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How do you think your students are doing on their summer reading lists so far? It’s fun to imagine them leaned up against a shady tree with a good classic, isn’t it? (A teacher can dream!) Wouldn’t you love that kind of lazy day? Who’s to say you can’t have one—or several? Summer reading is important for teachers too. And usually, after a busy school year, it’s quite a treat.

Plenty of research confirms that schools with positive climates, in which the students have strong social-emotional skills, are ideal learning environments. Teachers and parents don’t need research to believe this—it’s common sense that when people are shown kindness as opposed to hostility, they’re far more apt to succeed in school and beyond.

Teachers make countless contributions to their schools—and most do so on a shoestring budget. Thankfully, there are thousands of grants available to educators to help offset the cost of new curricula, resources, programs, and more.

Though we’ve had a very good year, I have some ideas for making things even better next year. (Don’t all of us teachers begin to think of next year even before the current year ends?)

If your students’ parents are anything like me, they’re currently trying to figure out how to avoid a summer full of that dreaded declaration: “I’m bored!” Some parents intend to sign their children up for ALL THE THINGS in order to eliminate the possibility of boredom altogether. Is this a good idea?

Rachel is a slow keyboarder who needs additional time to type her predictions and retells. Timothy is an ELL student who will benefit most from one read along in Spanish and three in English. James is an older student who needs just one read along and who wants to finish the story each time he practices. Anna is struggling with phonics and needs 75 seconds, as opposed to one minute, for word list timings. Can Read Live accommodate all of these students’ unique needs?

​The long Minnesota winter is finally over! The snow is gone, the air is warmer, the sun is shining (sometimes), and now that daylight savings is here, the days suddenly feel longer. As much as I love spring (and truly I do!), it causes me some dismay, because I know how its arrival can negatively impact the work ethic of some students.

​In my last post, I shared the many assessment mistakes I’ve made over the years. Blunders aside, I actually love spring assessments for one simple reason. The spring assessment gives me an opportunity to show my students the big picture and remind them that the best reward of all is taking ownership of their own progress. This is usually just a short conversation, but it’s one of the most important talks I will have with them.

​Is it really assessment season again? It feels like yesterday that I opened the lab at this new school, met my students, and screened them for reading difficulties using Benchmark Assessor Live. The winter assessment window seemed to arrive just a short time after that. And now it’s springtime already, and the April 23 to June 11 Benchmark Assessor Live assessment window is almost here. It is time to prepare to assess the students yet again.

​Imagine you purchase a new workout machine for your home. It’s a top-of-the-line machine, with all the bells and whistles, and it works like a dream. You’re so enamored with the machine that you’re actually motivated to work out! At first. A few weeks or months later, the machine loses its luster and working out doesn’t feel quite as exciting anymore. Does this sound familiar? I hate to tell you this, but it’s not the machine’s fault!

Make Your Student a STAR!

Read Naturally Star of the Month​Share your student’s success story—nominate him or her for our Star of the Month award. Win a Barnes & Noble gift card for the student and a Read Naturally gift certificate for your class!

pointer Submit a Star-of-the-Month entry

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