Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reading Boot Camp: "The Daily Schedule"

Reading Boot Camp: "Sample Daily Schedule"
Reading Boot Camp is the perfect tool to help students transition to the Common Core ELA Standards!

The schedule below is a sample of the many RBC literacy activities and lightly touches on the enrichment activities. 

Reading Boot Camp Philosophy: Awaken or reawaken the desire for learning and imagination, let the light of wisdom and reason shine in. Solemnity, harmony, and literacy are distant visions for some teachers on day one, yet the seed is planted rigorously, feed constantly, and blossoms over the 20 plus days.

Reading Boot Camp is a teaching philosophy that uses collaborative teaching, cooperative learning structures, active student learning, and teacher made curriculum that has many levels, structures, and strategies designed to meet the needs of individual children and classrooms.

“Reading Boot Camp is a sure fire way to rev-up reading in your classroom.  RBC has no magical remedy, just uses consistent teaching practices, significant time on task~reading with student accountability, coupled with high interest reading, student motivation and effort.  Students who participated in Reading Boot Camp the summer of 2011 at Wilson K-8 and then for three weeks as the 2011 school year began, enjoyed the routines of daily singing to music with lyrics, poetry readings, word work drills, reading fluency drills, student choice in reading, academic word games, and motivational brain breaks which translated to student success. Does Reading Boot Camp work, YES!  Students grow in their reading ability, are motivated to read, recite, and sing to lyrics, while reading which equals a high level of student engagement and more time on task reading!” Cindy Senn, Wilson k-8 Reading Specialist/Teacher

The RBC schedule is not set in stone! Fluency Drills, Sight Word Drills, Singing, Exercising, Emotional Intelligence Lessons (Formative Handicrafts), Literacy Games, Academic Vocabulary Games (Legendary Lands), Poetry Readings, Book Clubs, Close Reading, Recess and Play, Authors Circles, Jokes, Riddles, Plays, and Tons of Reading Fun!

The only rules for Reading Boot Camp:
  • Every half hour take a brain break! 
  • Sing lots of songs 
  • Twice a day minimum incorporate formative handicrafts Käsityö  
  • Repeat all declarative lessons (Ex. Vocabulary Tier 1, 2, and 3) within two hours to maximize long term memory of materials
  • Keep it fun
  • Play games and more board games
  • Be creative 
  • Use Cooperative Learning Structures 
  • Skip the published basal readers and computer reading software  
8:35 Morning Motivational and Emotional Intelligence Building “Can I get an Hazzah ”: We start the day with ”brain washing” the students using the old fashion method of classic fairy tales, parables, inspirational stories, and fables. I share the epic stories of courage, virtue, honor, perseverance, responsibility, duty, fortitude, chivalry, civility, empathy, sacrifice, and most importantly, an exemplary work ethic.


8:45 Morning goals and preview: We set daily, weekly, and monthly goals, with active charting of all data for a strong visual cue of each student's progress. Class and student goals are always set at or above grade level, even for students who are four years below grade level. All class goals are posted in the class and updated regularly as students meet and surpass goals. Daily goals include tasks completed for homework and class work. For intermediate students, we list at least seven daily goals: 1) I will read, analyze, and diagram two-four poems, and select one to memorize for daily recitation; 2) I will read or reread two short stories and complete vocabulary comprehension exercises (questions); 3) I will read two chapters from a grade-level text and write a story map for each; 4) I will write five to fifteen, kid-friendly sentences with at least six to eight words each using the review vocabulary; 5) I will write one poem in student-selected cursive in my Book of Memories ( a collection of students best work and cherished knowledge); 6) I will study, review, or learn twenty five new words, ideas, facts, jokes, stanzas, phrases, limericks, rhymes, riddles, antonyms, synonyms, quotes, parables, folktales, myths, fables, and or fairy tales; and 7) We set big goals but keep many easy to attain! Do not try to do all this in a day!!! A goal can be as simple as do your homework.  Primary Goals; 1) I will learn and have fun!;  2) I will read 25-50 words with my partner and make and share kid friendly sentences; 3) I will actively listen and ask complete questions; 4) I will read two poems and find the words that help me create a picture in my mind (imagery)  “Try to learn 25 new things everyday at school or at home!” Goals: Students who meet their daily, weekly, and monthly goals can earn time for art lessons, hot cocoa with the teacher, Chinese noodles for lunch, homework passes, and the kids favorite a ten-minute dance party. Students who do nothing to meet their goals are dressed down and read the riot act using kid logic and parables to re-teach the work ethic and responsibility. I eat lunch with my students most days, so they can share what’s going on in their lives. I invite students who seem to be lost and have no desire to participate in school to join me for lunch. I let them know I am going to do everything in my power to teach them how to read and to keep them on task. I am a tough, no-nonsense teacher, and letting the kids talk and laugh with me at lunch lets them see me as someone other than the reading drill sergeant. It helps kids relate and feel more comfortable in the classroom.    

