Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pass the Torch!

Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!!!


Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!

When I found out about this linky party I was very excited to try it out. I wasn't planning on teaching this particular topic to my 46 4th graders, but figured, what the heck, it can't hurt.  After reading through the directions, I decided to make some changes to fit my students. I don't have too much extra time with our new curriculum, so if I wanted to give this a try I could only devote 10 minutes a day to it. I decided to start with a pretest. I chose to use the same matching test the students would be taking at the end of the week because it was short, to the point, and clear. I found it difficult when correcting because two words had the same meaning so I had to go back and change some student's grades. Unfortunately when I gave it to my students, only 4/46 students received a 60% or better! I wish I was making that up, but sadly I am not. To make it worse, we just finished the state tests. Now any confidence I HAD about our classroom scores are now SQUASHED. They were just as shocked because they thought since the test was so short, it was simple. I told them we were lucky because we could only go UP from here. 

That day I started this program right from the beginning by introducing the Nike Raps. The students thought these were hilarious. We read/sang the raps for each of the ten words. This was fun for the students and a great activity especially after sitting for a standardized test for so long.  Students partnered up and practiced a rap to preform for the class. We even found out some students had a hidden talent of beat-boxing! 

After some laughs, I modeled how I wanted the students to "diagram" each word. I called it "diagramming" for lack of a better word.  We started with "a" and tried to brainstorm a list of words with the prefix. We could only think of "atypical" and discussed both words...typical and atypical. We also discussed how and why the prefix a changed the word. We continued to fill out the chart together before I allowed the students to go to their seats and copy it. Next, they were able to find a partner and complete "anti" on the same page. They thought it was fun to work in partnerships and even got competitive with other groups as to who could think of the most words for the word list section of the chart. I encouraged my students to use a dictionary for help to come up with some more words to add to the word list in the diagram. We continued working this way for the whole week, focusing on two words per day.

Below are some pictures from the week. 
(Please don't judge me on my horrible drawing of a "hairless" cat.)

By the end of the week, the kids were ready for their quiz. I was excited to see the words we have been discussing throughout the week being used in class. We are just finishing up with our Revolutionaries Unit and one of my students pointed out that, "Sojourner Truth was anti-slavery." The other popular word in class right now is antidisestablishmentarian.  One of my silly students found it in the dictionary and they keep trying to throw it into daily coversations to sound smart.  Oh the joys of teaching 4th grade...

When it came time to correct the post tests I was SUPER excited to see that out of my 46 students 32 received a 80% or better and 40 received a passing score of at least 60%!

Overall, I am happy that I took the time to teach this to my students. It really doesn't take more than a few minutes a day and if my students retain this knowledge it will be worth it. I do wish there were more activities incorporated into the lessons because the worksheets devoted to each new word seemed redundant by the end of the week. I did not print out the flash cards because we are trying to conserve paper in my school and we did not use the necklaces because like I said, we lacked time. But I am proud to show off their notebooks at parent/teacher conferences next week.

Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch!! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner : Gold Medal

  Prizes: Complete Reading Olympians Program
            $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
            50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

   Prizes: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
              40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal

    Prizes: 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Pass the Torch!!!
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Grade 1 & 2

Grade 3 & 4

Grade 5 & 6


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am enjoying reading how we all did our own thing with the Reading Olympians. I am now following your blog as well.
    Learning in Bliss

  2. I cannot believe you have 46 students! Do you have them all at once or rotate groups of students? I am very frugal and find my columns and labels to be just as effective has the id tags :) Thanks for stopping by and becoming a new follower!


  3. We were in a paper crunch a couple of years back. I keep finding master copies from back then - everything was reduced to half sheets double sided. No fun!

    Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend!

    Suntans and Lesson Plans


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