Can we meet at 9:30? At the southern end? See you then!
Three friends happily greet each other, find comfortable seats and order coffees and teas. School starts next week. We exchange books: Interactive Writing, Literacy Work Stations, Narrative Inquiry – but today, we don’t take the time to peruse and discuss them. Instead, conversation flows around the new school year. “Have you been into your room yet?” “How many children in your class this year?” “Will you do anything differently?”
We discuss concerns about typically ‘touchy’ topics—levelled books, sight words, home reading…. and today, the new Australian curriculum. We share classroom ideas—about building word walls, using new picture books, adapting aspects of the Daily5.
Finally, we encourage personal growth interests—blogging, Pinterest, photography – pursuits that are important to our professional and personal lives, despite family commitments, work constraints and never enough time. We’ll continue to text, email and meet over coffee.
In the meantime…
Here are two resources to help you get started with school:
1: A re-publish of my Starting School Series of blogs which will be e-mailed to my blog subscribers daily this week, including:
4 Days to go – organising activity areas: mat area, computer area, word wall…
3 Days to go – unpacking, sorting and starting the calendar wall…
2 Days to go – selecting reading, maths, science & art materials…
1 Day to go – message board, name tags, book baskets, hands-on materials…
First day – getting children reading, writing and drawing on day one…
2: Three downloads of rhymes – ideal for beginning readers in the first weeks of school. Click on a title and save or print your copy:
10 Rhymes to start the year
Ten lyrical rhymes to use with your beginning readers.
8 Number Rhymes
Eight great counting and number rhymes for beginning readers.
8 Transition Rhymes
Eight ryhmes for early years teachers to transition children smoothly from one activity to another.
Comments on: "Thinking about school – over coffee" (2)
Now that I have spent a few days with my new class, I can see that there are some whose literacy levels are fairly high, and others who seem to be at the very beginning. Do you have any suggestions for managing these differences and in particular:
* when some children run memorised lines from a book together, pointing to one word, but
saying about three.
* when some children can not form letters in writing, or they write them from the bottom, or
back to front.
* when children are expected to be writing a sentence every day in the curriculum, but
some children’s literacy level means they’re flat out copying a letter correctly.
I’d love to hear how you have tackled these difficulties getting going. Many thanks, Sally
Differences in literacy levels are not uncommon in Early Years classrooms. How you deal with the differences is the important part.
I will answer your questions in a blog post shortly. Meanwhile – enjoy getting to know the children. Look at what the children CAN do and build from there. Have fun!