Increasing parent involvement isn’t always the easiest endeavor. But, I decided to give it another go! Between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, I created a research project called The Day I Was Born We started in class by practicing interviewing and note-taking techniques. Then, I sent home the interview sheets as a homework assignment with a hard due date! Each student had to interview a minimum of 1 person who was there on the day he/she was born, ask follow-up questions, and take notes.
A week later, we started our rough drafts and worked through the writing process. Students drafted in their writing notebooks, revised and edited – alone and with a peer, before conferring with me. I requested baby pictures from the family right around the time we started publishing using our Studentreasures Kit so we could add those to the illustration page. Parents could purchase a book which they would receive at our book release party! Here’s the final Studentreasure book cover created by one of my students:
Skip ahead to February…. Our “baby shower” theme book release was quite a success! I had great parent turnout even though the weather was frightful that morning (and I digress but it SHOULD have been a snow day)! We read aloud from our purchased books or an alternate publication (see below) and ended our celebration with doughnuts and juice. A few baby shower items courtesy of the Dollar Tree :).
Since not all students purchased a book, we all made printables to share and take home on our book release date. One example is here for you:
*Disclaimer: by this point in the year, I knew my students well enough that I was sure each student would have a positive experience and have at least one person to interview. Definitely a consideration when deciding to get personal!
Teach upper grades and have students struggling with basic sight words? Me, too.
There are some students who need basic sight word instruction and follow-up practice. The majority of my students who fit this need are second language learners. I start or end a guided reading group with some quick sight word practice (word work), usually based on the text that we are reading together.
In addition to word work during guided reading, I created Find It, Spell It, Write It printables for use during independent practice time. Students get a few minutes to daub using a Bingo dauber, write the sight word in isolation, then use that sight word in a sentence. So far, I have made practice sheets for 80 of Fry’s First 100 words out. Check out a 10 word sample bundle I have made available for free on Teachers Pay Teachers! Denise
Year 22 started earlier this month and as is tradition, Back-to-School snuck up on me again! Honestly, I was aware all summer of my self-imposed summer goals and I was more than aware of when teachers returned. I have a calendar for goodness sakes!
But, between teacher inservice meetings, BTS night, and students actually showing up for school, I have already buried myself in the work and totally ignored my blog and even worse, skipped out on any self-care and mindfulness.
So today, no peddling products or academic advice. Just one teacher reminding another teacher to take a little time for yourself. Find time to just relax, breathe, and rejuvenate for the next day. I promise if you take my advice, I will too!