Monday, November 26, 2012

Reading Olympians and Warriors Root Programs

I know that I have blogged about Krista and Julie's Root Programs before (see previous post), but I have just has such success with these programs that I wanted to share with you how the program works specifically in my classroom. 

I guess I should start from the beginning.  Man, this could be a LONG post!  This summer my plan was to find some way to better teach Greek and Latin roots.  This is a concept that is now found in the Common Core State Standards.  Not to mention, how great it is to know the meanings of roots.  Root instruction not only improves vocabulary, but comprehension as well.  During my TpT searches, I found the Reading O program and FELL IN LOVE!  So, I started the school year back in August using the original Reading Olympian Program.  This program contains 10 "sets" of 10 prefixes, suffixes, and roots in each set.  I began with everyone starting with the Nike Set, which is the first set in the program. I modeled my expectations for completing the root packet and putting together the root rings. I gave the students one week to study the roots and then I assessed them.  After the first test, the students started really working at their own pace through the program.

Here are some guidelines I have set up for implementation in my classroom: 
  • Students take their root test on Thursday.  If they pass, I give them the next set to work on in class and as homework.  It is due no later than the following Thursday; however, students may test before that date.  Again, students work at their own pace. 
  • I consider passing 80%.  If a student makes an 80%, he or she does have the option to retake the following day, but it's not mandatory.  If the student scores below 80%, the student is required to retest the next day. 
  • If a student, who makes less than an 80% on the retake, he/she is given the packet to complete again and it's due on or before the next Thursday. 
Okay, you are probably wondering how I keep up with this MADNESS!  Well, actually it's pretty easy and I will show you how it works for me. 

Here is the storage system I use to keep copies of the packets and the assessments. 
Here is a look inside.  I keep a supply of packets and assessments for each set.  When a student is ready to test, I take up their packet and give them the assessment.  If they pass, I pull out the next set's packet and I write the due date at the top.  Since students are testing at different times, their packets are ALWAYS due on a Thursday, but they are free to test anytime before that date.  This just helps me keep track of kids so I don't have a student on the same set for weeks. 

Another way that I visually keep track of the students is with this incentive chart.  Excuse the blurry picture...I was trying to make it so the names were not legible.  Hopefully, you can still get the point.  The students put a sticker on the chart every time they pass a test.  I can look at a glance and see who has fallen way behind. 
 
I think the thing that makes this program SO motivating is the incentives.  This is my Reading Olympian bulletin board.  Each student has a chain necklace.  As students pass their tests, they receive a bead to add to their necklace.  After the student passes all of the test in the Reading Olympian program, he/she receives a dog tag for becoming an "Olympian".  Once the students become an Olympian, they begin the next set- the Warriors.  This reviews 50 roots from the Reading O set and introduces 50 new roots. 

Above you will see one of my advanced student's necklace.  She has earned her Olympian tag and since she is on the Warriors set, I give her a tag instead of a bead every time she passes a test.  She is moving right through the program.  She does have extra beads because I give the students beads as a reward for when they find prefixes, suffixes, and roots in their AR books or other reading materials.  One student brought me in a box of Aquafresh toothpaste to show me it had a root in the name.  LOL!  

I have the tags in plastic Ziploc baggies, but my beads are stored in this container.  I actually stole this from my husband.  It's a fishing tackle box, but it works like a charm.  
The students have a root packet to complete and they have to put their root cards on a ring  for classwork/homework.  Here are examples of those.  They are great for studying and reviewing previous sets.

Well, this how the root program works in my classroom.  I just can't say enough good things about this.  I have been contacted by many of my parents who have complimented the effectiveness of the program and how they themselves have been learning the roots with their children.  My students LOVE the program!  It's one thing they NEVER complain about doing!  And of course, I see the results in the classroom.  My students will be MAP testing the first week of December.  I have no doubts that their scores will have improved immensely because of this program.  I'll keep you posted on that.  ;) 

I want to end with this....Krista and Julie have not asked me to blog about their program.  I do not receive kickbacks or anything from their sales.  I just believe in this program SO much and wanted to share my successes with it.  As you know, TpT is running a HUGE sale!  If you have not looked into this program, I encourage you to check out the Reading Olympian website and their two programs.  It was the BEST money I EVER spent!  I know you won't regret purchasing either program.  You can check them out here. 



Thank you for taking the time to read my LONG winded post!  Please let me know if you have questions about anything you have read.  I would be glad to help.  If you have specific questions about the program, I can try my best to answer them, just based on my experiences.  However, I know Krista and Julie would be glad to answer questions as well.  :) 

Have a wonderful Monday evening!  Hopefully, you have done lots of Cyber Monday shopping! 

25 comments:

  1. Thanks! I bought the program and I plan on starting it after Christmas! I liked seeing the way you use it in your classroom!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this post! After reading this and following their blog, I think you've convinced me to buy :) I haven't purchased yet, and this might be answered when I do.. but where did you get the dog tags? Thank you!