Grade Level Fluency Goals

1st Grade 80 Words Correct Per Minute
2nd 140 WCPM
3rd 160
4th 180
5th 195
6th 205
7th 210
8th 215

READING ENDURANCE GOALS Sustained Out-Load Reading

1st Grade 20-30 minutes
2nd 30-40 minutes
3rd 40-60 minutes
4th 60-80 minutes
5th 80-100 minutes
6th 100-120 minutes
7th 100-120 minutes
8th 100-120 minutes

Morning Song | Start the Day RIGHT!  

The Legendary Lands
8:50 Vocabulary Games: VOCABULARY SPARKLE Have your children stand or sit on their desk so they are facing the teacher. Start at either end of room and give the first child a vocabulary word or definition. They say the definition or kid friendly sentence if given the vocabulary word or they must give the word when a definition is given. The child that cannot give an answer says SPARKLE and must sit down. Continue the game until you are down to one child! The last child that has answered all the vocabulary gets a small bag of popcorn. Every child that answers a hard vocabulary question correctly gets a pretzel, stamp, or a sticker. They love this and it is great review for challenging academic vocabulary! Start with a mix of easy and hard words to get the kids excited and ready to study the challenging academic words.

We use Tier 2 and Tier 3 Academic Vocabulary.

8:54 WORD WORK DRILLS: Vocabulary Drills and Practice With Buddy: Vocabulary Building Activities Graded word list used daily to build phonemic awareness, word attack skills, articulation, power, and fluency. Students read the words up to ten times per day, as needed, at the start of Reading Boot Camp to reinforce fluency and word attack skills. The drills are quick, one-time read-through that take about a minute to read the twenty to forty words. ALL VOCABULARY (WORD WALLS) I USE DURING READING BOOT CAMP ARE CONTAINED IN A SPELLER! THE SPELLER CONTAINS ALL GRADED VOCABULARY, ACADEMIC WORDS, FLUENCY DRILLS, POETRY, SHORT STORIES, And ACADEMIC GLOSSARIES. Ask students to keep an efficient pace and use timers to guide the class. Students with attention problems do well with this task. After reading the vocabulary list for fluency have students share kid friendly sentences, antonyms, synonyms and definitions. Students that are learning English are asked to repeat the sentences or definition they just heard. Activities can be done with a partner or in small groups.

Sample from Primary Speller
Week 1
1st Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1, 2 & 3
Week 1
2nd Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1, 2 & 3

Week 1
3rd Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1, 2 & 3
Comprehensive Academic Vocabulary Tier 3
Language Arts
Social Studies
Comprehensive Academic Vocabulary Tier 2             Blooms Taxonomy Vocabulary

9:10 Quick Reading Drills: Fluency drill: Students use a collection of teacher-made fluency drills to quickly read a passage and assess a reading fluency rate. Students are trained to complete the Running Record and monitor, record and prepare a simple miscue analysis for their peers. Students then switch roles and repeat the Running Record process. The students calculate, or get help calculating, their own words-per-minute fluency rate. Extensions: The student then read and reread the fluency drill to practice inflection, articulation, and expression with peer and teacher modeling. The first time a passage is introduced, I read the passage with power and inflection as it would be performed as a recitation for an audience. We discuss vocabulary and background knowledge to insure full understanding of the literature.

9:15 Poetry and Prose: Students can read a quick poems with a reading buddy or come together for formal poetry readings and student recitation. Formal poetry readings start with soft jazz music and students sitting with their poetry books in hand, reading along as a student reads or I perform a selected poem. Students who have mastered a poem are invited to recite for the class. We critique the poem for articulation, emotions, and our thoughts and impressions. Extensions: Jazz and poetry can run longer than the five to ten minutes that I give it during Reading Boot Camp. Reading collections of poems from the same author and doing a more thorough analysis is time well spent and makes life-long readers of poetry. There are many "aah . . ." and "Wow!" teachable moments in poetry. Digging deeper into poetry helps teach the hardest concepts in reading, such as inference, author's view point, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and allusion. Extensions: Riddles and Jokes are also used to teach inferential thinking skills.

