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Inside Sally's System 44 Classroom

System 44 is preparing the next generation of confident and literate young adults to leave the safe harbour and venture out into the great wild sea.

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Posted by on August 23 2017 at 8:17 PM
"Well, I have a fixed mindset and I just can't do it," a student brazenly declared to me as she reluctantly began a challenging assignment at the start of last June.  "A fixed mindset? I replied. "After all of our lessons and experiences in class for a half of a year, your "go-to" response to an activity that requires some perseverance is still,  "Well, I have a fixed mindset"? This brief classroom experience got me thinking about some questions: 1)  Where did I, as a teacher, go…
Posted by Sally Doulton on August 13 2017 at 8:57 PM
This summer, I came across an inspiring and humorous article written by Jennifer Gonzalez titled "Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers" that explains the difference between the marigolds and walnut trees in the teaching profession. The principles presented in this text, however, can apply to all people, in all occupations, and all walks of life. Jennifer Gonzalez exhorts teachers to find the marigolds in their school and to stay close to them.  She states, "Having a…
Posted by Sally Doulton on July 28 2017 at 5:11 PM
It is crucial to start the new school year strong. This includes setting a strong classroom management tone on the first day of class that will affect the progress of your students' learning and your instruction for the year. I am all for icebreakers and "getting to know you" activities, but I have learned from experience that it is critical to let your students and their parents know what the classroom expectations and rules are for your class from day one.We are aware that local politics,…
Posted by Sally Doulton on July 13 2017 at 2:22 PM
On June 30, at Etch restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, the winning 180 Awards Educators received recognition for their innovative practices in their classroom. With them to celebrate included:Family members HMH's marketing team The Product Development Team Ted Hasselbring: Creator of READ 180 Patricia Starek: trainer and developer for System 44 Bloggers for the READ 180 Community Website It was an enjoyable evening where these educators received a speech that succinctly outlined their…
Posted by Sally Doulton on July 04 2017 at 8:02 AM
It's summer, and time to plan some options for the Independent Reading Rotation for your classes.  Technology programs, classroom schedules, and the needs of our students change faster than a flash of lightning.  To get you started, here's what's trending in Independent Reading. Numerous Text-to-Speech Options- Students use this rotation to read eReads, eBooks, audiobooks, text-to-speech articles from online magazines such as Scholastic's Action or Scope magazines, and articles from…
Posted by Sally Doulton on June 17 2017 at 10:01 AM
I waited until the fourth quarter of the school year to introduce a class book to my READ 180  Level 1 students because I didn't believe the class was ready to decode and comprehend a book on a class level.  I teach a mixed READ 180/System 44 class, and my students' reading levels greatly vary.  At the start of April, however, I decided that it was time to connect and unify my class with a book that I believed they would love. The book I chose is Buddy by MH Herlong. With direct…
Posted by Sally Doulton on June 02 2017 at 6:23 PM
My school district agreed to recognize the students who have achieved Outstanding Achievement in Reading in my classes at the Student Recognition Ceremony at the Board of Education meeting on May 31st. Wow!!! My READ 180 students received accolades among the school scholars in math, science, English, and world languages. It was the third experience in my district for READ 180 students, and it was an event that my students will always remember, and most certainly, never forget! …
Posted by Sally Doulton on May 21 2017 at 9:08 AM
"Do you read?" My second-period class asked me as I asked them to take out their books. "Read?", I enthusiastically replied. "Why, I read every day! I read street signs, manuals, cookbook recipes, magazines, catalogs, bank statements, bills, school materials, lesson plans, etc."   "That's nice," they insipidly replied. Pause. More pause. Then one student added, "But do you read any books like we have to do?" Like entire books?", a different student added in case I needed further…
Posted by Sally Doulton on April 30 2017 at 1:34 PM
You can't change the world or the personal lives of your students, but maybe you can make them "aware" of language and how language development and acquisition can have a major impact on their lives. I almost gave up on getting students who come from various socio-economic backgrounds to complete my homework assignments. There are too many factors/variables that are out of my control. I can't change unfortunate family dynamics, poverty, and apathy that some of my students experience when they…
Posted by Sally Doulton on April 10 2017 at 7:41 PM
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is part of the READ 180 Universal 's Stage B paperback library. A wonderful book, by all accounts, but most importantly because it enhances the theme of READ 180 Universal's Stage B, Workshop 1 Unit Stand Up.As students learn the meanings of terms such as "advocate" and "activist", they delve deeper into the lives and experiences of three activists: Malala Yousafszai, Kesz Valdez, and James Koffi Annon.  In this Workship, my students learned the…