Saturday, September 10, 2016

Silent reading....making it work!

Some of my students struggle with reading. Looking around the room, looking at the back cover, looking at the front cover, looking around the room again, etc....sound familiar to any of your students?

So we decided to create mini anchor charts on what reading looks like and what it doesn't look like. They did great with it, and it was so simple to have them do. The only materials were a half sheet of white paper and their pencils and crayons. Easy peasy!



Here are a few of my favorites. We had a class discussion on it, and they came up with most of the descriptions themselves. I think they did pretty good!



I taught my students a couple of strategies to help them during silent reading. I had them try each strategy, and if one worked for them then use it.


  • Whisper reading - I taught my students to mouth the words or whisper them quietly enough so that only they can hear themselves and no one else.
  • Follow with their finger - I had noticed that students often lose their place and start looking around the room. So I taught them that sometimes following with their finger can help them stay focused.

We Are Teachers has some great ideas to help students during silent reading.

One of their suggestions is to have some pillows and cushions for students to use during reading. Although I am concerned that my students will play around or fall asleep, I might be picking up some pillows and cushions at Walmart today.

Here is another idea that I totally want to try! Every student would have to bring their own flashlight which if I demonstrated it once then I don't think it would be a problem. I would love to give credit to the person that thought of this idea, but I can't find it.


Ideas by Jivey has a great way to incorporate Flashlight Friday into the classroom and motivate your students to improve their reading strategies. Go check it out! I definitely want to try it in my classroom.

What are your favorite strategies to "teach" your students how to read silently?



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Using your Classroom to Inspire your Students

Three weeks have school have now gone by. And I FINALLY feel like I can breathe long enough to sit down and actually blog. WHOA.

PLEASE tell me that I'm not the only one who feels like this!

Here are some pics of my new classroom. I am teaching 5th grade self-contained this year, and I love my class. They are challenging (they LOVE LOVE LOVE to talk), but I look forward to seeing them every day.

Fifth graders are at an important age...when they are trying to decide the person they want to be and the dreams they want to pursue. I wanted to use my classroom to inspire my students. I wanted to inspire them to go to college, to travel, and to not give up.

Do you want to inspire your students to go to college? To travel? To dream? Here are some simple ways to use your classroom to inspire your students to dream BIG!

Here are some ways I used my classroom to inspire my kiddos.

I went to Texas A&M University and am all about brainwashing inspiring my students to go to my college. Even if they don't go to Texas A&M, I still want them to start thinking about college. This is my bulletin board in the hallway outside my classroom for hanging student work.



These three areas are for anchor charts, vocabulary words, and student work in each of the subject areas. It's at the back of the classroom.


This is my inspiration wall right when you walk into my classroom. As my students line up, they often look at the wall. In fact I saw one of them reading one of the posters today. These are in my TpT store if you're interested in getting some for your own classroom. Click HERE.


Here is the front of my classroom. I found this quote on another blog and loved it so much that I made it for my own classroom.


Here is the side wall of my classroom. I LOVE all the cubbies! Now you would think that these would be perfect for my students' textbooks and backpacks, but I didn't want to give up the storage! So my students keep their textbooks inside their desks and their backpacks in a huge tub at the front of the classroom. And I get to keep my cubbies!


Here is a up close pic of my college area. I told you that I went to Texas A&M University and am a HUGE Aggie! I wasn't kidding!


My reading area....I wanted to incorporate my travel photos from around the world somehow and inspire them. I think I did the trick.


This is my favorite inspiration area in my classroom....where I share about my dream. I really had always wanted to live in another country, and I got to when I taught English in Korea. BEST experience of my life! I also have my scarf I wore this past summer when I was in Poland watching the Euro Cup and photos from my past travel experiences. My students just love to look at my photos. I often get "Where's that picture from? What is that? Where is that? and You've been everywhere!" I love it! I don't remember any of my teachers sharing their travel experiences with me. Maybe if they had I wouldn't have waited until I was 26 and my mom had just died to finally decide to just do it and travel.



Hope y'all have a great first couple of weeks of school!



Visit Southern Fried Teachin''s profile on Pinterest.