Sunday, September 12, 2010

And so it begins...

So as an update to my last post, I do have a classroom now.  If my school gets more students this month, I may be kicked out of it but as of right now it's mine.  I have students in one building but not the other one.  Monday we are meeting to figure out the students at building number 2.  Since I don't have the students that I had last year, I had to go through all of my records on them so I could hand them over to their new teacher.  Looking at my records, I realized that I REALLY needed to change my system.  It's no wonder why I felt like everything was so difficult - I made it 5 times as hard as it needed to be!  I did a lot of pointless work but I guess that's part of learning. 

As for this year, I've decided to use a new system called The Literacy Cafe.  It was created by the same women who gave us The Daily 5, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  To sum it up, The Literacy Cafe is a system that lays out how to display reading strategies, assess students strengths and needs, and how to keep track of assessments, lessons, strategy groups, conferences, and individual student notes.  And to top it all off, all of this information is kept neatly in 1 binder, organized by student.  That means that I can easily bring information on individual students to RtI meetings, parent conferences, and classroom teachers without breaking confidentiality.  The paperwork lays a trail proving that my assessments drive my instruction.  Did I mention that this is all neatly organized in a binder? (Binders are by far my favorite way to store paperwork.)

I'm excited to get to school tomorrow so I can set up my binders (one for each building).  I'm going to keep writing and math data on each student in the same binder - unless the binders get to be too big.  Of course, since all these books are directed at classroom teachers, I'm going to have to modify the program to fit my room but as far as the organization of the records, I'm good to go!  I'll keep you up to date on how the program is working for me as the year goes on.  In the meantime, if anyone has used The Literacy Cafe, let me know how it went and what changes you made!

Welcome back to school everyone!