Beginner Writing Continuum

Communicating with three or four educators in the classroom can be tricky.

This past year, I used picture images to group my guided reading groups. I've decided to implement learning goals and success criteria for writing in the exact same way.

Students will print their own names on sticky notes and we will get them to identify where they are on the continuum after we have collected several diagnostic assessment pieces.

We will be dividing the different groups amongst our teaching team and this will be supported by our planning teacher who will be focusing on writing this year as well.

I love that we will be able to use this to guide and separate our groups which we will be working with. Documenting children's progress in small groups will simply be a photo taken throughout the year to show growth!

I am excited to have this visual posted in our classroom as it will represent student understanding of what they can achieve and will help with keeping expectations and communication consistent for all teachers without having to have any formal meetings.

I have included the above continuum in the product shown below as a bonus. Click on the image to check it out!


Our "Debug" Tool to Support Self-Regulation

Young children need easy ways to remember how to solve social problems.

We often make a fun reference to this and describe it to children that others may be "bugging" them and this helps them regulate their emotions when they are upset with their peers.

When we do this, we can discuss bugs and our feelings around them. They may bother us, but in reality, we live with them and to a certain degree need to get used to them!

Our problems with others are the same!

Students need to be able to feel safe learning how to solve problems and guided through how to do it. These strategies have been very effective with our students.

When someone is bugging you we can:
* Ignore
         We can ignore things that are not true or other people's problems.
* Talk Friendly
         Always talk in a kind manner, assuming others will listen!
* Talk Firmly
        To show we mean what we say we speak firmly but still with kind words.
* Move Away
        If our words do not work we can choose something else to do or someone else to play with.
* Get Adult Help
        When the other strategies don't work, or if someone is hurt we can always seek help from an adult!

I hope you find these strategies to be helpful with your students!

I use a visual prompt for the non-readers in the calming corner area of our classroom. After we have pre-taught and repeatedly modeled the different strategies, students will independently go to use the poster to help them remember how to solve problems.

The following poster gives picture cues that children can easily understand and help them solve their problems independently. If you want to check it out, it can be purchased by clicking on the following image below.


Walking Wednesday: Whole School Activity

Kids need exercise and walking is a great way to get it.
Families who walk to school help build relationships within their community as families get to know each other.

Exploring the outdoors, being in and around nature, helps ground kids and them supports their appreciation for the world around them.

A few years ago our staff put out a challenge to our community to make it a goal to walk to school every Wednesday. It was a pretty easy adjustment for our community as we already had done this during Earth Week to support our learning of taking care of the environment.

The community bought into this weekly activity and all the students enjoyed participating in it. This is a perfect year-round activity for eco-schools.

Older students wrote announcements to encourage student participation, younger grades graphed who came to school by walking, driving or on the bus

Class awards were given to the class with the most points per division and celebrated all student participation by collecting points for each child who participated (our school collects color house points to help build school spirit).

If you want to start something like this at your school it is pretty easy to do! If you click on the image above to find premade activities, templates, and awards for your whole school to use!


Patterning Videos on YouTube

Learning how to pattern at a young age is surprisingly easy for many children. 

I often use patterning songs as attention grabbers for whole group learning. Sometimes it is good to throw in a fun video for fun. Here are a few that I've found useful in the past! I hope you find these useful for supporting your students learning!

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