Friday, June 5, 2015

Large Group Literacy: Getting to Know School

The beginning of the school year is a crucial time for establishing routines and procedures within the classroom.  I will be honest and admit, I plan for Large Group Literacy but it usually does not fully occur during that first week of school.  Some activities I have to put in the lesson plan more than once because we never actually did them during the first week.

Who's Who
This is a super simple "getting to know you" activity in which all students take turns answering questions such as their favorite food or color.  Each student has a piece of construction paper with their first name written at the bottom.  As they answer the questions, write their responses on a post-it for them to place on their paper.
This pulls students in as they discuss their individual preferences and see who might have similar interests within their setting.  It also prepares them for contributing to class discussions and other Large Group Literacy experiences that will occur throughout the school year.
This is a fun hallway display for the beginning of the school year.

Class Mural
Roll out some butcher paper, bulletin paper, chart paper, whatever it is as long as it is BIG.  Allow the students to draw or write whatever they feel.  The focus of these activities is pulling students into the expectations of Large Group Literacy at the beginning of the school year.

Pete the Cat flannel story telling
You can purchase the flannel set, make your own from felt, print photos with velcro patches...  However you have your flannel stories, this is a fun beginning of the school year tale.  With Eric Litwin providing the song to the story of Pete the Cat, this song pulls students into the excitement of learning making it choice for using at the beginning of the school year.

Favorite Pete the Cat book graph
Pete the Cat, His School Shoes, Groovy Buttons, T-Rex, Sunglasses, so many titles!  Grab what you can of Pete the Cat to read throughout that first week of school.  Only make the options for your graph whatever titles you actually read with your students.  Create boxes underneath each option.  As most students entering cannot write their name yet, allow them to color in a box with a marker, color pencil, or crayon for whichever book they are choosing.  This allows them to practice holding and using a writing tool before having them to begin copying letters.
You will note that many of my graphing opportunities will be students picking out their favorite something.  This goes again to their egocentric focus which pulls them into the activity.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Retelling with props
Go ahead and create your old lady prop however you need to.  My school has an Old Lady prop with a clear plastic bag beneath her apron to see what she has eaten.  I have an old helium tank box in my home that I painted over and transformed into an old lady to eat props.  However you make her, she is a story of repetitive phrases and sequencing that has many retellings to fit various holidays and themes throughout the school year.  And again, you can buy her props or make them yourself.  I prefer to find items in the classroom to reflect the props in her story.


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