The kids are so far behind in their reading levels, so I am working hard to get them motivated to raise their reading levels by two years. This means if they are reading like 5th graders (very unlikely), they will be reading like 7th graders by the end of the year. In all honesty, if I can get them reading like 5th graders by the end of 5th grade, that would be impressive.
Our Big Goal is in the front of the classroom. Although it may appear to be a beehive, it is actually a mountain where each portion represents .5 years growth. The HOW portion of 2 years growth is reading 2007 books in 2007. Oh, and the gravestones? Those are actually rocks and they are floating in the "River of Reason" where we occasionally add a new rock to show why reading is so critical in real life and not just in school.
Here is my reading corner, complete with chill chair. You may notice the gap in the wall on the right side of the photo. Youngblood just received a fourth wall in all of its classrooms. Unfortunately, they don't extend fully and I can look into the classrooms next to me (which explains the poorly placed filing cabinet). Even better, the entire hall knows when a teacher is angry.
This poster is strategically placed in my reading corner. Mr. Pigeon's 6th grade classroom challenged us to the proverbial read-off. We came back with "Meet me when you guarantee me it's going down. 2007 books in 2007. You best believe we're #1! Signed, Mrs. O and the H-Town Irresistibles."
Ah yes, the smell of defeat is evermore pungent. Not for me though.