I think I mentioned that our county has just purchased the new Benchmark Literacy Reading Series. This series is NOT a basal - but rather a research based system of mini-lessons based on strategies (both metacognition and comprehension skills) as well as a guided reading approach with small books. One of my favorite components is their resources for the First 30 Days in reading and writing. It ties is nicely to the First Six Weeks of School that we teach through Responsive Classroom. To read more about this series, you can check out their blog here.
To read more about the First Six Weeks of School and Responsive Classroom - click here.
First routine to establish - How to get ready for whole group instruction.
*What to work on : smooth transitions to and from the circle as well as how to sit at the circle (or another designated whole group spot).
* Why? We will use this area for whole groups instruction in reading, math, science, social studies, writing, and morning meetings so the routines need to be seamless.
- Begin with a signal - either a bell, a clapping pattern, a click or calling by table groups. Practice the signal so that students know what the signal is and what to do when they hear it.
- Model how to come to the area - walking calmly & carefully and with a purpose to the spot. Sit down and wait quietly until everyone is ready.
- Discuss what to do while at the spot: Eyes on the speaker, Raise hands to speak, Side Conversations are not appropriate unless it's a Turn and Talk time, Focus on what the speaker is saying...it is important.
- Practice ending the group and returning back to student seats.
If you use the same common language and routines in every content area, you will have limited disruptions and less behavioral problems.
Here is a sheet to add to your binder to help you remember routines for the First 30 Days.