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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to School 2016!

Are you back to school yet? Here in NJ, we have about two more weeks, but on Wednesday our district opens the doors to teachers so we can start getting our rooms in order.

I'm excited for this year! If you remember, last year I moved to a new grade level in a new building. It was an awesome change for me, but nerve-wracking to say the least. Anytime you make a big change like that, even if it's for the better, it's stressful!

Anyway, I had the BEST year last year and now I feel so much more confident in my new spot. I'm so excited and ready to begin this school year!


Back-to-school prep has been in full-swing in my house for the last week. Last year, I put most of my focus on my writing lesson plans.

I was able to get my writing plans together last year (available here) and over the summer, I Brooke Brown-ed my curriculum.


This is what a full year of organized writing instruction looks like!


Each case is labeled and full of beautiful pink and turquoise file folders that contains each day's lesson and materials. (Laminated anchor posters included!!)


Swoon!!!!!!!!!


(Here is one of my cute little helpers :)

So, now that writing is all ready to go, my focus this year will be on reading.

This year, I'm beginning by introducing nonfiction with Reading Nonfiction: Notice and Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies (Beers and Probst). This will lead us into Article of the Week, which is a big part of my program (and the only homework I give). 


My hope is that after working with nonfiction and the Notice and Note signposts for NF, the kids will get a lot more out of the AoW.

Next, I'll spend most of October introducing Reader's Workshop and the Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading. This will set the kids up for the rest of the year in Reader's Workshop (which constitutes a little less than half of my reading period).

Then, come the end of October, I'll be ready to dive into my reading lessons :) 

I'm excited to work on my reading program this year! We teach with great short stories, poems, literary nonfiction, and novels, and now I'll be able to give them my proper attention.

So... that's enough from me! Are you back to school yet? How is it going? Or are you prepping at your kitchen table like I am because you've still got a few more weeks? I'd love to hear from you!

And by the way...


This is happening tomorrow!! So many great deals for one day ONLY!!

Happy Teaching!!

(In reading this post back to myself, I can't get over how many times I used the word "year." Annoying, right?!? But how else can you say it, lol!!)


7 comments:

  1. Jenna,
    I love your ideas and I feel like we have a similar style of teaching. What does your reading workshop look like? I teach 7th grade reading and have 5 classes that are 45 minutes each so in essence one prep. I feel like this year i really want my students to do a lot more independent reading.

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    1. I popped in to ask the same thing. I teach 8th grade reading and really want to implement a reader's workshop, but I'm stuck and really just unsure of how to begin. Any suggestions?

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    2. Hi Ladies!!

      So, I try to keep Reader's Workshop super simple... 20 minutes of independent reading time per period, 4 times a week (I have a 53-minute period). During this time, I'm conferring with readers the entire time. Usually, I have kids respond to their reading at least once a week... I've always used this: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Readers-Response-Journal-2050272

      Or, sometimes I'll have everyone answer one of these using their own books: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reader-Response-Activities-2038345

      And I also use these: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Comprehension-Worksheets-2429470

      I hope that didn't come off as one big advertisement for my products, but I made almost all of them to use during Reader's Workshop long before I had a TpT store!!

      Hope that helps!!

      Jenna

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  2. I absolutely love your blog and writers workshop. I tried to get those awesome see through clip boards but target has been sold out for months so I made a box with hanging file folders instead which is great. I am also using notice and note strategies this year and I hope you blog about it I'd love your input and ideas.

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  3. Hi Jenna. I just discovered your blog via Pinterest. Our daughter is starting Grade 6 here in Canada and she could really use some help with her writing skills. What would you recommend for her? I don't mind even purchasing the writing workshop for teachers. I just want to make sure I get her the right stuff. Thank you! My e-mail is sannamiina@gmail.com.

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  4. Hi Jenna. I just discovered your blog via Pinterest. Our daughter is starting Grade 6 here in Canada and she could really use some help with her writing skills. What would you recommend for her? I don't mind even purchasing the writing workshop for teachers. I just want to make sure I get her the right stuff. Thank you! My e-mail is sannamiina@gmail.com.

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Why don't you start with this: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Interactive-Writers-Notebook-Musings-of-a-Middle-Schooler-2596213

      It's fun and interactive... hopefully it won't feel like a "chore." The BEST way to improve writing skills in middle schoolers is practice, practice, practice!! And in order to get her to practice, she needs to not hate it!

      Let me know if you try it :)

      Jenna

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