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' motivation, behavior, and achievement when I purposefully take time to go over their progress, current levels, and goals with them. I have found it is also very important for me to be running the reports, looking at what each student has accomplished, and talking to them about how they are doing in READ 180 and in the rest of their academics. This is one of the reasons I appreciate the 180 Awards so much. I cherish the opportunity to focus on my students’ growth and specifically note the students who are making phenomenal progress.
1. Lexile Growth
The first thing I look at when considering who deserves to be nominated is their Lexile growth this year. Generally, there is a group with incredible progress that rises above what we normally see.
Next, I look at how each student is doing on their software, reading counts quizzes, and participation during whole and small groups. I find it is beneficial to go back and look at their Lexile growth from previous years even if they were not with me.
3. Other Classes
Lastly, I want to look at how they are doing in their other academic classes. Are they carrying over the skills they are learning in READ 180 to their other subjects?
4. Overcoming Adversity
Another important thing that is important to consider is the adversity they have overcome in addition to their struggle with reading. Many of my students have been in Special Education and have a wide range of disabilities they are working with. I also have students who are English Language Learners, have had turbulent home lives, and even catastrophic events that they have endured. Often, the realization of what a student has been able to achieve in spite of all they have had to deal with is extremely inspiring.
The nomination process for the 180 Awards is very simple and easy to follow. Each year I have nominated multiple students and I was honored when one of my students was chosen as one of the Stage B winners in 2012. There is a magnificent feeling when you see the pride in your students because they have worked hard and made a 180 in reading!