    Amelia
    thewildthingslearn.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. The dog tags come from Imagestuff.com. I am so excited that you are considering the program. I think you will love it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do use this program in addition to traditional spelling or does this program replace spelling in your room? Do other teachers in your building use it as well? I am planning to start this program after Christmas. It seems to be so beneficial! My fourth graders will love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Jessica,

    I have replaced spelling with this program. I don't know about you, but I found that teaching "spelling" was not very effective for my kids. I would teach the patterns, but they were not able to carry over the skills to other words. They seem to memorize the list for the week. It just seemed to be a waste of time...at least for the group of students that I have. I just started the program this year, but some of the other teachers in my building are looking at the primary program that Julie and Krista offer. My entire fourth grade team uses the program though. You will see a remarkable difference in your students' understanding of words. It also helps with spelling because the students do know the roots that are found in words and know how to spell them. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Nicole! I love your custom Reading Olympian labels for your organization tote and bead bin. Would you be willing to share those or tell me where you purchased the clipart so I can make my own? Thanks!

    Jessica McKeever
    jesyca34@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sure thing! I will send them right now! ;)

    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would also be interested in where you got the labels for your tote and bead bin. I love your ideas for organizing this program and am anxious to get started with it in my classroom.
    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nicole,
    About how long did it take your kids to complete Olympians this year? I'm starting the program next year and am wondering if I need to purchase Warriors as well.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi,

    It really depends on your students, but the more motivated/higher students were finished right before Christmas break, so they came back and started the Warriors set. I had one student that ended up starting the Trojans set. So, I think you probably will need both sets for your higher students, so you don't hold anyone back. :)

    Thanks,
    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  11. Could you tell me a little more about how you manage the Reading Necklaces in your room? I purchased the program and am prepping my materials this summer. How many beads did you purchase to start the program? How do you manage the beads? I am beginning with the Jr. Olmpians since I am moving to 2nd grade, but also purchased the Olympian program as well. Any guidance you could offer on the necklaces would be greatly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Is there a way to purchase the program if you don't have a blog?

    ReplyDelete
  13. For me Black Friday is always the most awaited time for shopping since the prices of many products are going to be droped. In this 2013 black friday I'm preparing to find some Black Friday PlayStation 4/PS4 deals or Coupons. And I hope Amazon will offer them because I prefer shopping online than going to a local shop.

    ReplyDelete

  14. I just bought a vacuum cleaner using black friday deals from Amazon.com. I have read many review to buy this vacuum cleaner and I found a website which give a very best advice. If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner in this black friday I believe you should read the website: vacuum cleaner review

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazon has recently released a student discount for the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7. The discount gives students $50 off Kindle Fire HDX 7 as well as other selected products.The special pricing is available only to Amazon Student Members who have an active prime account. A prima account is a free six-month or $39/year plan.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nicole,
    Do students ever get to wear their necklaces, or do they stay in the classroom on the wall?

    Aslo, do you supplement the test at all besides the matching section? Do you ever have a cumulative test?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nicole,

    I'm also interested in your bead supply. What will be needed to start the year with the program. Also could you send me your labels? I've bought the program and am looking forward to implementing it in the Fall.

    Thanks!

    kelseyfangupo@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I bought the program and just read through it, but am a bit confused about the 'journal". I will email them and ask, but how do you use the journal in your room? Also, it didn't say much about homework - there is just one review sheet to do, right? Thanks - I appreciate your help, even though it isn't your program! Are you willing to share your adorable labels?
    debpalmer@cox.net

    ReplyDelete
  19. @blessedmommyx3- I am not sure what journal you are referring to. I don't use a journal, so that question would definitely need to be directed to Julie or Krista. I copy the packet for the kids and I have them work on it in class, but it is also the students' responsibilty to complete it before Thursday. So, essentially the root packet is part of their homework. I am not sure how The Reading Olympian girls implement it, but this is what I do in my classroom. I am sure there are a zillion ways to implement the program.
    Here is the link to my google drive with the labels: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4DGp0EVm5ohdXRSVUZMYXVkS00/edit?usp=sharing

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for sharing - I am printing them and already bought the containers! I am excited to start the program! What do you use for the necklace hooks? It is hard to tell from the picture what they are. I am sure there are a million things I can do, but what you did clearly works - and looks cute too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi =)

    could I also get the reading olympics tags too!!?

    minamariepark@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Mina, The tags are ordered through Image Stuff. There is more information concerning how to place orders in the Reading O program. If you have any questions about them, the creators of the program are very friendly and can help you with it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am curious. Did you see a gain in your MAP scores after using this program?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I did, but I can't tell you exactly how much growth. That data is long gone and we don't use MAP anymore. We switched to STAR the school year after this post.

      Delete