Tuesday, August 21, 2018

First Week of Third Grade

Whoa! Our first full week of school is finished. I wanted to share with you a few little things I did and do each year to start my kiddos off with their routines! We started school on a Friday, so I started this routine Monday morning. 

We start our reading block off with a read aloud every single day.

Here are three of my FAVORITE read alouds to use in the first week of school.

In the book SORRY! , the author does a great job of showcasing a character that doesn't really understand the meaning of an apology. It's perfect for the first week of school because it gets students thinking about their behavior and how it's important to follow the rules. If you make a mistake, we should make a sincere apology. The kids really relate to this story and I think it helps set the tone for a great year of school.

Another favorite is Parachute by Danny Parker. This book is about trying new things and facing your fears. I tie it to school by mentioning how we might all be scared at the beginning of the school year about our new class, teacher and friends. This is seriously a student favorite. They reread this story on their own EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

I also like to read Word Collector to teach my students to think about using different words than the normal words they use. We also discuss how students should choose their words carefully. 

You can find writing  and readers response activities  for these books  HERE.

For centers, I start by letting my students stay in their groups they already sit in. We start with four centers: Library Center, Word Work Center, Puzzle Center and Skill Based Center.
 I want my students to work for about ten minutes the first day. I teach them to use their words in a sentence and work the entire time until the timer goes off.  I let them sit in their normal seats (my class is set up into four tables). I rotate the baskets and not the students for the first week. 

For the Word Work center, I start with just ten words to arrange in ABC Order. I want to see if they take the entire ten minutes. This helps me gauge the abilities of my students. I also use vocabulary words that are back to school themed to the kids are familiar with the words. I make sure to give students ideas for what to do if they finish before the timer goes off and I hold them to those expectations even the first day we do this. I print three copies of this center so the kids can work in partners.

Each day, I add in more words and add a little more time for the centers. We move from back to school themed words to sight words. Next, we practice parts of speech and syllable counting. These activities build so each day you can expect your students to work a little longer.

For the library center, I pick about 6-8 books for my kids to read. I put them in the center basket. I just want them to practice reading to themselves as I have modeled. I review the expectations for this center and how we treat our books. 

For the puzzles, I am just using the Lakeshore Match Up puzzles. I pick skills that line up to the stories I am reading or are review skills. I just want them to practice working together. I teach my students that when we do puzzles, we read the words and discuss what they mean with our partner. Every puzzle I give them ALWAYS has a word. 

For the skill based center, I am using activities from my reading intervention binder from the grade above. I discussed theme a lot, so we used activities from my Fourth Grade Binder. I have a higher group of kids this year, so it worked out well. 

I hope this helps you with your first week of school! 

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