Today I am going to share with you three ways I make sure my students are jumping into literacy with playful excitement!
Buddy work is a natural fit for any time of year. It’s especially critical in those first few days when we’re trying to facilitate friendships in our new classroom community, and it supports teamwork and cooperative skills all year long. Today I had buddies working on fluency by reading aloud together, and yesterday pairs were laughing their way through a game of Scoot. (I love activities that get my students up and out of their seats – it’s like rolling a brain break right into whatever’s on my lesson plan!)
One of my most popular resources, Buddy Up!, challenges buddies to come up with irregular plural nouns to complete nursery rhymes in a silly Mad Lib format. You can download everything you need to use in your classroom immediately – two versions of the play sheet and cards, a list of books to read with your class or keep in your classroom library to introduce and reinforce understanding of irregular plural nouns, and full instructions. To download it for FREE just click on this image!
Team-building activities set the stage for the rest of the year, especially if you are looking for ways to increase student independence and peer-to-peer collaboration. One way that I use literacy in team-building is through explicit instruction of collaborative discussion procedures. First, we discuss expectations for behavior, participation, and outcomes as a class. Next, I have students all read the same piece closely, preparing for the discussion with a graphic organizer as they read. When it’s time to actually discuss the piece, each student records interesting facts and questions for further research on a discussion notes page.
I’m sharing a second FREEBIE today! This includes the preparation and notes organizers described above, as well as an article I wrote about how classroom rules enhance learning through their effect on the brain. You can download it by clicking on this image:
There are so many fun literacy activities out there! (Of course, my favorite place to turn is Teachers Pay Teachers – be sure to enter our drawing for a TpT gift card at the end of this post!)
Have you ever played Word Mines? This is where you write down a (usually kind of longish) word or brief phrase, then “mine” its letters to create new words. I started using this game as a word work activity with my students several years ago, and it’s a class favorite every year! I’ve got quite a few in my store, but click here for a FREEBIE if you would like to sample it!
Happy Back to School and have a wonderful year with your kiddos!