9:25 Guided Reading or Close Reading: Students participate in an Oprah-style book club during Reading Boot Camp and throughout the year. All students (and the teacher) read the same award-winning chapter book. I usually start with a book that is one grade above the level I teach to insure a very steep learning curve. Harry Potter books are favorites. Whenever a student or I read to the class, the students always have the text in front of them. The students read along silently with the reader, their fingers following word-for-word. To begin, I read the first few pages (no more than half of the chapter). I stop frequently to do a 'think aloud' to show my thoughts and opinions. Any passage that has a teachable moment is seized to help students understand complex concepts. Background knowledge and challenging vocabulary are explained and simplified with synonyms and examples. Students have a short breakout reading session with their peers and reread what I read to them. Students are grouped in many ways, from picking groups randomly using popsicle sticks, to forming groups using student data. Students take turns reading two pages and then actively monitoring for understanding and decoding. The student who monitors the reader must ask three questions that show a deep understanding of what was just read. The impressions of characters feelings, motivations, author's viewpoint, and vocabulary are discussed and analyzed for meaning. Students who cannot decode a word or don’t know its meaning get assistance from their peers, or, if needed, from the teacher.

9:50 Brain Breaks: Educational Sloyd "handicrafts training that incorporates character building", Games, Poems. and Music and Lyrics: Students learn to sing 10-20 songs during RBC. We usually start with the Beatles or classics from the great singer songwriters.

Use everything and anything to bring 
literacy into the classroom, Even Bollywood!  
Music and Movement with a Twist! 

9:55 Quick Fluency drill: Students retake the previous fluency drill to improve their wpm scores.

10:00 Music and Movement: After sustained, focused reading and concentration, students take a music and movement break in the form of a high-energy tune and kung fu exercises. The kids do deep knee bends, push ups, and other stretching exercises -- think Tie Chi and New Wave Rave music. Extensions: I will turn the music and movement break into a longer lesson by having the students listen to a song with great poetic lyrics. The goal for the students is to listen and write down all the lyrics. The students' focus quickly turns to mania to get all the lyrics written down. Active listening is very easy to teach with this method, especially if you use a song from No Doubt to Katy Perry. '


10:05 Story Maps and Journaling: Students write a story map or journal entry to strengthen reading concepts. Students work together with their reading partners or with the teacher together for the second part of the guided reading instruction. We review important concepts to look for and discuss the main idea of the chapter. I model a proper story map on the chalk board and show students my thought processes on selecting important detail. Students break out into groups and revisit the chapter they just read earlier with their peers. They review the chapter again, stopping to write challenging and interesting vocabulary. Then they sequence important details as they happen in the chapter. Students can use the author’s words and phrases or put them into their own words, depending on their ability. Students take turns reading and helping with selecting important content and discussing what is actually important. Students usually have fifteen to twenty vocabulary words and ten to twenty sentences in sequential order.

We Spend 30% of the day goofing off with enrichment activities! Handicraft "Käsityö", Paper Sloyd. Singing Songs, Playing Games, Hunting for Sand Rubies in the Sand Box, Dancing to Bollywood Songs, Dressing Up, Hand Weaving, and every other fun activity that makes learning fun!

We Take a Brain Break Every Half Hour!  
The Praisers Club Affirmation Poster Party! 

The Students Play Games Twice A Day!  
The Kids Favorite Quick
Brain Break is Hand Weaving "Käsityö"

10:45 Word Work Vocabulary Practice with Buddy | Dragons and Airships or Alien Vocabulary Game | (Tier 3 and Tier 2 Testing Words) Use this free tier 3 academic vocabulary game to build test readiness. The game is designed to be a fun way to build academic vocabulary using a game students already know. A number of "CAMO Aliens" (ladders) and "Blues Aliens" (or "chutes") are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate one's game piece from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by CAMO Aliens and Blues Aliens, respectively. Any time you land on an alien you have to draw a new card! If you land on the CAMO Aliens and answer the vocabulary question correctly you beam to the next highest CAMO Alien plus the move allowance on the card. If you land on the Blue Alien and get the question wrong you beam down to the next lowest Blues Alien. If you are on a Blue Alien and answer correctly you stay put until your next turn.    

