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Elementary Teacher Resources, Issue #048 - Mental Preparations – Beginning of Summer Break Pondering
June 29, 2010

Mental Preparations
Beginning of Summer Break Ponderings

I am that person that never stops thinking about school.

Even when I’m chilling with my friends in the pool… my brain is thinking about 20 other things I can do in my classroom.

I just love my job.

So, I’ve decided to start writing down some of the things my mind wanders onto in the summer.

Are you ready? :)

1) Classroom Library:

a. There are a million ideas about how they should be organized, labeled, stickered, and setup. I’m kinda over all of them.

b. This year I’m going to start out with just a few books on my shelf and make a pact with myself to read at least 5 books a day to my class for the first 20 days. 5 X 20 = 100 books in a month. Each of these first 100 books and I’m going to pick based on an author that I’d like to teach about, a genre they need, writing crafts to introduce or other skills needed at the beginning of the year.

c. Once I can explain my method to the kids and they start to see correlations with books – we can start putting out Book Bins. The kids can create the labels that make sense to them, because they are the ones using the books all day.

2) Desks, Tables, and Use of Space:

a. My room used to be full of “stuff”, but I’ve since learned that it just drives me crazy. I have a very streamlined room now.

b. Desks – they’ll be in groups. It just makes sense.

c. Tables for the kids – I had such success with lowering my student tables to where they can sit on the floor and work last year that I’m going to do it again. Plus, it makes for a lot less chairs floating around my room!

d. Books – my kids seemed to connect with the “Fiction” and “Non-Fiction” libraries last year, so I’ll do it again with a few minor changes. I’m going to put the “Non-Fiction” library further away from my guided reading table because it was the louder table.

3) Daily 5:

a. Last year I started The Daily Five after the winter break and I cannot wait to try it from the beginning of the school year.

b. I used plastic bins for their individual book bins last year, and I think that I’m going to go to grocery type bags. The kids can hang them on their chairs and they won’t clunk all the time.

c. I’m pretty sure I’m going to start the first lesson in the first week… why wait?!

d. Word Work: I’ve got a new “Even More Primary Literacy Centers” book now with 12 more centers. I still haven’t figured out a way to organize these all out in my room without just having papers all over. I’ll be thinkin’ about this some more…

So, this is what kept me up all night last night. Don’t know if it will help you, but it sure feels good to get my ideas on paper!

Have a great summer!

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I hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to email it to friends and family who are teachers or homeschool moms!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

See you next month!

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