If you are in a grade-level that has state assessments, I’m sure you have your own set of strategies for test taking. In the past, we have taken the TAKS test, but this year we are switching to a new test called STAAR. I have been studying up like crazy on the test and our new set of state standards (TEKS) so that my kids will be prepared for everything. In light of the new test, I decided that it was time for some type of new test-taking strategy. We’ve used acronyms like FISH and NURSE in the past for reading, but I wanted something fresh.
I teach to the test…no, not like tons of test prep passages, just a few. I DO teach the standards that will be on our test, but I try to teach the standards with good literature. SO, I wanted our new test taking strategies to include elements that apply to good reading in general. I use CAFE reading strategies and lots of Tanny McGregor lessons, so I wanted our test taking strategies to reflect all of that.
I saw an idea on Pinterest for a test taking strategy poster that was in the shape of a video-game controller. Unfortunately, I never pinned it, and now I can’t find it. But whoever had this idea first, THANK YOU!
So, some teachers and myself decided how we wanted our game-controller to look, so all our tested grades can use it. One of our fabulous Title I teachers helped us put it on an actual controller. We decided to create an acronym with the word GAMER to fit the whole video game controller thing. The kids love it! It sits on their desk and they “press” the buttons as we talk about some of these strategies in our work. The kids have definitely enjoyed this. We printed this and cut it in half for the students.
(This starts out small, but if you clip it will enlarge!)
I’m linking up with Farley’s “Currently.” Click to play along!
1. What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher? When students show kindness and empathy in their actions towards one another. Warms my heart. And, of course seeing their reading improvements!
2. What is your go to school lunch? Grapes, blueberries, and cucumbers make the cut almost everyday.. Lots of leftovers: chicken and black beans, soup or pasta. and chobani yogurt.
3. If you could teach any grade, what would you choose and why? Oh dear. I will get back to you when I’ve completed a whole year in 5th.
4. Are you a morning or night showered? Both, depends on when I work out. Don’t like going to bed if I feel dirty.
6. What is your biggest life accomplishment? Anytime my parents have been proud of me, getting Mason Orr to marry me, and teaching kids to read.
7. If you were not a teacher, what would you be? I would love to work at a Children’s hospital, maybe occupational therapy?
8. Where is your favorite place to shop at? Target, Dillards, Nordstrom, Loft, Lilly, J Crew, Hobby Lobby. Oh wait, the question didn’t say “places” oops! 🙂
9. What teaching blog do you stalk the most? Tara at 4th Grade Frolics
10. What is your favorite technology that you have in your classroom? My Smartboard!
11. Who has influenced you the most as an educator? I had some AMAZING college professors who inspired me so much. Undergrad and grad. But, in the last few years I would have to say it is the reading specialist on my campus. She puts so much thought and intention into everything she does. She is brilliant and she is a master at explaining EVERYTHING. I love her intention, and I try to do the same.
12. What is your favorite subject or class to teach? Reading. I also loved teaching science in 2nd grade!
Weirdest blog title ever, right?
So lately, I have been on a not-so-intentional blog sabbatical! I am seriously blog-stalker du jour, but until today, I don’t think I’ve even read a blog in almost 2 weeks! What is with me?!
I think I figured it out. Up until now, I have been in grad school every semester I have been teaching. Most nights, I had school work to do, therefore school was always on my mind. Every single night I “brought school home with me.” Letmetellya, I am feeling free lately!!! I love teaching and only teaching!!! I’ve been staying at school a bit later, BUT, when I leave, school stays at school.
I have been doing more cooking, reading and exercising. But, I have to admit that I’ve been spending a good bit of time with The Bachelor, my Atlanta Ladies, The Kardashians, and the Dallas Mavericks 🙂 OH, and my sweet husband. More time for him, too!
But, I’m ready to blog again! I cannot wait to read all of your blogs, and get some new inspiration!
So, for now, here is all I have to offer…I have a new favorite sweater (Christmas gift cards woo hoo!) It is much cuter in person than in the picture. I realllllly love how light it is! It is so light and comfortable. I do not like bulky sweaters, esp in the mild Texas temperatures. It is wonderful, and the horiziontal strips are shockingly flattering. Thank you Lilly Pulitzer, I love it!