Sunday, 12 August 2007

Summer Professional Reading

This summer has been a whirwind of professional reading for me. I have been focusing primarily on classroom management and reading comprehension strategies. I'm reading several books simultaneously right now and am excited about the changes I am planning to make in my classroom this year. I hope to change the look and the feel of the classroom. I want to spend the first six weeks on establishing procedures and routines even as we delve into content. I am planning to slow down so that we can take advantage of the year in grade two.

One of the additions I will be making to my classroom is the Family Message Journal or Home School Journal. Once a week, probably on Fridays, I will have the kids write to their families about what they are learning in the classroom and any other topic they want to broach with their families. I will start this around the end of October after the kids have had a chance to get into the routines of being back at school. What will I cut out? I will not be doing Monday journals anymore so that I can fit in and justify the Family Message Journals. I am excited about this change especially after consulting with some teachers on the Teachings Applying Whole Language listserv (TAWL) who have been doing this type of journal for some time now.

Another change I am looking to implement is the Daily 5 based on the book of the same name by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser ("the sisters"). More on that as it develops. And, I will be increasing and planning for structured comprehension lessons based on Mosaic of Thought, second edition, by Ellin Keen and Susan Zimmerman, and Strategies that Work, second edition, by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis.

So, here's to another wonderful year of teaching and learning with my students. I can't wait to get started!
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