaks for itself...


March 9, 2017

March Madness Reading Challenge

Every year we do a reading challenge in my classroom that loosely resembles March Madness basketball. This year we are tracking reading minutes at home and the students are "playing" against each other. So much fun!


Here are the logistics...
-Each round goes Monday-Friday.
-Students track their reading daily.
-If a student doesn't bring back the reading challenge paper THE NEXT DAY, then it doens't count (I've had many students try and back log when I collect them weekly).
-Each round winner receives a prize.
-There are rewards for minute amounts as well, so the students who lose out in the tournament will still be rewarded.

My students are reading like crazy at home! Reading challenges are so much more successful than just a calendar.

March 4, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book

It has been a while since I have posted! Having babies does that to a blog :) I am so excited about what I have to share with you today. A bunch of us from the amazing Reading and Writing Strategies Book Facbook Community have banded together to present 


I am SO excited!

If you would like to take part and write a post, please click here.

If you would just like to follow along and comment, please do! We will be posting about the new sections every two days and would LOVE to have you be part of the amazing discussion that will be happening.

June 21, 2016

Writing Poster Freebie

Today I have a free product for you that I love using in my classroom. These writing process posters make tracking so very easy. All I've done is cut, mounted on blue paper, and laminated them. Then you need stickies with each student name. Then the students just move their name to where they are in the writing process. SO EASY and I can quickly tell who is where. I've used clothesline clips in the past, but when 24 students are all on Planning, the poster can't support them all. So stickies it is! Yes, I do have to replace them about twice a year, but it is completely worth it and easy. Click the pic to get your free copy! Please follow my blog and TpT store while you are at it! Happy summer!