December, as always, is a blur. So many great family memories were made! I decided at the beginning of the month that I wasn't going to beat myself up over not being perfect! I didn't blog (or did I), I didn't work on resources....I worked on making those memories! My heart, be still, I love those babies!!!
Peek at My WeekBut, I'm back with a peek at our week of winter. Here are the things we are doing this week. You can download these plans here.
Literacy CentersEver reached the point in your day where you just can't give anymore? You just can't do another large group activity? You decide you have two choices--send them to centers or put in a movie! We have all been there! But, how do we really get the most from our centers? One of the things that Deanna Jump and I decided to do was to add a mini lesson before center time. We wanted to set our centers up just like we would readers and writers workshop. A time when we started with a mini lesson to teach a new concept. Guys...this has been HUGE! It has made a ton of difference. Here's what I think:
Mini Lesson Benefits
- It made us really look at what needed to be taught, not just plan activities to keep them busy.
- It made us think deeply about each standard, unpack, and plan lessons that would take kids to a deeper level of understanding of that standard.
- It allowed us to use a framework that we truly believe in.
- It structured the lessons so that we taught a little and practiced a little.
- It allowed us to visit the same concept over several days.
- It gave us a way to introduce concepts that we could later use as a have to center activity or to scaffold our kids for can do centers.
Here's an example of this week's mini lessons that will occur before centers. We took the concept of children needing to know the difference between letters, words, and sentences and created two weeks worth of mini lessons. Now, at the end of the week they will not only know that "can" is a word, but they will know WHY and WHAT!
These are the anchor charts of mini lessons that we will use this month. You can find those anchor charts here.