Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Comes to an End...

After making an attempt to get this blog started last year, I am going to try again as a "New School Year" Resolution. I had no idea how much time opening a new school would take! In the last year, I have opened a new school, moved to a new apartment, and started volunteering on a regular basis. I will be beginning graduate school in the fall and am so excited to be getting back into the structure of the school year.

At the end of last year, I was fortunate enough to receive a mounted SmartBoard in my room, so I am already making some plans for how to reorganize. I have also been learning everything I can from Lucy Calkins and Teachers College at Columbia to implement writing workshop in my room. This will be a big transition for me, as last year we were only able to teach writing 2-3 days a week, with the other days being social studies lessons. After lots of work with our schedule, we will be going back to teaching every subject each day. I am so excited to see how much my kiddos grow this year. 

In order to make Writing Workshop a success in my room, I will be implementing some new techniques, such as "Writing First Aid Kits" and a conferring binder. We will also be using writing folders in a whole new way! Below, click the link to get a copy of the letter we will be sending home with our second graders to decorate their writing folders. I have included a picture of my writing folder as well so both the kids and their parents can see our ultimate goal. I am hoping that all of the folders will come to school securely glued, but I am planning on being prepared with some home made Mod Podge just in case!

(Click the picture above to access a printable version of this letter. If you use this in your classroom, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear how it goes!) 

I have also been preparing for a full transition into Guided Math this year and am thrilled that I will be able to teach almost every subject in small groups. Thanks to a few trips to the Dollar Spot at Target, I am already building up my collection of Fact Fluency games. I am looking forward to focusing on math next week while I am attending an extended math training. Be on the look-out for what I've been working on!

I am going to leave you with our grade level title for our hallway. Our theme next year is, "Wild About the Wolfpack." This heading will look great with the tear art our graduating second graders did at the end of the year. I can't wait to see it all together!

Happy Thursday!