The game is a simple race to the top using the RBC Vocabulary Flash Cards, and is popular with children. 
11:05 Direct Vocabulary Instruction: ELA and Reading Testing Vocabulary: This is even made into a camp style actvity. Three tiers of vocabulary are used during vocabulary instruction. Grade level Tier 1 reading/spelling vocabulary, Tier 2 and 3 academic vocabulary, and a grade below Tier 1 for review. six-ten words from each academic Tier are selected and explicitly taught with definition and kid friendly examples. We read, write, define, categorize Tier 1 vocabulary, and students use in a sentence, I try to make funny or odd sentences to help students remember. Tier 1 Vocabulary is also, alphabetized, syllabified, categorized (noun, verb, adjective etc.) and roots, suffix, prefixes are examined in a discussion forum. Students then write one kid-friendly sentence per word for Tier 1 grade level vocabulary, with at least six to eight words, to show understanding. I give students examples of strong sentences and weak sentences to model competent writing. Students can use my sentences to help with the process at the beginning. Most vocabulary words are discussed and made into sentences by the teacher to help students with active listening before they have to write them. Extensions: Students who are reading at grade level are instructed to choose harder words and analyze and write more complex sentences.

11:25 MORE BRAIN GAMES: VOCABULARY SPARKLE Have your children stand or sit on their desk so they are facing the teacher. Start at either end of room and give the first child a vocabulary word or definition. They say the definition or kid friendly sentence if given the vocabulary word or they must give the word when a definition is given. The child that cannot give an answer says SPARKLE and must sit down. Continue the game until you are down to one child! The last child that has answered all the vocabulary gets a small bag of popcorn. Every child that answers a hard vocabulary question correctly gets a pretzel, stamp, or a sticker. They love this and it is great review for challenging academic vocabulary! Start with a mix of easy and hard words to get the kids excited and ready to study the challenging academic words.

Teaching Poetic Devices with Lyrics!!

11:30 SMARTBoard Read Aloud: Alice in Wonderland, Chapter One: Students gather around the SMARTBoard to read and listen to Alice in Wonderland. I load the PDF ebook to display on the SMARTBoard, select the Librivox audio book, and start the presentation. I ask for a volunteer to use the pointer to help students follow the text as its being read by the Librivox narrator. The students relax and listen to Alice and I have time to work with a student or put my feet up and take a breather. I am lucky to have a SMARTBoard to help with reading instruction and lesson planning. Before the SMARTBoard, I was stuck using my Aver key and my TV.

Make Reading an Event!
11:30 Short Stories: Many teachers do not have a SMARTBoard, so this type of read aloud is not possible in that format. Teachers can use their computer and/or an Aver key to do a modified read aloud. Teachers, who do not have access to technology, can use a student-led reading group to read a short story. Students select a short story from their anthologies and round-robin read with their groups. The teacher can join a group, or work one-on-one with a student who is struggling. Groups should be formed using student data to insure each group has one strong reader. They read the story, and if they have time, read a second story, taking turns reading and discussing important details and interesting concepts.

12:00 Morning Wrap: Quick discussions of morning goals, learning, and methods are critiqued to improve the learning environment. Exemplary students who demonstrate excellent manners and etiquette are praised and celebrated.

12:05: Brain Breaks: Music and Lyrics:

12:10 Recess and Lunch: Students who are not on task, who play or goof around, lack manners or good school-etiquette are kept in during recess to re-teach those skills that are needed to succeed. I use an old-school method of positive behavior modification in the form of writing sentences. Positive affirmations are used to help modify attitude and behavior. Intermediate students, who are chronically off the mark, write twenty five affirmations to start the reprogramming and they lose their lunch recess.

12:40 Vocabulary Practice With Buddy: Vocabulary Building Activities

12:50 Quick Fluency drill: Students retake the previous fluency drill to improve their wpm scores.

12:55 Poetry and Prose: Students buddy read a poem or come together for student recitation or performance. We start the soft jazz music and sit with our poetry books in hand, reading along as the students recite or perform a selected poem.

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean, 
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
 Nothing in the world is single,

All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle -
Why not I with thine?
 See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

1:00 Academic Vocabulary Instruction: Six challenging words are selected, usually at a grade above what is taught. I use a fifth grade vocabulary list for some, and sixth grade for a few students. Vocabulary is reviewed, categorized (noun, verb, adjective etc.) and synonyms and antonyms are diagrammed on the SMARTBoard or chalk board. I give three examples of each word in a sentence to help students understand the meaning. Students then write one kid-friendly sentence per word, with at least six words, to show understanding. Students are allowed to use my sentences or write their own. Extensions: Students above grade level can assist with writing and editing of peers' work and reading if they are competent and good role models. Students can also assist with analyzing new poems and literature for challenging vocabulary and suggested lessons.

