Some teachers are enjoying August without a care in the world, while others are at the bitter end of their summer vacation. Therefore, I thought I’d take a few minutes to point you to some “back to school” posts we’ve written through the years in order to help you get ready for the school year.
- A twist on heart mapping for students.
- Banish back to school jitters by sending postcards to your students.
- Binders: I called my students’ binders “GEAR Binders.” The original name for these organization tools are “MOOSE Binders.” Regardless of the name, home-to-school binders are a great way to keep your students organized.
- Celebrity Writer Profiles are a fun way to showcase all of your students for the writers they are now and the writers they hope to be by the end of the school year.
- Creating empty bulletin boards to house student work.
- Helping students learn about their role (and yours) in a writing conference.
- Keep track of who you confer with by using a visual conference tracker.
- Literacy bags can help students transport their books, reading logs, and writer’s notebooks neatly between home and school.
- Map your teaching heart.
- Memory boxes help students gather things that are important, which can help them with their writing.
- Organizing your conferring notebook.
- Personalize your plan book. (Templates can be found by clicking here.)
- Record-keeping made easy.
- Routines to teach so things run smoothly.
- Seamless classroom transitions can happen with the help of a rain stick.
- Setting writing teacher goals.
- Stuff you can place on the front and back covers of your students’ writer’s notebooks.
- Take time to help a new teacher by showing him/her the ropes.
- The power of the author’s chair. (Read more about sharing by clicking here.)
- Thinking through units of study you’ll teach this year.
- Use a literacy profile to get to know your students as readers and writers.
- Working with colleagues.
- Writing centers that work for you and your students.
- Writing territories are powerful tools for helping students find things to write about.
If you want more back to school posts, then just search our archives. Just use the pull-down menu in the left-nav of this blog to view our old posts month-by-month. Additionally, if you’re looking for something specific, just type the words, in quotes, in the top right corner of the blog and then click on search.
Finally, four non-TWT links.
- Check out Franki Sibberson’s “Whole Class Interviews: Building Community in Writing Workshop” Article over at Choice Literacy. It’ll provide you with an excellent framework for creating writing interviews.
- Click here for lots of tips for using Wordle in your classroom.
- Jen Barney’s list of the top ten things to remember when teaching writing.
- Read through Responsive Classroom’s August 2010 Newsletter, which is packed with ideas about great ways to start the new school year.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.