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Stage C
End Strong: A Plan for the Final 2-3 Weeks
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As we wrap up our final workshops, these thoughts may cross your mind: "What can we do in the remaining short time?  What can we do that will keep students interested, involved, and learning between now and the end of the school year?"



INDEPENDENT STUDY

This year, with the anticipated many interruptions of the final weeks of school, knowing I would never have time to do another workshop justice, I turned my READ 180 classroom into an independent study classroom where students work in 20 minute rotations to finish up their READ 180 books, segments, missing rBook assignments, etc. 

I have to say that my independent study experiment has turned out remarkable well. Students are focused on completing their individual work and enjoy self-selection of what to do when.


PROJECTS & PRESENTATIONS

In addition, students might have a presentation to prepare. 

  • For my students, it's their 20TIME (Genius Hour) projects, which they have devoted 20% of their week (every Friday in the final MP) to researching and developing a project of their choice. Check out Sally Doulton's Genius Hour Blogs: Part 1 and Part 2 for some ideas.
  • For other classes, students could prepare a presentation of their favorite book or workshop, a letter to the incoming students, a class book, etc.


Students love the projects and work hard at the beginning of class so they can spend more time on their projects in the last rotations. 

  • I have students completing their presentations using Google Slides/PowerPoint, PowToon, Prezi and posters.  
  • One student, Izzy, who has difficulty speaking clearly, is using the Tellagami app on an iPad to create a character who will speak her presentation for her.


CLASS ORGANIZATION

1. For the first 2-3 rotations, students work on missing assignments, such as:

  • Finishing independent reading books, book points, or words read (I use book points)
  • Finishing READ 180 segments (I require 3 completed segments this MP)
  • Making up any missing rBook/ReaL Book work (my students are finishing their literary analysis revision & editing)
  • Taking their final Reading Inventory Assessment after completing their final READ 180 segment (in my case, 3/3 segments completed MP 4).


2. In the final 1-2 rotations, students work on their end of year presentations or other projects you might assign. For my students, I have 2 projects they are completing:

  • A reflective poem about their class trip to the Washington, D.C. National Mall
  • 20TIME Presentation and Project


Here is a sample of the form I personalize and hand out to each student.  I also keep a chart on the board updated with students' progress at the end of each day, which helps me keep tabs on who needs to do what. 




STRESS-FREE STUDENTS & ME!

Not only is this a stress-free way for students to end the year strong, but it is also stress-free for me.

  • With students working independently, I am free to check in with each student on their progress, answer questions, update their status and my grade book.
  • I also like that each student is completely finishing their READ 180 segments so that next year if assigned to READ 180, they don't begin in the middle of a forgotten segment.

How do you handle the last couple of weeks of school?  What is your secret to a productive end-of-year experience? 


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Stage C READ 180 Educator
MAYS LANDING

January 1, 2014

It has been a while since I have updated my profile, so long that I had to search to find the edit button! I continue to teach three READ 180 classes this school year, which I absolutely love, after one-year of teaching 2 READ 180/English 1 blocks and one ICS English 1. The 2013-2014 school year is my 7th year teaching READ 180/English 1, and my 20th year as a SPED teacher.  

Oakcrest High School is one of three regional high schools in southern South Jersey. At Oakcrest, I teach a combined RC English 1/READ 180 90 minute course (10 credits) to freshmen special education students whose skills range from being on grade level to 5 or 6 years behind grade level. My district mainly uses the READ 180 curriculum for SPED freshmen who are not ready for the gen ed curriculum, either because of learning or moderate behavioral disabilities. About half of my students move from the RC placement to an ICS placement for English in their sophomore year.

I have enjoyed writing the Stage C READ 180 Blog for the past two years, sharing my classroom with the READ 180 Community Members. Check out all my blogs HERE. In my blog, I try to respond to questions I see in the Community Message Boards, as well as questions from READ 180 Teachers, and things I have tried and found successful in my own READ 180 classrooms. In my blog, I also try to focus on the Common Core and Next Generation Assessment skills our students will need, sharing tips and enhancements I have made in my classes to help prepare my SPED students. Last summer, I was also invited to serve on the Scholastic READ 180 Advisory Board in NYC, and learned about some of the amazing things Scholastic is implementing to help introduce our students to the Common Core and Next Gen. Assessments, which were the topic of my December 2013 blog: Stretch 2 Supports Common Core Reading & Writing.

During the last READ 180 National Summer Institute in New Orleans during July 2012, I presented one of my class best practices to many of the READ 180 teachedrs attending the conference. You can find information and resources from that presentation in my blog HERE. The folder system outlined my "Success" Blog is easy to set up and easy for students to use and teachers to implement.

CryUnfortunately, I will be unable to attend the upcoming 2014 NSI in Florida as the new dates conflict with my annual family vacation in Duck, NC. Cry

Besides the enhanced focus on the Common Core, this year my students have been blogging about their books with two other READ 180 classes. Students have enjoyed blogging and, although we had to take a break the last few weeks, they are looking forward to picking it back up and restart their blogging this month.

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