1:10 VOCABULARY SPARKLE Have your children stand or sit on their desk so they are facing the teacher. Start at either end of room and give the first child a vocabulary word or definition. They say the definition or kid friendly sentence if given the vocabulary word or they must give the word when a definition is given. The child that cannot give an answer says SPARKLE and must sit down. Continue the game until you are down to one child! The last child that has answered all the vocabulary gets a small bag of popcorn. Every child that answers a hard vocabulary question correctly gets a pretzel, stamp, or a sticker. They love this and it is great review for challenging academic vocabulary! Start with a mix of easy and hard words to get the kids excited and ready to study the challenging academic words.

1:15 Fluency Drills or Math Blast Vocabulary Lesson Math Blast is a quick review of Tier 3 Math vocabulary on the chalk board with examples. Example: Obtuse, Mode, Median, Ordered Pairs or any other Grade level Tier 3 Vocabulary students must mastered. 1:20 Vocabulary Instruction: VOCABULARY MASTERS!

1:30 Music and Movement: After sustained focus and concentration, students take a music and movement break in the form of a super-high-energy tune and Kung Fu exercises. The kids do deep-knee bends, push ups, and other stretching exercises think Tie Chi and new-wave, rave music.

1:35 Poetry and Prose: Student volunteers read a favorite poem as the class reads along. Cracker Barrel Philosophy: Reading great poetry is bubble gum for the imagination. 'It's very hard when you start but the more you chew the softer it gets". Sean

1:44 Word Wall Fluency Drills

1:45 Quick Fluency drill: Students retake the previous fluency drill to improve their wpm scores.

1:50 Poetry Recitation: Students write, read, and memorize a poem to recite. The students read and reread the entire poem, practicing articulation and enunciation for public performance. They must memorize at least one stanza, and students with more skill can memorize up to four. We start with a simple poem like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that most kids know.

2:15 Music and Lyrics:

2:20 Short Stories: Students select a short story from their anthologies, peer read with their partners, and take notes in their reading journals. Try to incorporate the classics, e.g. The Brothers Grimm and Aesop’s Fables to give students a foundation in classic literature.

2:30 Guided Reading or Close Reading: Students bring their Harry Potter book and join in as I read the first few pages of the next chapter that was read earlier in the morning. We read chorally, practicing speed and fluency, with me as the model. I stop often, explaining my Metacognition, to help student take deeper meaning from the material. I ask for volunteers to reread a paragraph or a passage, as the class silently reads along. Background knowledge and challenging vocabulary is explained in detail, and we try to make connections to books, movies, or other teachable concepts. The students then break out into their groups and reread what we read chorally. Each student may read or monitor for understanding, and all students are encouraged to read. During transitions to the next reader, they pause for inquiry and dialogue on important impressions. Students who cannot decode a word, or don’t know its meaning, get assistance first from their peers then the teacher.

2:45 Music and Lyrics:

2:50 Vocabulary Practice With Buddy: Vocabulary Building Activities A sample page from my NEW Eclectic Intermediate Speller (2012-2013) that meets or exceeds all Common Core State Standards for Reading and English Language Arts! A Sample Week

3rd Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary   Tier 1
4th Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1
5th Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary   Tier 1
Comprehensive Academic Vocabulary Tier 3
Language Arts
Social Studies
Academic Vocabulary Tier 2  Blooms Taxonomy Vocabulary

3:00 Short Music and Movement Cleanup: Always leave the student on a high point, if possible, with great music and lots of smiles and praise.

Flipped Classroom Weekly Reading Homework:

Homework Reading Ideas:

The Great Robot Race: Weekly Reading Assignment #1

Read the short wiki article below about DARPA'S Grand Challenge and then watch the PBS Nova program. Write a short summary, create a Glogster, Empressr, and or Prezi of what you learned or found interesting and post it to the Reading Sage Blog. 

Extra Credit: Follow the links on the wiki article and or read one of the extra articles below and do an in-depth research paper or digital presentation about the DARPA challenge and share your findings and opinions with our readers.   

