Tried it Tuesday

I am loving Holly's new linky "Tried it Tuesday" If you haven't linked up yet, this is it's second week and you can find some great ideas teachers have tried in their classroom! So I am happy to be linking up:)
My first tried it is a simple one I read on the AH-mazing Farley's blog a few weeks back (don't know how I forgot it was her, thanks so much commenters!) I was going to be gone Friday because our first game of our tournament in Indy started at 8am Friday morning (they forget we work!) Anywho, like most of yours I'm sure, my students DO NOT react well to a sub. We had one bad sub this year, and since then I feel TERRIBLE when I have a PD day or anything that keeps me away from my kiddos. So, I left them little notes on their desks to prepare them!

My students LOVED it! Probably half of my kids (without me telling them) wrote me notes about their day and left them on my desk. They said it made their day start so much better because they felt like I was with them! TOO cute :) I wrote longer things on some kiddos desk who I felt needed it more, and some I just put a simple heart with a "C". Every kiddo got something!

The next thing I started trying with my kiddos before break was RAZ kids. For those of you that use Reading A-Z, it is made by them! I LOVE this program and so do my kiddos. BONUS, it is {so} super easy to use! First, you log in and add each of your students reading levels. They have a chart so you can see however you measure levels how your student would match up (we use DRAs.) Once you've done that, you just give your students your username, and VOILA! They can start.
It makes a pre-designed reading program for students to independently navigate through. 

They are given 12 books on their reading level. They listen to the book being read aloud, and take quizzes on the book. They earn stars every time they complete a task, and they can use these stars to buy things to "decorate" their planet (my fourthies LOVE this.) Also, I have microphones at each computer. It records my students reading their book into the microphone so I can listen and check fluency at any time. When students have finished all 12 books and achieved a passing score, it moves students on to the next level. The books are fairly long, engaging, and really interesting! My school district bought it for me, and I love it! If your district isn't willing to do so, it might be something you invest in yourself because I have really seen some improvement in my kiddos with this program. 

Hope these "Tried Its" were able to help you! Thanks for reading and happy Tueseday! :)


  1. I love Raz Kids. Reading A-Z is one of my most favorite things!! I've seen leaving notes on students' desks somewhere before, too...was that a Farley idea?

    Hokie Teach

  2. I think Donna is right about the notes being a Farley idea. I think it's so cute! I should be absent one day just to try it! (Just kidding!)


  3. Leaving notes on the desk is such a cool idea! Is that wet erase marker? I have a feeling our maintenance would complain but I still love it! I pinned the RAZ too. We have Reading A-Z so it might be something my district has access to. I need to check it out. Thank you so much for linking up!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. It is wet erase marker! It comes off so easily :) My maintenance is totally find with it because my students can just use their fingers even to erase it :) RAZ is great! I hope your district will make it available to you!


  4. Yep, a Farley idea. Did you use permanent marker or Expo?

    Fifth in the Middle

  5. My district also purchased a subscription to Raz and I absolutely love it. They have such a great selection of nonfiction. I'm excited to have found another 4th grade blog.:)

    iTeach 1:1

  6. I love writing on my kids' desks, but only thought of it when I saw Farley's recent post. I love that you've tried it already!

    Dry erase wipes off easily. Sharpie comes off with Expo and elbow grease. Our maintenance staff doesn't mind, as long as we clean it up. ;)

    1. Thanks! It totally worked great :) It comes off SO easy! Thanks for leaving some love :)

  7. I didn't know that RAZ Kids was for 4th school uses it in 1st so that's great to know. I love the notes that you left for the kiddos when they had a sub. A great idea!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  8. Thanks for the reminder about the desk notes. I saw that post and thought it was such a great idea. I'm going to have a sub on Monday and I know my kids will love it.
    Third Grade Galore

  9. I have never seen the tip about writing on student desks- what a nice way of letting your students know you are still thinking about them and rooting for their success when you aren't even in the room!

    Polka Dots & Teaching Tots

  10. We use Razz Kids too! Love it! I also love Have you tried that out yet? It's free and for vocabulary!! I'm a new follower!
    Pinkadots Elementary