Monday, December 9, 2013

Day 6 - On the Shelf (and Read 180)

Day 6 - On the Shelf

This day made me think of Elf on the Shelf.  Are any of you doing it in your classrooms?  One of the teachers I work with has the sneaky, little guy in her classroom.  Every day when I come in the kids challenge me to find the Elf.  They really love it.  I always joke with them that if they don't pay attention in guided reading I am going to touch it!  :-)

For this post, on the shelf would be all the books for the new reading program I am teaching.  Last week, I began teaching Scholastic's Read 180 program.  My shelves are full of teacher's guides, student books, independent reading books, and audio books!

The program has four components: a whole group lesson, then three rotations of a small group lesson, interactive computer work, and independent reading.   Due to some scheduling constraints, we've had to modify how we implement the program, but so far I like what I see. The kids seem to really like it as well.  That's always a plus!  When we were first handed the student book, we thought it was the teacher's guide.  It's a full on spiral bound, full color, consumable book.  The kids were hesitant to write in it at first.  They even asked more than once if this was really their book and if I was really sure they could write in it.

I've only started week two today, so I need to give it more time and dive in a little deeper before I can really comment.  All I know is that right now, I have lots of learning to do!  Just take a look at that bottom picture!  All teacher materials. That shelf doesn't even encompass all the online components nor show the teacher's guide, which weighs 800 pounds.  Okay, not 800 but that thing is huge!

From our training, I remember also learning that we can generate something like over forty different data reports.  Don't hold me to that number, but I think it was about 40.  Not sure what I will do with 40 different data reports yet!  I've seen a few that seem really helpful, but 40 of them?

It's all very overwhelming when you are starting out a new program.  
If any of you out there are doing Read 180, PLEASE feel free to leave any tips, tricks, links, etc. in the comments.  I would love to hear from anyone who is actually working the program!  


  1. The school I student taught in used the Read 180 Program. When I was there they had had it for quite a few years and really enjoyed it. The school was mostly ELL and that is the reason they started the program. I know that the kids love the computer part.

  2. I just started teaching Read 180 in my school this year. I'm sort of the guinea pig this year, and if the administrators like what they see, they'll start implementing it in our other schools as well. (No pressure, right?) Anyway, it is a bit overwhelming at first, especially with all the different materials, reports, etc. that are included with the program. My suggestions are: first, set up clear expectations for each rotation along with some measure of accountability such as reading logs, computer logs, etc.; second, don't feel like you have to start everything at once. For example in the independent reading station I introduced the paperbacks first, then a few weeks later introduced the audio books, then the e-reads a few weeks after that. My third suggestion is that you join the Read 180 Community. I've found a lot of helpful suggestions and resources there.

    We started in September, and so far I'm very pleased with the program. I teach SPED students in an alternative school for students with major behavioral issues, and I've never seen my guys so engaged in reading. They are....many for the first time....invested in their learning. That alone is priceless, but our first round of testing is already showing great growth in lexile scores. far, so good. Oh, another thing....don't rush through the workshops. Take your time to really use the various features of the program. We're moving at a pace of one workshop per nine week quarter. Not everyone moves quite that slow, but it's what works for us. :)

    1. Thank you so much for the advice! It is so much to take it when you are starting. I love your idea of introducing the paperbacks first. I had put off the audio books only because I haven't had the chance to make all the copies to go with them, but I never thought about also starting with just the paperbacks.

      I also noticed the need for clear expectations for the rotations. You can't be everywhere at once, so it is really important. I haven't joined the Read 180 community yet, but I can see I need to right away. Thanks so much for all the tips! I really appreciate it!!

  3. This is my fifth year teaching READ 180. It has completely changed the way I teach because it is focused on what the children need, not what the textbook dictates!