Monday, April 6, 2015

Literacy Planning for Back to School in April and May

School Kids at Schoolo

Literacy Planning for the Beginning of School at the End of School!

What can we do NOW to ensure that children have a seamless transition to the next grade and teacher? I think there are some simple ways to make this happen! Let's scaffold our readers and writers and provide them with a great beginning!

Kids Holding a Welcome Sign

*Have students write about what they like to read. Interests surveys are great and you can find those online.  Have students identify their favorite authors and book series.  It may be hard for them to do this in August or September after many have had a summer of not reading.

*Create a book bag for each student and send it to the next grade. Have students choose some of their favorite books, magazines, and articles. Think of the time it will save when they open that book bag (or device) and start reading in the fall.

*Make a list of possible book selections from the library.  This is a time for students to look at their reading goals.  What are their favorite genres? What books do they want to re-read?  What books are a little too hard for them, but they want to read them?  What non-fiction topics interest them?  What have they wondered about this year?  Creating interest for the library will help your media specialist plan.  Share this information with them and see if they need to order more books!

*Complete those benchmarks and make sure students are leveled appropriately for guided reading. The last benchmark should tell next year's teacher where to start!  Be sure to complete each section and create a plan for the student's next steps.

*Analyze student writing. The connection between reading and writing is so strong!  Let next year's teacher know what the writer's strengths are as well as areas of needed instruction. 

*Identify all struggling readers.  This is so important!  If a child is below grade level, then have a thoughtful way of sharing this information with the new teacher.  Send as much information as possible to them.  They need to know what you have tried. What worked?  What didn't work?  

Have you thought about creating a literacy portfolio?  Here are some artifacts to include:
  • Individualized reading and writing goals
  • Spelling inventories
  • Word identification assessments
  • Copies of published writing pieces from each unit of study
  • Formal running records
  • Record of reading progress-benchmarks
In addition to the portfolio components for grades 1-5, kindergarten portfolios include:

All of your hard work will be worth it!  

Children and parents will be less anxious about starting school!  You will already know about your students.

Teachers can start guided reading right away!  Think how easy it will be to form guided reading groups and gather materials.

Independent reading can start on day one!  No more finding books, if you have book bags ready.

Hope these ideas are helpful.  I would love to hear from you!



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