April 26, 2015

Scholastic Advancement Sweepstakes

Want to win $10,000?

How about $2,500?

Or....what about a MacBook Air?

Did I catch your attention?  Ha!

It's not a gimmick....I swear...simply a little sweepstakes I just entered and thought I would share with my bloggy friends.  If I can't win one of the prizes above...I sure hope one of you can!

You see.....while I was eating my super nutritional breakfast (a glazed apple turnover doughnut......don't judge because it was delicious) and reading my latest issue of NEA Today, I stumbled upon an advertisement for a sweepstakes that Scholastic was offering educators.

It intrigued me.....so I hopped to the website and entered.

It took me all of 15 seconds....for a chance at winning some pretty spectacular prizes.

In addition to the sweepstakes Scholastic is also offering 15% off of their online courses. I have never taken one....but they are offering some pretty good topics.  Has anyone taken one before?

Well enjoy the rest of your Sunday .....and go enter the contest (click the picture above to take you to the website)!

As my husband says, "You can't win if you don't enter."

He's a smart man. :)


April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Christina over at Miss Decarbo Sugar and Spice for her weekly linky---- Wordless Wednesday!

I love hopping through the Wordless Wednesday blog posts---they are full of great pictures (which give you great ideas) and they are quick to read!

The photo I have got to share is:
I mean....how cute?!?!  Right!?!

This picture is starring Rudy.....our school's therapy dog.  "She" posted this picture on her Facebook and Instagram accounts reminding kids about the hat day we had this week.  If you want to read about Rudy, click here.  

If you are interested in following Rudy.....
Twitter: VCIS_Rudy
Instagram: VCIS_Rudy

Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek!

April 14, 2015

Comprehension Website--Read Theory!

I don't know about you all......but I feel as though the world wide web is lacking in quality reading websites. Not that there isn't any great sites....but it seems as though all of the quality websites available only cater to K-2 aged students as opposed to the upper elementary-middle school grades. These K-2 sites are awesome for kids learning how to read, but I want a website to reinforce and supplement reading comprehension!

Well I may have found it...... (thanks TPT forums!)

A while back, I briefly blogged about the website called Read Theory.  Yo can read the quick post by clicking here.

I love this FREE comprehension website, and I pinky swore I would write a more in-depth blog post about it.  Well...fast forward 2 months....and I am finally ready to blog about it! Sheesh.....time flies, right?!?

Anyway.... Read Theory is a wonderful free educational tool.  Once teachers set up a class, their students instantly gain access to thousands of leveled reading passages.

Teachers have the ability to set each students initial reading level, which ensures each student starts with text that is appropriate for them!

As the student progresses through the program, Read Theory adapts the student's reading level. Meaning....if a student scores 90% or higher on a quiz, their reading level goes up and passages get harder.  If a student scores 70-89% on a quiz, their level remains the same, thus passages remain the same.  The level will decrease if the student scores 69% or less, consequently passages will decrease in difficulty.

A student's reading level progression graph. This student started out at a third grade reading level and has progressed to the sixth grade! :)  Yay!
The program basically runs itself!  YES!!!!

Oh..... and teachers receive TONS of valuable data!!!  DOUBLE YES!!!!

Read Theory  gives you two types of data: whole class and individual.  All results are based on mastery of common core skills.

This is a whole class snapshot of reading level progressions.  Each blue bar represents a student.  Three data points are reported: initial reading level, current reading level and average reading level. 

Picture is another whole class snapshot on common core standards.  If the class average rises above 80% the bars turn green, if an average falls below 70% the bars turn red. 
For individual student data, Read Theory provides the teacher with a detailed record on each passage and quiz a student has taken.

If you click on the the blue quiz number on the right side of the screen (see picture below), you are able to read the exact passage and questions the student was given.  It also provides the teacher with the how the student answered each question, (i.e. whether they got a question right or wrong.)

Talk about awesome data---and great information for student-teacher conferences!!

Another helpful piece of data is the individual report on how students are progressing in terms of common core skill mastery.

So obviously the teacher gets lots of feedback.....BUT....what about the students?!?!

Don't worry---they get tons of feed back too.  AND--it is instant!

While taking a quiz, if a student answers a question incorrectly.... Read Theory helps them discover why....

See this website is pretty great, isn't' it! AND...its for older kids!  WAAAHOOO!

Now....I must admit that not all of my students are motivated (insert big gasp).....so I try to sweeten the pot a little by having a simple little contest.  And it is simple. Very simple!  

I have a little spot on my marker board that says "Leaders." 

Fancy, huh?!?

Every two weeks, the top three leaders get a prize.  Sometimes they get a mini-pop, a bag of popcorn or even 10 minutes of free-time.   

This simple little contest really motivates my kiddos.....not only does it motivate them to read more passages in order to take more quizzes, but it also motivates them to do well.  If a student does well, Read Theory awards bonus points. 

Keeping track of the leaders is super easy, because Read Theory does that for me.  All I have to do is look up how may points each of my students has scored in the last two weeks.....and update my board! 

I hope you get a chance to check out the website......let me know if you have any questions!