Start the Year Off with Literacy
From the very first day of school, as you learn your students…you will see that some students finish their work quickly and efficiently while other students take more time with many variabilities in between. For the fast finishers: Quality is Key, Do it Nice or Do it Twice…etc. Hold them to high standards for accuracy, completeness and neatness…it will set the tone for the year and all new assignments. Getting Acquainted Activities are essential to begin with small non-threatening assignments that can be accomplished fairly quickly and help you learn your students while amassing great work to be posted in your room and shared at conferences with parents and saved as a work collection for the end of the year. (Students enjoy reminiscing about completing the work earlier in the year and will be amazed how much they have learned.)
As your fast finishers complete a task, hand them a book…or quietly have them join you in the class library. Show them your procedure for checking out a book. Students will also need a bookmark because each time you reconvene the group, they will mark where they left off and then as they finish the next assignment, they already know the expectation is to read and they have a book calling to them. It is win-win for students and teachers. Not only are students learning class procedures, they are also ready to train other students in the class. Soon most students will have a book to read. Start out with something humorous, or a collection of many short stories that will meet many reading levels, keep it high interest and accessible.
School’s In! is one of my favorites to get everyone reading…