The Top 7 Tips to Launch a Great School Year

The Top 7 Tips to Launch a Great School Year

Here are our top 7 literacy teaching tips to start the year in the best way possible!

Start small and enjoy!

  • Set up your reading and writing workshop routines so that they become second nature to the children. Routines mean greater student agency and less work for you! Download Reading Routines. And listen to The Art of Crafting – the Reading Workshop, the Writing Workshop.
  • Organise access to a wonderful classroom library and engaging writing materials. Access to resources matters! Use these resources to help you: establishing a classroom library. Keep in mind that some books will be used as Mentor Texts to model strategies in reading, writing and word work. Don’t forget to use Quick Writes to help you in your modelling. Include lots of poetry, it’s the soul of our language!
  • Find a great chapter book as your ongoing read aloud – remember good literature is at the heart of powerful literacy teaching. (You’ve got to love the classic Charlotte’s Web.)! Listen to Genevieve, Mike, Lucy (F-2) or Giselle (3-6) on our podcasts recommending some amazing books. See the Where the Wild Things Are Bookshop recommended lists.
  • Plan your one or two weekly spelling schedule, working out a great balance of inquiry based spelling activities that are attuned to your children’s needs. Use our Sample Planners and the readings on teaching spelling to help you. Know everything there is to know about spelling through our ‘Spelling by Grade’ guide and resources.
  • Get yourself a couple of A2 scrap books or similar for modelling reading and writing strategies (and a display stand to hold them wouldn’t go astray). See how a teacher uses her large modelling book here:
  • Set up a Reading Journal (exercise book, or scrap book for younger ones) for each child, it’s an amzing form of formative (and self) assessment. Include the February reading calendar & motivation to read survey. Use our reading prompts to get your students to respond to your read aloud and their own independent reading – starting week 1!). See more Reading Journal resources here.

Bonus tip: Try planning your reading and writing units in 4-5 week blocks. Your first 5 week unit can be Launching the Reading and Writing Workshop.

Note: Use these seven tips to make gradual changes, rather than try to do eveything at once!

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