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Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome To School- Literacy

Morning Message

I start off Morning Message REALLY simply in the beginning. I love the examples provided on the K-Crews website for their Buzz Book. I really like having the morning message in a flip chart format so the students can go back and revisit the messages. It's so empowering for them to look back and see how much they've learned!

Another idea I saw somewhere on the internet and really wish I knew where! This teacher made up a Morning Message color code key. She has a color for everything! Black is used for the message, green is used for the beginning of a sentence or capital letters, red is used for punctuation, yellow is used for popcorn words, orange is used for spaces between letters (she called it spaghetti), brown is used for spaces between words (meatballs!), blue was used for interesting words, and purple was used for things that didn't follow the rule. What a great way to spark and mark discussions on grammar in your Morning Message. Of course, you would introduce each of these one at a time and slowly throughout the year. :)

Pointer Patterns: I like to change up the pointer I use while reading the Morning Message to match my theme. For Welcome to School, I just die cut and laminate a school bus, crayon, glue bottle, or pencil to stick on the end of a short dowel or even a themed unsharpened pencil. A little hot glue does the trick or a velcro dot would work if you want to reuse the same dowel as you change themes. Just another way to keep things interesting!

A classic and a must for any student having trouble saying goodbye to family- and there's ALWAYS at least one!

What better way to ease little one's fears than to read a simple, soothing rhyming book that describes the new adult in their lives? I saw this and many other great first day ideas on KinderKorner.

Meet the Teacher Book: This book would transition nicely into an introduction of yourself. You could make a "Meet the Teacher" book by gathering several photos of yourself and adding simple captions. Be sure to include a picture of yourself at their age! Include information such as your kids, pets, family (husband, mom and dad), favorite sports team, favorite food, etc. Print, place in page protectors, and put in a binder for an easy class book. This would also be a great story to read or make available at Open House or Meet the Teacher for parents!

Welcome to School Books WordleHere's a little list of some of my favorite read alouds for Welcome to School. :)
Wordle: Welcome To School Books Wordle

Pocket Charts and Poetry
I absolutely LOVE to use KinderKorner's pocket chart activities from her Back to School theme. The predictable text and humore make the activities enjoyable for all skill levels.

Making Learning Fun has some cute Friends Holding Hands stationery. This would be nice to include in your writing center to entice little authors or you may just want to use it yourself! The options include with and without lines; color and black & white.

Reader's Workshop/Daily Five
Sparklebox has a beautiful collection of posters to introduce book terms.

I use the following songs to help reinforce the roles of Author and Illustrator:

The Author Song
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
The Author writes the words
The Author writes the words
The Author writes the story, oh
The Author writes the words.

The Illustrator Song
(Tune: London Bridge)
The Illustrator draws the pictures
Draws the pictures, draws the pictures
The Illustrator draws the pictures
For the Author.

Letters in Our Name Class Book. Cut up an alphabet line or poster to make a page for each letter of the alphabet. Title each page, "Look who has a (letter) in their name!" Then type each corresponding student's name on the page and highlight the featured letter. Be sure to include a picture of the students for those very emergent or ELL readers. If no one in your class has a particular letter in his/her name, still include the page, but leave it blank!
You could make this book interactive and include it in your ABC Work Station by including a magnifying glass and a deck of letter cards to pull from. The kids have to search through the book (great beginning "reference book" skill practice) and find the students who have that letter in their name. For older kids, you could have them record their findings on this sheet:

Making Learning Fun has a great little flip book for the kiddos to match upper and lowercase letters! Here's a partial pic so you can get an idea.

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