Why I’ve been MIA

I know I haven’t posted a lot since January and here’s why. I started running. Enough said. 🙂

Really, I started training to run a 5k back on the 1st of January. I have now run 2 different 5k races and have lost a total of 30 pounds!! Woohoo!! So this has taken up a lot of my extra time-you know since I have to follow running blogs and then blog about my own running. 🙂

Here are 2 pictures that show my weight loss of 26 pounds. The 1st one was in December, and the 2nd one was at my 2nd 5k race on March 25th. I have lost 4 more pounds since the race. 🙂   So I apologize for not blogging more about teaching and school related things.






We have been practicing for the state ARMT test which will start next Tuesday-thank goodness. I am so ready to STOP this practicing, get on with real learning, and MOVE OUR DESKS BACK INTO GROUPS!! I hate dislike straight rows!

Only 2 1/2 weeks until spring break!!! YEA!!!

Need some magic

It’s plain and simple. I need some magic. Something to put the “get up and go” back in my 6th graders. 🙂 They are so tired of ARMT practice-and so am I!!! I mean it’s actually easier on me because I don’t have to really plan that much. It’s just a bunch of reading passages/questions that I have to copy. So my life as a teacher is E.A.S.Y. right now and B.O.R.I.N.G. 🙂

Every day I have them do some reading packets independently and then we go over them together discussing the why and why not for each one. Yesterday we started working on answering open ended questions (We have actually done this all year with our fresh reads). Each day we are going to answer 1 open ended question TOGETHER. I’m talking-complete teacher guidance. 🙂

We use the RAPS method that I sort of came up with this year:

R-Restate the question(Do you know how hard this is for some of them?)

A-Answer the question(This comes from their own head)

P-Prove their answer(Pulling something from the passage to prove their thoughts)

S-Sum it up

BUT, sometimes the questions don’t lend themselves to the EXACT RAPS method so that throws them OFF! 🙂

Anyway, we will continue to practice this week and the next. Our ARMT begins on April 10th. Thank goodness it is only 4 days!!!!!!! Then we will be back to normal for 1 week and then SPRING BREAK!!! Did you hear me??? FINALLY, spring break!! 🙂

Anybody else have a spring break that is late like ours?

Confusion on the homefront

Can we say total confusion this past week with testing???? 🙂 On one of the things that I got off of the AL state dept website it had a breakdown of questions for the ARMT reading-how many multiple choice, how many open ended, and then it also broke down how many questions fell under each standard. These matched. What didn’t match was this information to the actual test. There were waaaaay less questions on the ARMT reading than what there should have been. So I started questioning-I asked/discussed this with my principal, coworkers, counselor, etc. None of us could figure it out! Finally, my best friend who teaches 4th grade said that she read somewhere that the SAT 10 scores are figured in with the ARMT. We went back through our testing binder and sure enough-it was there in black and white!!! I would have thought that would have been an important thing discussed in our testing training. ARMT has always been “THE” test in our system that gets flashed up on the big screen during our inservice days right before school starts. We have always been told ARMT-ARMT-ARMT!! 🙂 Not that anyone would give up after the ARMT and not worry about the SAT-10!! 🙂

Anyway, just another time in my life as an educator where it takes the herd 3 days to figure something out-that has probably already been figured out a long time ago by others! 🙂 All I know is that the SAT practice stuff that I have been using is A LOT easier than the ARMT practice stuff-so in closing, THANK GOODNESS THE SAT 10 GETS FIGURED IN WITH THE ARMT FOR THE TOTAL SCORE!!! :):)

ARMT Reading is OVER!!!

Yea!!!! The reading portion of the ARMT is over for us at Wadley!!! 🙂 Whew!! Now we can breathe a little and get ready for the SAT-10! Tomorrow we will do 5 packets to study/review for SAT=10-Thursday we will take math portion of ARMT-Friday we will do 6 packets of study/review for SAT-10. Then next week we will take the SAT-10 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. OMG!! I’m sooooo ready for testing to be finished! I have lots of goodies planned for after testing until the end of the year!! Well, I’m going to try anyway! Here are some want-to-dos! Who know which ones I will actually have time for and be able to do with my 6th graders????/

1. Whole class novel study

2. Art

3. Some type of drama

4. Bill of Rights amendment project to include a persuasion paper

5. A career project to include an essay on career of choice after some research

6. Maybe a book club?

7. Some poetry reading

8. I want to try out some word work-nifty thrifty fifty words and high frequency words. I want to try this out with my kids because I am thinking about doing this in lieu of our “spelling list” words next year.

Last day of ARMT practice

Mr. Brady and I came up with a plan for our last days of ARMT practice-I teach reading and he teaches math. Tomorrow, Monday 3/21, is the last day before the ARMT reading. We are not going to swap classes-I am going to keep about 15 students all day and work with them on reading practice-he will take the rest of the students. Obviously, I will be keeping all of the students who scored a 1 or 2 on the ARMT last year, but I will also keep the ones who scored a 3 but it was a low 3.

Then on Wednesday we will flip flop it-he will take the students he needs to work with on Math and I will keep the others all day. Maybe this will make a difference-we don’t know, we are just willing to try anything! 🙂

Will we get through this?

Will we ever be finished with ARMT practice??? 🙂 I know that if I am tired of practicing for the ARMT so are my kids!!! 🙂 I can’t wait until we are finished with testing because we are going to rock and roll with fun for the rest of the year and STILL LEARN!! I am planning on doing a reader’s theater with them and hopefully reading 2 novels with them (definitely 1)! I can’t wait!!!

Our brains are almost mush from practicing open ended responses-we have really been intense with this! I am really going to change up my teaching next year to REALLY incorporate these higher level questions throughout our year on a weekly basis so that I am not panicking at this time of the year!! 🙂

Finished ARMT Practice

I just finished uploading the entire 3 weeks worth of ARMT practice sheets. I use these for the kids to do when they first come into class. They do them on their own, and then we go over them. There are 15 days of practice sheets on the ARMT practice page. Maybe you can use them! 🙂


I created 2 new pages-one has the link to the ARMT Reading Standards, and the other one has the link to the AL COS Reading/Langauge Standards. Hope this was useful for some of you-a central place to be able to pull up the standards that we teach! 🙂

5th Round of ARMT Practice

Today seemed to go so much smoother with our ARMT practice-probably because I didn’t try to cram too much in! 🙂 I read some really good responses for the open ended question (cause and effect) that we worked on. One of my struggling students had written his response and I had an individual conference with him and pointed out several things he needed to do. It really sounded good after he made his changes. 🙂 I talked with our reading coach after school and she said one of our 4th grade teachers is having her work on a rubric for the ARMT-not sure what she has planned, but I’m going to talk to her on Monday and find out. I’m thinking it might be a rubric to help the students score each other’s open ended responses. Sounds like a plan to me.

I’m also trying to organize my ARMT practice materials in crates and file folders. I think I am about 1/3 of the way finished. Whew!! What a task! I’ll explain and post pictures when I get completely finished. Hopefully, it will make life a lot easier next year and the next, etc! I want to change a lot of my methods for teaching this next year-ESPECIALLY the weekly test for the story-I’m going to create my own. I also want to do A LOT of different things with the comprehension skills/strategies that we have to teach. I’ll post more on that later!