First things…get started setting up the environment.
- One thing we like to do is to take pictures of our kids with their families during Open House. Now, the term “family” means different things to different people. So, in this case I am defining it this way… “Your family is whomever comes with you to Open House.”
- Collect some frames. I got mine from the dollar store.
- Print the pictures and add them to the frames before that first day of school!
Here are the resources used in this part of the session:
Next part of the day is spent getting ready to teach! We are going to talk about getting things set up for instruction. Here is one of the ideas that I am sharing.
Writer’s Workshop Writing FoldersHere are some things to keep in mind when setting up storage for writing folders.
- Make a hanging file folders for each child. Their actual writing folder is stored inside the hanging folder. Why?
- This makes it easy for kids to “find” their folder. Nothing wastes time as much as kids looking through their desk to find their folder!
- It makes it easy for kids to find their folder without having to dig through a pile of folders. They just find their name on the hanging folder, reach inside and pull theirs out!
- By placing them in hanging folders they can easily be moved from one plastic storage tub to another.
- Use three tubs so that when it is Writer’s Workshop time, you can spread the tubs into 3 different locations in your room. Now, all of your kids will not be going to the same location to find their folder.
- Also, by having them in 3 tubs, you can differentiate! Place the children who have similar writing abilities in the same tub. Now, provide paper that best fits their needs and abilities. Now as the children learn, you can easily differentiate by moving their folders!
- Use one color of hanging folder to house the children’s writing folders. Use another color of hanging file folders to house paper and tools. This way the kids know where to look for what!
Here are the units that I used to plan this session.
We are also talking about getting your reader’s workshop started. And here is the questions, “Can all kids read?” If we say reading is bringing meaning to the page, then the answer is yes. So, when my 18 month old grandson picked up “Old MacDonald” and said, “eieiei moo moo”, he was reading!
I want the kids to see themselves as readers from the very beginning! So I do a series of mini lessons about the different ways we can read. On yesterday’s post, I talked about the 3 key guidelines for anchor charts. You might want to check that out.
After these 3 different lessons, the kids do their first book shopping from the books that we used for active engagement during these lessons.
Here are some of the resources I used during this part of the workshop.
We are also going to talk about getting your literacy centers started. One thing I will share is about being sure that you have a balance of centers for reading, writing, and word work. Make a list of your centers and divide them into these three areas. Are they balanced? Often when we think of differentiating, we only think about “What level are they?” But, the WAY in which children learn is also part of differentiating.
Here are some of the resources I used in this part of the day.
And here are the freebees!
Be sure and get these two freebees for back to school games. I put these as freebees when I was in Orlando a few weeks ago.
And today’s freebee is this set of cards to use in your block center. I made an Engineering Book for my block area. As the children created their structures, I take a picture. Later, I print them out and have the kids tell me about what they constructed.
They are great for STEM! Click here to download the Block Unit Freebee.