As you may know, I was officially back at school last week – and a NEW school at that! It’s so fun and exciting to be starting a new teaching job, but at the same time there are some stresses and obstacles that come along with it, too. My biggest stressor? Not having my technology set up and ready to go on the first day. It’s so frustrating having to wait for someone else to make their rounds to me when it’s something I could easily do myself! Oh well.
The kids’ first day back was Thursday and we began by setting up the interactive notebooks so that they are ready to use and discussing procedures for using the interactive notebooks such as coloring, cutting, gluing, etc. I decided to do something different this year. Instead of using only one notebook for everything, I’m using two notebooks. One is for reading and one is for English/Spelling. I made covers for the students to color so that it’s easy to identify which book we are using. My fear is that the wrong page will go into the wrong notebook and I’m doing everything that I can upfront to avoid that!
My school requires that I teach Spelling. Since I didn’t want to have 3 notebooks, I had my students turn over their English notebooks and place the Spelling cover there. We are using Margaret Whisnant’s Word Trek Two program, so my students will create a list of word parts in the front of the Spelling notebook. Each week, they’ll write the ten words and definitions in the notebook. At the end of the year, they’ll have a mini-glossary of new words since they are all presented in ABC order. Neat!
I also had students glue in a 6×9 clasp envelope to the inside the back cover of the notebook so that they can store pieces here when we haven’t finished an activity or need something for later use.
For my little-bit-of-something-educational during those first few days, we started the Genres of Fiction lesson from my Literature Notebook. Their summer reading assignment was James and the Giant Peach (YUCK! I had no control over that!) and the only way I plan to expand on the book is to teach the characteristics of fantasy genre and discuss how those elements are presented in the novel. We only completed the section for fantasy now. After we read different kinds of short stories and novels, we’ll return to this page and fill in those sections. I think they are more meaningful to students when they have something we are reading now to compare it with.
For grammar this week, I plan to start with capitalization rules and will do so with my Hard & Fast Rules for Capitalization from my Grammar Notebook. This will make a nice and clear reference for my students to use ALL YEAR when correcting sentences.
We’ll glue in the table with the rules, write in the examples, and later we can add the interactive notebook pages for some of them if we do an additional page on the topic somewhere else in the notebook. I’ll also pull in some additional capitalization practice from the workbook as needed.