Some of you are getting ready to go back to school next week for in-service and making your nests before students come in. Others have a few weeks before the rush. Now is a great time to get recharged and enthused about the new year.
Let me suggest a few "start off on the right foot" ideas for any age:
Have your children write a "writer's autobiography" one of the first days of school. Right away you get an idea of their writing abilities and you learn something about your students' attitudes and experiences with writing. You can even ask parents to write a "writer's biography" about their child, just a simple paragraph to gain their perspective (oh, and by the way, later you can use these to teach "point of view"). Do you know about the National Council of Teachers of English's Day of Writing October 20th? Check it out and become a part: http://www.ncte.org/dayonwriting/ideas!
Create a new bulletin board that highlight books students found this summer. Let them be creative (a TV guide summary/review, a conventional book review, a pictorial recommendation). If you have some kids who weren't readers during the summer, give them a hall pass to visit your media center briefly and, with the guide of the media specialist or a helper, explore the new books in that collection before anyone else. Be sure to put your own picks up there and make sure there are a few copies of at least one of those in your classroom library.
And by the way, kiss your media specialist. She/he can be a great resource and help while you are focusing on reading and writing skills. After all, the aim of education has got to be to create lifelong readers if they are doing to do more than pass the test.
Visit again soon!