Reading Assignment Extensions |  Digital Presentations: 
Create a Digital Project and share the link and project on the Reading Sage Blog.  

 My Top 10 Digital Presentation Tools! 
  1. Spreaker Create an online podcast or radio show and share with your friends
  2. Vocaroo Online Voice Recorder Vocaroo is a quick and easy way to record and share voice messages, podcast over the internet with no sign up
  3. Glogster Express yourself with the ultimate Glog(TM) - graphic blog. Mix Web, Images, Text, Music and Video.
  4. Little Bird Tales: Capture the Voice of Childhood. We offer a fun,unique way to create,record and share stories online.
  5. Empressor Tell your story anyway you like. Add photos, music, video, and audio, and share it publicly or privately in an instant. Empressr is the best and original browser based rich media presentation and storytelling tool.
  6. Prezi Prezi is a cloud based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas
  7. Voki Voki is a FREE service that lets you: Create customized avatars. Add voice to your Voki avatars. Post your Voki to any blog, website, or profile.
  8. VUVOX VUVOX allows you to create interactive slideshows and presentations from photos, video and music from Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, and YouTube..
  9. Slideshare Offers users the ability to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios
  10. Zoho Zoho offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing your productivity and offering easy collaboration.

More Reading Opportunities!  STEM RULES!
  1. Stanley: The Robot that Won the DARPA Grand Challenge
  2. Winning the DARPA Grand Challenge with an AI Robot 
  3. Junior: The Stanford Entry in the Urban Challenge 
  4. Why We Compete in DARPA’s Urban ChallengeAutonomous Robot Race

PBS LINK DARPA Grand Challenge

The DARPA Grand Challenge is a prize competition for American driverless vehicles, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the most prominent research organization of the United States Department of Defense. Congress has authorized DARPA to award cash prizes to further DARPA's mission to sponsor revolutionary, high-payoff research that bridges the gap between fundamental discoveries and military use. The initial DARPA Grand Challenge was created to spur the development of technologies needed to create the first fully autonomous ground vehicles capable of completing a substantial off-road course within a limited time. The third event, the DARPA Urban Challenge extended the initial Challenge to autonomous operation in a mock urban environment. The most recent Challenge, the 2012 DARPA Robotics Challenge, will focus on autonomous emergency-maintenance robots. Wiki 

Board Games and More Games!

Available Free By Email and Free on Teachers Pay Teachers Soon!

"The Legendary Lands"
a Literary Adventure Game 

In this RISK style “word domination game“ game of reading comprehension and reading strategies you are battling to conquer the world of literacy, literary elements, poetry and academic vocabulary in any domain. To win, you must launch daring adventures, assemble teams of scholars, build floating sky  fortresses of learning (Sky Libraries), seek knowledge on all fronts, and sweep across vast literary lands with boldness and cunning. But remember, the dangers, as well as the rewards, are high. Just when the world of knowledge is within your grasp, your antagonist opponent might strike and take it all away!

Legendary Lands Map Quadrangle 1 of 8


Steampunk Airship From The Legendary Lands Game


  1. WOW! You are doing a great job. Love the ideas here. Keep it up.

  2. Fantastic! I love what you are doing. I had the same concept in mind except with middle school students 7th grade ELA, because your boot camp was designed for elementary students, any pointers.

  3. Hi LC,
    Most of Reading Boot Camp started 9 years ago with my first year teaching 6th grade. The class I took over was scoring in the 30th percentile on reading and language arts test. By the end of the year my class performed at the 70th percentile. We read and reread Harry Potter and other great literature plus did lots of journaling! Please email me if you would like to get more ideas or share. Sean Taylor

  4. This is a fantastic blog. Keep up the great work.

    Grade 6 Teacher

  5. When do they get math, science, social studies, specials?

  6. The first 20 Days of school are dedicated to Literacy! Student go to specials but their is no formal math of science lessons during the 20 days. We read many informational texts and discuss many concepts in math and science during the 20 days! Students make greater than expected growth on all academic measures based on NWEA map testing using reading boot camp methods! The class grows 300-400 Lexile points in reading in 20 days! The students are charged and ready for a super year after Reading Boot Camp! Sean Taylor M.Ed.

  7. Have any 1st grade teachers tried Reading Boot Camp at your school? If so, I would love to see some examples of what they did!

  8. As a remedial community college reading teacher, this sounds very promising. Can this full day program be scaled down to classes that meet 1.5 hours three days a week?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I am so glad to find this site. It's like getting am inside look into a classroom, which is helpful for parents like me! Thanks a million!

