There's a part of us that craves structure and routine, but it's hiding down deep beneath the couch cushions, fuzzy slippers, half empty coffee mugs, and winter blankets. right?!? Of course there are ways to get motivated to head back...one of my favorite ways is to head out for a shopping trip! New clothes have always provided a reason to get out of bed on a tough morning. Can I get an amen?!
The other secret weapon for school motivation, is heading in with some fresh ideas and materials!
Here are a few items that I hope may help boost your teacher bag as you head back!
First up: Reading
These book box booklets will help get your students, their parents, and yourself organized and motivated to learn and track sight words!
A second material that may help your reading groups and RTI instruction are these flipping for phonics review booklets! Students can keep them in their book boxes or review them during small group at your table like in the picture below. I noticed a big difference in automaticity with blending and decoding once we had these booklets as part of our routine.
And to round out our guided reading secret weapon materials.... Phonics posters! I slid these into a binder to provide targeted practice for students as we tackled more and more phonics patterns week after week. It takes the booklets to the next level and has them apply the pattern with a word list.
January literacy centers are a nice change up from the red and green December filled world that we left before break!
I like to do this contraction center in small group! Once students are introduced to the idea, they can point them out in their reading. I begin with my more advanced readers on this one because it can be a difficult concept for some.
All of my readers can work on unscrambling sentences. This helps us talk about monitoring what we read to be sure it makes sense. As they read and reread the words to get them in order, we can giggle about how silly it sounds before it is right!
You can find the above materials by clicking these pictures
Now some math materials!
First up, it is time to restock math tubs, journals, and printable practice.
I like to have a big variety of activities on hand. No matter what our instructional objective is, my students have plenty of spiraled objectives to practice and apply independently.
All of my January math centers, journals, and printables come from the following materials. Click the pictures to check them out for yourself.
To cover my whole group math and small group math instruction, I created detailed lesson plans with all the materials to go along with my lessons! These lessons (below) are the "meat" of my instruction. The centers above are the review and practice for my students.
When we come back from vacation we like to launch into geometry and fractions.
My tried and true January science topics are weather and penguins
When we head back to school in January, we become mini-meteorologists! For two weeks, we add to an interactive umbrella science book!
Then we head to Antarctica to study penguins much the same way! You can read all about this here on my latest blog post.
And we wrap up our new knowledge of weather and the world, with the help of iPads! This was possibly the favorite unit of the year for some of my students last year! Check it out here.
Finishing off our winter motivation is social studies!
My teaching bff Cristina and I recently completed an influential people unit that teaches students all about research!
We start with a video tutorial showing how to read a fact sheet or biography, then put the information into our own words with helpful and easy research templates with young researchers in mind.
There are 16 different influential people and 3 scaffolded fact sheets for each!
Hopefully you'll find a treasure to help get you excited to return to a brand new year! Happy New Year!