Monday Made It: Status of the Class and more!

Holy Smokes…it’s “Monday Made It” and I have a lonnnnnnnnnng post for you today–see if you can stick with it to the end!  Thanks to Fourth Grade Frolics for the link up!

So…to get things started, I feel that I need to give the disclaimer that the number one thing I made this week was…
A MESS!  That’s right…I was cleaning in my classroom and cleaning in my office.  Mess. Everywhere.
OK…on to the more “crafty” side of life.  I like to give my students reading suggestions and encouragement to read all summer and I always make them a personalized bookmark of some sort.  This year I decided to make bookmarks with their names and a small picture of a stack of books we read aloud as a class as a reminder of the year.  I used up extra scrapbook paper for the backing, laminated them, and hung a little ribbon on them.  I think they will love them!

Here is the photo I put on each one…a picture of a stack of books I read aloud to them this year!

The finished product!

Here’s where things get long.  If you have followed me for a while, you know I am a firm believer in taking “status of the class” nearly every day in reading.  In addition to letting me keep my finger on the pulse of what my students are reading (I LOVE that I can, at any time, tell you what my students are reading!), it is a great way for me to have a mini conference with a student every day!  Students can do quick book talks about what they are reading, I can comment on how much home reading they must be doing, and we can set quick goals–and I can do an entire class in 10 minutes!

Want to read my post from last year? Here is the key part of the text:

The Power of Connections!
One of the most valuable times of my day begins when my students come in from lunch recess, casually make one last little bit of small talk with their friends, and make their back to their desks to get their independent reading supplies–book…reading log…response notebooks–out and ready for action.  Once I see that they are settling in, it’s time for me to take “status of the class”.  Each day I write down what my students are reading and what page they are on.  The entire process could take 3 minutes but each day I make it last about 10.  Why?
Those ten minutes are what I consider a “guaranteed connection” time with my students. At that time, I know that every single day I can have a meaningful connection with each and every one of them!  Whether it simply be my asking how they are liking their book, or noticing that they MUST have read a ton at home the night before, or to mention another book they may enjoy–this is my time to get in touch with them as readers and as people.  Every one of them gets my attention for 30 seconds…which doesn’t seem like a lot until you really think about your day.  Which kids demand your attention the most?  Who are your invisible kids? This levels the playing field!
Of course, there are added bonuses as well!  I learn about their independent reading behaviors…about their home reading habits…about their taste in books…about their abandon/completion rate…about their thoughts and ideas about their books…and more.  But that’s not all!  The other students reap the benefits as well!  I have 5 students waiting to read “The Eye of the Storm” simply because of the little snippets they have overheard during those status of the class “mini conferences”.  Think of how many mini lessons the students will have heard over the course of a year!
I have taken status for years and have taken small breaks from it during that time and I always return to it…I simply get so much information from it that I can’t let it go!  It’s funny…I always thought that status time was essentially a data collection time for me until, around the holidays, I missed a few days here and there.  One of my fourth graders chimed out “Hey! Aren’t you going to take status?  I don’t know what everyone is reading!” and I then realized that it isn’t just about me after all!  My students have grown to count on it to share their successes, to point out things they have noticed in their texts, to brag that they read for 80 minutes straight the night before without losing stamina, and to get great book recommendations from others.  There is not much more a teacher needs to do when you hear students saying, “Oh!  Ashley–if you liked ‘The Lemonade War’ you will LOVE ‘Lunch Money'”.  Mission accomplished.  Reading community established.

So what happened around the time I posted this is that I was inundated with questions about how I keep track of everything…so I put all the information together in a resource so people could see it in action.  Lots of people gave it a try and found it to be super helpful.  My biggest accomplishment of the week is that I have updated it with all new calendars for this upcoming school year, so if you DID buy it last year, it’s time to go “reupload” it from TpT to get the updated version!  I posted even more detail about it last summer.  Click HERE if you are interested in reading THAT post!
Want to see a few shots of the resource in action?  Here you go!
Using the calendar pages to record what book they read…what page…and any anecdotal notes.
A place to add goals
I note “A” for abandoned books an “F” for finished books
I use the back of the page to do word work with students during their conferences
Notes that I want to remember
As I look across the month, I can judge how many pages are being read per day and get a quick glance at notes I needed to remember.  Some students get met with more often than others!
I keep it all in one easy to find binder.  It’s a great reference for me during report cards and conferences!

Interested in getting it all put together like this?  Click the cover to take you to the product.

So today is my last Monday of school, so I can’t wait to sign back on next week in “summer mode”!  Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check out the other great link ups over at 4th Grade Frolics.