Today I am here to talk about some tools for setting up your workshops for the year!
First off, we do everything in journals/notebooks!
Word study journals.
You get the picture... :O)
So, we HAVE to have these to start the year!
We basically paste everything into these and do all of our writing and notes in them, so these are a must have! I think our grade level asked for students to bring in 7 of these on the school supply list for the year because we use them in science and social studies too!
I also label all of their notebooks by typing their names and the subject it's used for and we just stick them on and are good to go. It takes a little time on the front end, but it is still a time saver on the day all of the supplies come in!
We also use very large rubber bands to stick in the middle of the notebook (around the spine) so separate the front and the back of the notebooks, especially for reading and writing. In reading, the front is used for lessons and notes. The back is used for response to their reading, either independent or guided reading group response. For writing, the front is used for lessons and notes and the back is used for their actual writing. The middle is pretty easy to find because of the stitched binding, but it helps in the beginning to put the band there until they get used to it.
Hopefully you can visualize it because I don't have one here to take a picture of as an example. :O(
I also use a good bit of chart paper so we can make our anchor charts when we start our workshops!
Ok, once the notebooks are set up, we can get started!
I use Fountas and Pinnell's Guiding Readers and Writers to set up reading and writing workshop. We do the first 20 days of setting up reading workshop. I do condense a lot of it since our school uses the workshop model and they've done this each year, so by 4th, we can move a little faster.
We make a lot of anchor charts so that we can pick "Just Right Books" and I have posters that I've made that I put up near our classroom library so students can remember this when they are picking books!
I also have the genre posters up by our library by Beth Newingham but I can't find a link that will get you to the free posters. :O( I'm not sure what's going on with that but if her site comes back up I will add the link.
We spend a lot of time talking about books, brainstorming things we like that we could read about, exploring different genres, etc. Then we start practicing independent reading. I have pillows in my room and we practice getting comfortable and using the pillows. We start working on our reading endurance and we go over how to use the classroom library. I have my books leveled and that is how they are in bins. At this point, I'm doing running records so they are picking books that they like more so than based on their level.
This is also a great resource for setting up reader's notebooks and mini-lessons that you can do.
I use Fountas and Pinnell's book for writing workshop as well, but we spend a lot of time using mentor texts (surprise surprise) to set up our writer's notebooks. Here are some of my favorites from the beginning of the year!
And these barely scratch the surface of books...books are such a great way to teach author's craft and as examples of how to be a good writer...I could go on and on...but I won't...
A few more resources I use for writer's workshop are:
I don't have too many teacher resources for setting up math workshop. I just think it's important to teach your students what they should be doing while you are pulling small groups during math. I usually have students doing games that can be easily done independently while I am pulling small groups.
I start out by teaching them some really simple games that only require skills they've already mastered before coming to 4th grade. This way, they are successful and they aren't jumping up and coming to me for help while I have a group. We shared some of the games in a previous post.
This is the first game that I teach because it's fun and it only requires addition and subtraction. This is always a favorite among my classes and they ask if they can play it all year long!
Van De Walle has some great books that you can look through based on the skill and find activities that you can do in small group that really helps students understand that skills. It really takes the kids from concrete to abstract AND can help teachers understand how to teach the skills as well! :O)
This is really just the tip of the iceberg! I will go more in depth as we start all of this in the upcoming year and I can share actual photos! Hopefully you found something useful here today! :O)
Make sure to go to my good friend Jivey's blog to find more ideas for tools for starting workshops! Click the button below!
Also, we are having a sale starting tomorrow and through the weekend in celebration of July 4th! Click the button to head over to our store! :O)