All posts tagged: writing folders

The First Two Weeks of School

School starts in two weeks and while my mind is still in summer mode, I am starting to think about the beginning of the year.  This is the plan I have for the first two weeks of school.  My students have 7 period days and attend class for 45 minutes, so these lessons are designed with that time frame in mind. Week One Day 1–One Word Challenge  This is a great activity for allowing students to think about the upcoming year.  I put this up on a PowerPoint slide deck and you can find it here: One Word Challenge. Day 2–Get to Know You Icebreaker Students create a name tag.  After they are done with their name tag, they place it at the edge of their desk and we go around the room sharing and listening to everyone.  I hang on to them and pass them out at the beginning of each class for two weeks.  It allows me to learn names quickly (instead of always referring to the seating chart) and for others to learn …

The Beginning of the Year

You’ve probably already heard this before, but setting the right tone at the beginning of the school year is very important.  For me, it’s important to create an inviting and safe classroom, establish expectations and routines, develop a reading and writing culture, and build a place of community trust.  None of this could be possible if I didn’t invest the time and energy specifically the first few weeks of school.  (And as veteran teachers know, you continue to reinforce those expectations throughout the year.) Here are six things that I do, within the first two weeks of school, to set the right tone for the school year. I take my class roster, a clipboard, and a pen and stand in the doorway.  Students cannot walk into class without passing me first.  I introduce myself with a big smile and ask their name.  If it’s pronounced different than it looks on paper, or a student goes by a nickname, I jot that down next to their official name. Not only does it help me know exactly how …

5 End-of-the-Year Ideas

We have a week left of school and every year I feel hard-pressed for time.  There’s so much to do and so little time in which to do it!  As the school year comes to a close, I give students time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming one. Reflecting is a good way to showcase the hard work students did this year, and for them to see where they started in September and ended in June.  Because growth in reading and writing is slow, oftentimes students don’t see it.  As teachers we see our students grow in leaps and bounds, but when you’re in the thick of it, it doesn’t always feel that way.  Regardless of whatever final essay, project, or assignment they are completing as the year winds down, I remind students of this and encourage them to push themselves a little harder as we approach the finish line.