Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Week of Academics

So, I started this post on Monday…I think…I have literally been coming home and vegging on the couch every night this week and I’m exhausted!  One of my colleagues said teaching is like giving birth – you forget how painful the beginning of the year is, but you want to do it all over again the next year. 

The beginning can truly be painful.  The routine building requires an amazing amount of energy and patience! I can’t believe how challenging it is to go from the end of the year to starting fresh with a new group.  I keep thinking “This should be a piece of cake” and then I end up taking baby steps.  It’s all part of the beginning of the year, but it is also one of the toughest parts!

So this post is partly a list of routines I started to think about at the beginning of the week and partly what I have added as it has come up this week.


How can it be only 4 days into the year and I am feeling behind?!? This week is my week for beginning academic procedures, while continuing to reinforce behaviors and routines.  This is what I’m working on this week:

Reading Routines – Why do we read? What do we read?

  • Establish Reading Workshop expectations and reinforce listening behaviors.
  • Daily 5 "”I” Chart for Read to Self
  • Book Nooks – appropriate and not appropriate t-chart
  • Choosing good books and book shopping routines.


  • Begin building stamina.

Writing Routines - Why do we write? What do we write?

  • Introduce journals  - digital date, left-to-right, what page to write on


  • Set up writing folders and introduce word walls.
  • Read Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, by Cynthia Rylant and send home treasure bags for students to collect treasures to write about.  (Click on the book to find out more about the lesson.)


  • Make Heart Maps

Word Work – Practice routines using class names

  • What tools do we use to practice words and how do we use them.

Listen to Reading  -

  • Listening on the computer
  • Listening on MP3 players

Science -

  • What is a scientist? chart.
  • Observe in the School Garden and make observations in journals.


Math -

  • Writing numbers – develop routines for both number formation and handwriting practice. We use Powerful Printing, because lessons can be taught using our Promethean board.


  • Calendar routines
  • Counting and number recognition to 100

I know there are tons more, but these are the ones that are on my brain! I hope to get around to posting some pics. tomorrow when I have an extra prep. period to get some odds and ends done.

Have a great end to the week!

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