Welcome back to Raki's Rad Resources for our latest Spotlight Blogger. My family and I are camping right now, and we are taking a break from all screens in an effort to recharge our batteries and get ready for the new school year. While we are gone, I hope you are enjoying the spotlight bloggers who have agreed to guest blog for me. Be sure to pin the posts you like, as the spotlight blogger with the most pins on their post will win a special prize! And then, please stop by their blogs and see all the awesome things they have to offer you.
The beginning of the year always seems to be a swirl of ideas and planning and creating for me. I even have a hard time stopping my brain to sleep at times. Most of my thoughts are about my new students, new curriculum, larger class sizes, parent communication, seating , and classroom management. It’s hard to focus on just one thing, and thinking about it makes me exhausted. There is one thing I do love to focus on though and it’s one of the first things I ask my students to do when they arrive on the first day of school…write!
Writing is a great way to get your students back in the groove and engaged in school. Not only do you engage them in writing, but also you get them thinking, creating, planning, conferencing, and sharing right from the start. Best part is it gives you an ideal way to assess skills on many levels and start planning for your first writer’s workshop piece and year.
One of my favorite ways to start each piece is by sharing a story, short novel, or picture book. I know what you’re thinking…my students are too old to be read to, right? Well let me tell you, reading to my 4th and 5th graders last year was one of my favorite things to do and theirs too! Right after lunch, turn down the lights, let the students relax and be enthralled by the book. And then guess what, 10 minutes later, wham, on go the lights, we discuss what we read, highlight what you want them to focus on, and then they scatter to desks and writing areas around the room to write silently for 10 minutes. If you sit down and write with them, they will be totally blown away, and won’t know what to do. Plan on sharing what you’ve written also, it’s wonderful for new writers to see and hear what others have to say and how they say it!
So, as you’re planning for your new school year, amongst the seating charts, bulletin boards, incentive charts, and parent handbooks, think about your writer’s workshop and how you can use it to your advantage right from the first bell. I’ve written several posts about Intentional Writing for your students. These posts cover how to generate ideas, graphic organizers, and conferences, all the way to the author’s chair. Check them out at www.Globicate.com, which also includes some freebies and websites to help you.
Here is the link to all the posts and resources!
Heidi Befort is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Middle Childhood Generalist and has a Masters in Elementary Education. She specializes in teaching multiage classrooms, grades 1-5, and as a teacher-leader in Technology and Differentiation. Heidi is the creator of Globicate, a website focused on global learning and education.