I’ve Been Busy….Summer Planning


Well with my return to the classroom I have been doing a lot of thinking, blog stalking, reading, and planning on how I will improve my teaching especially my literacy block for the next school year.

My Thinking and Planning…

The area that I have thought about the most is my literacy block.  I will be teaching my 3/4’s all of their subjects excluding French but will have 100 min per day set aside for literacy.  Over the last few months I focused on improving my knowledge about assessment, classroom management, and balanced literacy.  I know that the cycle of formative assessment is imperative to use to engage students in their learning and to see improve student success in reading.  Additionally strong classroom management skills, which promote students self-monitoring skills, allows the teacher to focus on instruction and less on management. Finally, I know that gradually releasing the responsibility of learning to students through modeled, shared, guided instruction and independent practice ensures student learning and success.







So I think to myself, I know these facts but what do I do to apply these into actual program practices.  This is when my blog stalking comes in handy.  I find that many of you fellow bloggers are raving about three things: Whole Brain Teaching, Daily 5, and CAFE.  I knew about Daily 5, I was given the text by a principal but never really read it, it was my first year of teaching and I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know how to try something new when I was just trying to survive.  Over the last few months, I have been inspired by others who feel that this method of teaching seems to have changed the way people teach.  Therefore I have begun to re-read it along with many others on We Read, We Blog, We Teach.  


Through the CAFE program, I can apply many of the components of the cycle of formative assessment to the CAFE model.  I find that conferencing and getting to know your students’ goals and helping them achieve them truly contributes to their success as students.  Through both the Daily 5 and CAFE I can use the gradual release of responsibility model.  Really these three programs are a great marriage that I hope leads to a wonderful classroom environment.  I am so excited to see how these three strategies work together to improve student success.

Finally, I was looking for a great classroom management plan that encouraged students to become self-monitors, promotes engagement, and builds a positive classroom culture and environment. I have used the clip chart previously but didn’t really like this system.  I have also used a ticket system however this took a lot of time to manage.  So instead, I was inspired by Whole Brain Teaching. Many of you rave about how this works in your classroom; so I will be incorporating some of the components into my management plan.  I plan on using CLASS – YES, TEACH – OK, and the SCOREBOARD.  I will use these along with student referees, who look for the character traits in their classmates to earn a raffle ticket, star students who are promoted to this position when they believe that they are student leaders and self-monitors, and restorative justice practices.

So with all of this thinking, I was trying to figure out how this would translate into student supplies and books. For literacy, my students will have
  • 1 Literacy Zippered Folder
    • Reader’s Record Duotang
    • Reader’s Notebook (letters to the teacher, and reading responses)
    • Student ‘Just Right’ books
    • Writing Process Folder
    • Word Work Duotang


The labels for the writing process I created with help from this site here.  Here are my labels for the writing folder
4 Pocket Writing Folder: Labels, Reference Cards, Assembly Instructions.

Some other things I’ve been up to…

I have picked a colour scheme that I think reflects my students moving out of primary, so yellow, blue, green and purple it is.  Here is my friend the owl all dressed up…


I bought the paint for my bulletin boards and started to paint them and I will finish them in August.  I picked up paint testers instead of a quart or gallon paint cans.
They were cheaper at only $5 a can which will hopefully cover most of my bulletin boards.   I will probably need 5 cans in various colours which is still cheaper than one gallon of paint.  Plus I can get multiple colours.
Next, I have been making signs and labels for many things in my classroom.  I have made backgrounds, found frames online, played with PowerPoint to make these, and now have a clipart file folder on my computer that I am very proud of.  Here is some of the things that I have made.  I have made Cafe Labels and Daily 5 inspired labels, classroom library labels, agenda labels, and word wall labels.  The best part is that I printed these at Walmart’s Photo Center.  Ink for my office jet printer is expensive so I made these labels into images using PowerPoint and sent them off to Walmart’s Online photo center to print at $0.20 a photo.  They are stronger than regular paper and I’m thinking they may not fade as easily.  Here’s hoping.  I am so happy with how they turned out.  I will post photos of them on the baskets when I get back into my classroom in August.

Many Many Labels….here are just a few.

Classroom Label Bundle: Schedule, Classroom, and Supply Labels

Want these labels for yourself?
Click on the picture to get them at my TPT store.

Have you been creating this summer too…leave a comment and share your summer planning ideas with me.

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