  11. I teach 3rd and 4th grade reading, two ability grouped classes for each grade level. I see the students for 55 minutes a day. Do you have any advice on how I could use your great ideas within that amount of time? There are so many things I would like to do, but I'm having a real hard time making everything fit into that schedule. Thank you for sharing on this site. I'm inspired by you!

    1. All the parts of Reading Boot Camp are important but the critical points are improving fluency and academic vocabulary knowledge. I would do a mini Boot Camp daily with fluency drills, vocabulary games, and read alouds. Use literacy centers and other parts to add some pizazz especially the music and lyrics. I am developing RBC into printable literacy centers for my kids this year and I will be placing them on the blog as they are finished in a form teachers can easily use. The most important idea is keep in fun and fast! Sean Please email me at for more info!

    2. Hi, can I implement it now in my classroom.? I teach third grade, and i also have a few repeaters, and very low students in reading and math. Air this point I am willing to try something different. However I don't have them the entire day i teach reading the other teacher teach math. They take FCAT this year too. Any advice would be appreciated.

    3. Hi, can I implement it now in my classroom.? I teach third grade, and i also have a few repeaters, and very low students in reading and math. Air this point I am willing to try something different. However I don't have them the entire day i teach reading the other teacher teach math. They take FCAT this year too. Any advice would be appreciated.

    4. The best way to Implement RBC is pick a literary theme that you enjoy and build the camp reading activities around that theme. The areas that you must do daily are, fluency drills, tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary games, and real cooperative learning, not a quasi version but modified Kagan structures and strategies. My kids get a crash course in cooperative learning and educational Sloyd (Formative Handicraft) that helps build social emotional intelligence and theory of mind. We spend 20 full days reading aloud and talking about literature using Blooms Question Stems (Today we use Webb’s DOK and Blooms Stems). The kids need to buy in and want to thrive academically and this takes a Finnish way of educating children. Make reading an overwhelming intrinsic desire that feeds on its own success. Sean

    5. thank you for your reply.

  12. Wow! Amazing!!! I love your style and philosophy on reading. I have shown many of the same videos, coincidentally, to my students over the years. This was my first year not in a classroom but when I heard "Settle Down" on the radio last summer, I told my son- "If I had a class, I would use this song to make the kids line up for lunch!"


    Keep up the great work and thanks for being so generous and sharing this wealth of material!

  13. Thank you so much for this! It's giving me a lot of ideas and new insights :)

  14. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your story. No doubt you are touching thousands of kids. As teachers and parents read your wonderful blog and implement your terrific ideas more and more children will benefit.

  15. Hi Sean. These are great ideas and a little overwhelming for a parent. Would you have a shortened at home schedule to improve english/language arts? Thanks.

  16. I love the idea of reading boot camp. I am trying to see exactly how I can work my schedule (per administration) to include as many parts of this as possible. What parts do you think get the most bang for your buck? Also I was just curious exactly what you meant by diagramming 2-4 poems? Do you have any poetry books that you recommend for 4th graders? Last but not least where do you get the list of tier 1 and 2 vocabulary words that you use? One last want them to know the meaning of all the vocabulary words to the extent that they can use it in a sentence?

    1. The Primary List of Tier 1 Words is The National Reading Vocabulary List!
      Grade 4 National Reading Vocabulary

      The Tier 2 Words are the Blooms and WEBB'S Dok verbs

      Poetry analysis resources and stem questions

      The students use the words continuously with me, their reading partners, and cooperative learning teams daily!

      We use the 20 days of Reading Boot Camp to develop a 4th grade dialectic learning environment, using Socratic questions, meta cognition, and lots of think aloud.My walls are covered with tier 2 question stems and tier 3 Math and reading Vocabulary to help me keep the learning at a high level.

      The tier 1 and 2 vocabulary is explored with the fluency drills, chapter books and poetry readings. The exercises are all;ways, fun, quick, rigorous and always formative.

  17. This is an amazing resource. Thank you so much for sharing! I found this site last summer and used a few techniques this year, but I'm ready to go deep for the next school year. I'm going to be teaching ESL at the middle school level next year. I'll have three preps. A newcomers/beginners class, intermediate and advanced. Any advice for modifying for each level? Any resources for Language learners? I'm new to these developmental stages in learning, but I'm so excited to put together my curriculum.