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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 Sally Doulton on March 22 2017 at 7:49 PM
Spring represents hope and renewal. It is an amazing sight to see crocuses and other flowers bud through soil that was once covered with snow and ice. Despite a harsh winter, everything from flowers to crops spring forth from the ground in abundant life!During the first week of spring, I show my students photographs of this amazing phenomenon to inspire them to grow despite the rocky road they may have travelled on during the first part of the school year. I let them know that nothing is…
Posted by Sally Doulton on March 05 2017 at 3:37 PM
READ 180 Universal has launched and is soaring! One of the most extraordinary and useful features for both students and educators is the recording and grading of the students' fluency recordings. Amazing! As soon as the teacher opens up the recording tool to grade the fluency recording, the text appears, along with a rubric and highlighting tool. A comment box is also available, where a teacher can record comments about the student's recording, including important information such as…
Posted by Sally Doulton on February 09 2017 at 6:18 PM
We all experience this predicament: our students run through the yards of the System 44 "football" field, navigating difficult tackles, throwing great passes, and scoring points that move them into the next Series. Then, in the fourth quarter, with a few minutes remaining, they request their unused time-outs as they labor through Series 24 and 25. There seems to be an impasse, a standstill, and an almost stop right before the end -zone. How can we get our students to complete the touchdown and…
Posted by Sally Doulton on January 22 2017 at 6:12 PM
Congratulations to Nicholas who just completed System 44 NG!  Nicholas is a seventh-grade student in my mixed model System 44/Read 180 class. Nicholas started the System 44 program in the fifth grade and finally completed it mid-year in the seventh grade. Although a celebration was well-warranted, some teachers may be wondering why it took three years for him to finish the program.There are many variables to consider when determining the length of time required for a student to master the…
Posted by Sally Doulton on January 15 2017 at 6:00 PM
Literacy is a Universal right; however, this right is not a reality for many people who reside both in and outside of the United States.  Many people in villages, remote towns, or other rural areas are not afforded opportunities to learn essential skills that would enable them to develop their talents and thus be contributing members of society.During the Winter break, I visited India for the fourth time to visit with my husband's family. Upon visiting nations outside of the US,…
Posted by Sally Doulton on December 19 2016 at 7:19 PM
Mindset matters and it certainly does! Thanks to READ 180 Universal, my students have not only been introduced to the concept of mindset, but they have been actively engaged in understanding and applying it to their lives! Understanding and applying the core principles of mindset is not only teaching our students how they view the world and themselves in school while they are in our classes, it is teaching them strategies of how to view challenges and lessons for the rest of their lives. As a…
Posted by Sally Doulton on December 14 2016 at 9:24 PM
In a former blog post  "Research Unexpected (Part One)," I described how student choice and the Genius Hour became an unexpected reality in one of my READ 180 classrooms.  I left readers hanging with my students stuck in step 3 of the 6 step research process, which is the "gathering information" stage. Here is what transpired since that step and what it took to get my students to Step 6. Quick review:  What is the Genius Hour???   Six Steps of Basic Research (Refer to my…
Posted by Sally Doulton on November 29 2016 at 6:10 PM
Sometimes the world seems like the size of our classroom and we think that it is a microcosm of all things. The task we have as reading teachers is enormous and most of our thoughts and time revolve around the needs of our students. But then there is the World which consists of countries, which despite political and geographical differences, all have a spoken and written language. And ALL countries battle illiteracy on many different fronts. For some countries, public education is not a right…
Posted by Sally Doulton on November 06 2016 at 5:53 PM
Parents desire to listen to teachers about their children's progress in school. Regrettably, their lives are often full and busy that they cannot always comprehend what is being conveyed to them via emails, printed reports, attached Word documents, and school webpages. Do you ever wish to communicate with parents, in a meaningful way, outside of written communication, personal phone calls, or the "twice-a-year" 10-minute conferences? Ever want to send out a general message of what you…
Posted by Sally Doulton on October 16 2016 at 6:38 PM
We've all heard of "student choice," "Project Based Learning," and perhaps the "Google Genius Hour."  These ideas allow students to explore a topic of their own interest, create or build something new from their research findings, and then present it to an audience in a format of their choosing. While reading a poem from the September Action magazine issue "The Rose That Grew From Concrete" by Tupac Shakur, one my students declared that Tupac was still alive.  He then presented some…