I have been doing a lot of shopping which is not good for my credit card balance, but I feel like I'm getting some things done that I definitely need to do before we go back. I decided I am definitely not allowed near the Container Store again for a very, very long time! And to top it off we have a Container Store right next to a Lakeshore store--big trouble for teachers on a budget.
I also made a productive trip to Wal-Mart. I don't go there often, ours is kind of in a skeezy part of town, plus I end up coming out with far more than I went in for. I did get the bags I need to decorate for my students' "homework bags". Not traditional homework, but instead I record stories for my students to listen to at home. They take the mp3 player (soooo grateful to Donorschoose) and the book, that way I know someone is reading to them at night. (They always say...Miss Trayers, this sounds like you! :).
I work at a Title 1 school with about 90% of our students who qualify for free/reduced lunch. For many families books are not something the kids have access to the way their counterparts in other parts of the city do. Plus I know many parents are busy these days so sometimes reading regularly to their children falls away due to other priorities. I've had a lot of success with them. Some of the kids like them more than others--one parent told me her son falls asleep listening to me read.
Don't you just love my beautiful artwork! :) I give them away to the kids at the end of the year (last year I saw one of the 5th graders was still using hers at a tote bag)-so I make new ones every year.
I used to do it with cassette tapes and Walkmans-I actually still have those but it was such a pain to have to turn the tapes over and rewind them all every night. Not to mention I would have to record stories over other stories because cassettes were pretty expensive. Now with the mp3 players-it's so easy! I just record the story and upload it. The kids know how to work them and I can even use it for their listening stations. I think a great way for them to practice listening to someone reading fluently and following along with the print.