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Elementary School, Stage A

Resources and support for Stage A.

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Posted by Scott Toonder on January 31 2018 at 8:18 AM
Janiel's System 44 and READ 180 transformation has been truly remarkable to witness. Since beginning the programs in third grade, Janiel has gone from a severely struggling decoder (one who used to have difficulty sounding out simple, three letter words) to a proficient reader. He entered the programs frustrated and filled with self-doubt and is now a confident, hard-working student.  He is a shining example of the power of persistence, one whose story might help inspire your own…
Posted by Scott Toonder on January 18 2018 at 11:03 AM
Given the recent influx of English Language Learners that many schools across the country are experiencing, I thought it would be worth while to give us a quick checklist of the supports that READ 180 has in place for these special students.Whole and Small Group Instruction:Take advantage of the anchor videos, both before beginning a workshop and before reading each new article.  Seeing them multiple times can be very beneficial for students learning English.And, make sure you are…
Posted by Scott Toonder on January 08 2018 at 2:06 PM
It seems to be the same every year...  I go into my Comprehension Skills Report and a huge chunk of my kids are below benchmark in Finding the Main Idea.  So, I spend several of my differentiation checkpoints teaching and reteaching the skill.It always helps.  The numbers always improve.  But it seems like the problem never goes away.  It seems like no matter what I do, there are always 4 or 5 students still struggling with the Main Idea skill.  But there are so…
Posted by Scott Toonder on November 02 2017 at 4:45 PM
For many schools and districts, the time for the second Reading Inventory of the year has arrived (or is fast approaching).  And, after all your students' scores are in, you'll want to look over how they (and, at least in part by extension, you) did.  So, here are a few reports you should pull up and a thought or two on how you may want to think about what you see.Growth ReportKeep in mind that the second Reading Inventory of the year is supposed to be more of a placement check than…
Posted by Scott Toonder on October 20 2017 at 10:26 AM
Science is a long way from figuring out every intricacy of the human brain, but one thing seems pretty clear-- the more you know about something, the easier it is to learn more about it.The process is really a lot more complicated than I can explain (or that you probably want to hear about), but it works something like this:As you learn, your brain makes connections from different groups of neurons , building a schematic web for that subject area.When you encounter new knowledge or skills, your…
Posted by Scott Toonder on October 05 2017 at 1:28 PM
At the beginning of the year, we spend tons of energy making sure our students feel comfortable every aspect of the program.  We make sure they know how to rotate, find books at their level, navigate the software... the list goes on and on.  With all this time well spent, it can be jarring when we get a new student after all our introduction activities have already happened.  The new students have missed so much!  How can we possibly hope to cover all that they weren't…
Posted by Scott Toonder on September 20 2017 at 10:25 AM
Finding ways to get the Modeled and Independent Reading Group operating smoothly can be one of the most important, and hardest, jobs of the READ 180 teacher.There are so many important protocols for the students  to get comfortable with that it can be overwhelming for them, as well as you. The kids need to know how to:Fill out their Reading Logs Find appropriately-leveled paperback booksComplete Quickwrites and graphic organizerTake quizzes on Reading Counts!And that's just to…
Posted by Scott Toonder on September 07 2017 at 12:09 PM
Many struggling readers don't know what to do when their comprehension gets off track. For some, not properly processing the text is simply the norm. Others may be aware when they are not understanding what they read, but may not have the skillset necessary to go back and fix it.Including a number of "Fix-Up" comprehension strategies into your First Three Weeks of instruction can be a great way to begin the process of shaping your students into conscientious and attentive readers.What I Teach…
Posted by Scott Toonder on August 03 2017 at 2:29 PM
Each year I try to add at least one or two things to my READ 180 repertoire.  In 2016-2017, I added "Brain Fact" lessons to my first three weeks and revisited the idea throughout the school year in the hopes of inspiring more of a growth mindset in my students. For more on that, read this blog. Don't mean to toot my own horn, but it was awesome!Over the last few days, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to try this year and it occurred to me: Why should…
Posted by on July 20 2017 at 2:49 PM
I always try and include some academic books to my summer reading list. After all, throwing a "teacher book" into your beach bag along with your pleasure reading can be a great way to re-inspire yourself and hone your craft.So with that in mind, here are two books you may want to check out."Psychology of Learning for Instruction" by Marcy P. DriscollMarcy's book is a great mixture of academic knowledge and practical advice. She provides us with a great overview of the history of learning…