Sunday, September 15, 2013

Let there be LIGHT!

One of the most stressful, time consuming things we must do as teachers is beginning of the year testing, or as our ACRONYM friends call it, "BOY."  Boy, oh Boy, am I ready to be finished with it!
Actual photograph of me during testing
One component of our BOY testing is the fabulous and ever popular TRC {Text Reading and Comprehension}.  How I do love having a reading level to go off of for my new friends, I would much rather be spending that time teaching and going over routines, procedures, and the overall "this is how we do this," sort of thing.  In the past, we have only been granted about 15 school days to complete this testing.  However, this year we were granted the gift of time--by a day.  #itcouldalwaysbeworse...

TRC is very time consuming and tedious on the children and the teacher.  It's so important to have every bit of concentration from both parties, so time management is a MUST at this time of year.  We've gone over 5 Daily 5 components out of our 7 total {no, we don't call it Daily 7, although my kids try to convince me we should about once a week}.  So far, I have been very impressed with how well my friends have picked up the routine and how well they are building their stamina during Read to Self, Listen to Reading, Work with Words, using the iPad, and Work with Technology by completing reading activities via our class webpage.  However, they still have questions about certain things every now and then and want to walk up to me and ask me their questions--I don't blame 'em.  Having only 16 days to administer 4 different tests to 22 students, doesn't allow for much "question and answer" time.  Sound problematic? Not for this blondie...

I've always had a lamp at my small group table that I've used during reading and math groups to prevent interruptions.  No matter how much I preached about not interrupting when the lamp light was on, it still happened.  The engineering part of my brain told me there had to be a better way and that I had to "improve" this situation.

Who knew the answer to my prayers would be the the ever popular As Seen on TV Tap Light?!  You can find one of these bad boys pretty much anywhere.  They currently have the large sizes at Lowes for $2.99 (batteries not included). Find yourself some cute alphabet stickers and you are in business.

A fancier option if you'd rather use a picture than words--might be better for kindergarten friends :)

I've been using this little beauty for the past 3 weeks and let me say it is a MIRACLE!  NO INTERRUPTIONS, NO DISTRACTIONS, NOTHING! It. is. AMAZING!!! My kids will start to walk to the table, and once they take about 3 steps and see my little light shining bright, they turn around and get back to business.  I always try to keep a mental note of who came by to make sure they didn't have a question about an assignment.  Seeing that spooky word, "DISTURB" puts some fear in their little minds I think!

So for not much money and hardly any work, you too can have a magnificent focused, quiet, student group that will not be distracted by you having to answer 14 questions in a 20 minute time period.  This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it SHINE! {At least until the batteries run out...}


  1. How did you get such beautiful letters on your tap light? Hand written with markers? Paint? Stickers?

  2. Just your plain ol' alphabet stickers from Michaels! I WISH I could write that neat! :)