Getting Ready to Go “Back to School”
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.