Let Re-Month Begin: Reviewing Reader's Workshop and Morning Routine

There are a few of us that headed back to school today. It was bitter sweet. I really hated waking up at 5:30. I hated having to get our of my comfy pjs and blankets this morning and get ready. I hated having to go outside and drive to school in -8 degrees (without wind chill). However, once I got to school, I was anxiously awaiting to see all my kiddos and all was well once again. It really was just that initial morning shock.

We kicked off re-month- an RC concept where we review many of our routines so that we can jump back into academics without the behavior concerns. Over the whole month we review things slowly, especially based on what we notice our class needs in particular. I focused on our morning routine and Reader's Workshop expectations. I snapped some photos and want to share with you how I tackled these often-times "boring" reviews.

Morning Routine Review

I literally thought this idea up in the last 5 minutes of my prep. I was going just to chart our expectations, but that would have been extremely too dull for them (and myself to be honest). I made up a quick "Morning Routine Challenge" half sheet for them to complete. And after I botched the cutting on the first batch and had a little temper tantrum as I had to pick up my students from STEM, our fabulous EA in the copy room cut up and delivered them to my rescue. I love her. Like for real. She is irreplaceable at our school. Anywho.

So, of course I turned on the shmooze and excitement and presented the challenge- write out our 4 morning steps; list what we should bring in from our backpacks; list tasks that would help them prepare for the day; anything else I missed (since again, I made this in 2 minutes and I was certain I'd leave something out).

I allowed them to walk through the steps, discuss with their classmates, or work at their desks in silence. It went over well and helped refresh their memories of our numerous jobs in the morning and they nailed it!

Reader's Workshop/Literacy Block Review

I came in this morning with a loose teaching point for reviewing our literacy block expectations. After talking to my teammate and now fellow blogger Kate (check out her blog here), she had this great idea to do a graffiti-like activity to review all of our components to our lit block. That is how our team works, we are constantly collaborating and sharing; plans are never set in stone as truly, our 3 minds are better than 1. I tweaked it for my class a bit to have a bit of structure.

I put out 8 posters- one for each component (and yes- snack is included since we do a working snack during reading). They worked in their table groups and rotated around the room.

They had to collaborate and cooperate as they moved to the 5 desks. Some desks had 2 posters, so they split the work. They found different strategies to be efficient in the 1 1/2  to 2 minutes they had at each poster.

Once they traveled to them all, they returned to their first posters. They discussed what the class added to their posters (they couldn't repeat anything that was already on the poster) and choose 6 *key* expectations (2 from each category below).

We do a lot of "Y" charts with the focus of "looks like, sounds like, feels like." For example, one poster looked like this:

I love how they think you should feel emotional while you read. Yes!!

This poster was asking what the student's job during independent reading time would look like, sound like, and feel like. I always say, "If Principal B walks in right now, what would she see you doing? Hear you doing? How might she think you are feeling?"

Check out the other posters they created. 
This one was slightly different then the rest. I posed a question they had to answer. So glad they highlighted to check the reading level- many of them disregard this and I have to be the mean ol' teacher and direct them to some different books

"You should feel brave to share your ideas."-Loved it!

We talk often about being responsible with snack while we read. They are actually pretty good at multi-tasking now!

They came up with some great talking stems to use during turn and talks.

What's great about them? I didn't do any of the teaching (at least not this time around), and we now have expectations for all aspects. If we ever need a reminder, I can pull them out and direct students to the expectations they came up with. 

We also started our hopes and dreams and will continue them tomorrow along with finishing our winter break buzz books!!

Hope all of you who went back today had a successful day and those who stayed home had a relaxing one!


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