Wow, thanks for all of the help Victoria!
I teach in rural Montana in third grade (I am THE third grade teacher in my school!). It is exciting but a little intimidating because it is also my first year teaching. I love all of the help you have provided so far and I can't wait to continue to see what you have to offer throughout the year.
If you have any information that could potentially lead into a post about your writer's workshop and reading workshop that would be fantastic! I am generally interested in accountability of the mini-lessons with students. How do you track whether they are using those mini-lessons or not and how to do monitor what students are doing while you are conferencing or working with a small group?
That is a little off topic for organization but I would love to hear your insight. Thank you again!
I agree it's intimidating to be the ONLY third grade teacher in your school! I thought our school was small, but we're pretty average and growing every year. There are going to be seven teachers on our team this year. However, I am the only advanced teacher and I have to invent my own wheel, though I am content with inventing my wheel. :-D
My first year teaching, I came in pretty confident, but I didn't do workshops. I don't think I knew about them yet, and I didn't focus on the data/accountability as much as I could have. I guess the advice I can give you is to see where your students possess strengths and areas in which they can become stronger. Before my third year teaching, I learned about Beth Newingham's website and http://www.learner.org. On Learner.org, videos are shown of veteran teachers in the midst of their lessons! I am a great visual learner, so I learned even better that way than just reading a book and trying to get the gist of it.
I see how the class is using mini-lessons by reading their writing. I can see if they are utilizing onomatopoeia or not, for example. I don't require them to use specific skills, but I require that they at least use skills in their writing. They also use post-its in reading class as they read novels and have to journal using the specific vocabulary, like prediction, for example.
Hopefully I offered some decent advice!
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