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Inside Tashena's Middle School Classroom

There are so many purposeful and comprehensive aspects to the curriculum, however it's the students' achievements that make me grasp how lucky we are to have this intervention in our school.

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Posted by Tashena Vickers on June 02 2017 at 4:12 PM
Now that students have taken their final Reading Inventory of the year, we get to focus on the impending summer vacation! I enjoy hearing all the plans that my students have for the summer. Some will be traveling to fun places and visiting family, some already have summer jobs lined up, and some will be hanging around town swimming and being with their friends. What seems to be the furthest thing from their mind is summer reading. During the last few weeks of school, I find it valuable to…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on February 10 2017 at 3:28 PM
There is no doubt that there is never enough time in the school day. From the administrative duties teachers have, to being in front of students teaching a lesson, we have so much on our plates. Having taught READ 180 for almost 7 years now, I know that the more I can present my students with, the more potential they have to get caught up. On the flip side though, I absolutely see the value in taking the time for reflection along the way. I can see the difference in the students'…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on November 29 2016 at 11:10 AM
I am a HUGE believer in motivating my students through recognizing and celebrating their efforts and accomplishments. When someone struggles with something, it sure helps to have someone acknowledge that you are working hard and you are making progress. Certificates are just one of the ways I enjoy showing my students I notice how great they are. Thankfully, there are already certificates in SAM designed for you to personalize a quick and meaningful validation for your students. Certificates…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on October 18 2016 at 5:39 PM
Often, I find that students who don't like reading, just haven't found what they like to read yet. In my own experience with becoming a fluent reader, it was suspenseful, mysterious, and scary books that were my bridge to becoming and avid reader. As an adult, my preference is to read non-fiction, however I enjoy exposing my students to a variety of fiction texts. Workshop #6 - Poe: The Master of Horror is one of the texts in the rBook that makes it so easy to get my students excited…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on August 30 2016 at 7:17 PM
Even though it has been 6 years, I remember opening up my READ 180 boxes to set up my classroom, like it was yesterday. As a special education and reading recovery teacher, I literally scrounged the building for resources and purchased this and that, here and there to serve my students. Having the posters, teaching resources, rBooks, LBooks, and all those paperbacks was like going from eating fast food to five star dining! I was absolutely in heaven with my READ 180 classroom materials. Over…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on July 27 2016 at 6:03 AM
When I started my teaching career, if someone had asked me if I had a desire to implement the newest technology in my classroom, they would have heard a resounding NO! It's not because I don't like technology, but just a few years ago teachers were being asked to implement a lot of technology, many times without a lot of training. Then, I was asked to teach READ 180. Let's just say, I was scared of the idea of having brand new, very expensive computers in my room. Honestly, even though I was…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on July 19 2016 at 3:37 AM
SUMMER BREAK!!! No matter how much teaching is a joy, I absolutely cherish summer break. No matter what I have going on during the break, reflecting on the past year and planning for the next year always consumes a good amount of my thoughts. During the school year, it is so incredibly busy and time just flies by. Although, we have some built in time for professional development during the school year, I look forward to summer PD because I know that I can process and really glean the valuable…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on July 18 2016 at 9:03 PM
"Beuller, Beuller, Beuller..." As a reading intervention teacher, we know how essential it is for students to be present every day to get as much instruction as possible. It can become frustrating on our part, as well as the students’ part when there is inconsistent attendance. At the beginning of each year, when I send parents a welcome letter, I include a statement about the vital importance of consistent attendance. There are very valid reasons for students to miss school. I certainly…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on July 18 2016 at 7:41 PM
Decorating my classroom so that it is colorful and fun is important to me. When students who don’t have my class, walk by and catch a glimpse, I hear over and over, “I wish I had this class!” It is exactly what I want for my students to hear, their classmates are interested in what is going on in our classroom based on what they see. I’m so glad that READ 180 comes with so many posters and print-ables that can be used to decorate with a purpose. We refer to the Independent Reading Books posters…
Posted by Tashena Vickers on January 21 2016 at 2:42 PM
Last year I got a new student during the second quarter. He was an 8th grader whose Lexile was 466. He was older and taller than most 8th graders and he had a difficult time fitting in and finding friends. We also struggled to find books that he wasn’t just reading, but that he could connect with and enjoy. After Christmas break he asked me about doing his first audiobook. It was exciting that he wanted the challenge of reading a higher level book and I was comfortable with him reading it…