Double Duty Linky!

I just like saying "duty."  Obviously, I have been in middle school far too long.

Seriously, since I had to stay home and watch the AC boys install my new unit, I decided to link up with Jivey and Christy for their linkys.

Food first!  I missed linking up on Monday with Christy for her Eating, Drinking, and Linking party, but today I made a new muffin recipe.  Apparently, they were good because the AC boys offered to move my treadmill to another room for more muffins.

Blueberry Corn Muffins!  They are only 172 calories each.  I found this recipe at Eating Well and wanted to try it out as a healthier alternative to regular muffins - since my friend made me vow to bake healthier yummies for the upcoming school year.

  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup low-fat milk (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (plus a smidge more)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • (I added about a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla)  

Some of the reviews mentioned that they were a little dry and lacked flavor.  I took that as a challenge.  First, I used pop-in-your-mouth-fresh blueberries.  Then when I was putting in the canola oil, I added just a little bit more - maybe a 1/2 teaspoon worth?  Finally, I added a little vanilla because I just couldn't make muffins without vanilla.

It must have worked, because the AC boys took home another four muffins each as they left.  I gave them the choice between the Blueberry Corn Muffins and chocolate and peanut butter chip muffins.  They took the Blueberry Corn Muffins:).

Now the Workshop Wednesday portion of this post....

I haven't had the opportunity to link up with Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday Linky.  Since I teach Read 180, my summer brain told me that it wasn't a workshop.  As I have been gearing up for school (next week), it clicked!  Read 180 is one big workshop!
With two classes of Read 180 (one at 30 students and the other at 20 students) there are FIVE groups to keep track of during the constantly changing lessons.  Even though I have extensive lesson plans, we all know that they mainly just look pretty.  The reality is that once a lesson starts, it immediately takes on a life of its own.  In Read 180 classrooms, the groups may be in the same workshop, but all can be in slightly different places - and that doesn't even take into account reteaching or target lessons.  Last year, when I asked one group where we had left off the day before, one of my little darlings told me that her grandma couldn't remember things either.  So, I vowed to keep things straight this year.

I started with a basic notebook with numbered sheets in sheet protectors (they name their own groups, so I just used numbers for the sample).
After the divider page, I placed one of those clear pocket dividers.  I used a binder clip to attach my note page to the front of the clear pocket.

The pockets will hold the ongoing writing assignments and additional close reading stories.  The note page gives me place to jot down where we actually left off, and what we need to make sure to get done the next day.
Click here to download

One Last Thing...

From time to time, I have found it necessary to remind the office why they can't fill up my Read 180 class with as many kids as possible.  This is especially hard to explain when other classes/periods are overflowing and you have only 30.  This year, I will have a self-contained Read 180 and one single period 6th-7th grade group.  To make sure that they remember why the numbers need to stay at 20 or less for the single period, I made this visual for the office.

If this is something you need, let me know and I will be happy to send it to you!


  1. But Susan - you should be happy that you only have X amount of kids!

    Haha! I'm just proud I got back in there today to send my syllabus off to the printer.

    Life in Middle School

  2. Read 180 sounds like a great program for middle school reading. I need to find something similar that I can easily do with my inclusion class. I know I will at least have 25-30 students in that class so it may be difficult to do groups.

    Sixth Grade Tales
    Follow my new Facebook page

  3. I'm STUNNED that you have so many students! I have three classes of 18 each on my READ 180 rosters. And I feel that can be a lot of kids to make progress with!

  4. Hi Susan! I am a brand new Read 180 teacher (I'm also a fairly brand new special ed teacher in general. haha) Do you have any suggestions on getting the first week moving smoothly?

    Thanks so much!

  5. I wondered how the AC repairmen liked their treats. This must be a winner if they kept asking for more :)

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  6. I'm also a brand new READ 180 teacher like Amy. This is my first time teaching it and my school's first time with the program. I am so glad I came across your blog! Thank you for all the free downloads and advice!