When I started teaching, I had big dreams of having deep conversations about chapter books like Shiloh, Tuck Everlasting, and The Island of the Blue Dolphin. I’m lucky enough to have some book clubs and those dreamed of conversations. My favorite book being Number the Stars, btw.
What I didn’t dream about and wasn’t prepared for was the number of students who could not read at grade level. They didn’t talk about that in undergrad classes!
This year, I had 4 students who couldn’t pass BAS Level A in August. That’s the most ever in one class. I struggled to find books that were low level but not insulting to the age of my students.
Finally, I decided on rainy days this summer, I would create my own series of nonfiction early readers with real photographs that would be interesting and more importantly, not insulting, to the nine and ten year old who struggle to read even the most basic sight words.
I finished the first 5 early readers ($1.25 each) and they are available on my TpT page. For a limited time, you can get all 5 books here for just $4.50 — I would love some feedback, too.
I starting using Positive Office Referrals about 2 years ago. Our school is PBiS and kids can enter weekly drawings to win prizes from the Wildcat Warehouse. Some students, however, need immediate feedback and praise or honestly, some positive adult attention.
If I see a student go out of their way to be kind to someone they might not usually talk to or working really hard on a challenging assignment, I write up a positive office referral. Students can then walk on down to the office to share in the good news. The office staff is really good about making a big deal about the student’s efforts and send them back with praise and a treat or pencil.
My advice is to make the “why” you gave the referral to them clear so that we can expect that behavior to show up again. If you aren’t yet on summer vacation, give it a try today!