After I've launched Reading Workshop and all of the corresponding mini-lessons about how to hold a book, how to stay in one spot, how to shop for a book, how to only get a tissue when we need one and not just because our friend is getting one, how not to build towers out of our books because that's not actually reading (ahem!), I finally start to introduce content during my mini-lesson time. The first topic we tackle is distinguishing between fiction and non-fiction. Friends, this topic is tricky! The vocabulary seems backwards, and my EL students really struggle. However, we practiced a LOT this week and had a great time doing it!
It's day 5 of school and we are just starting to find a happy rhythm in first grade. The first few weeks consist of procedure practice, read aloud, character education, and repeat! I am longing for our consistent routine, but my teacher heart knows this time is oh, so valuable. I tend to read Responsive Classroom's book The First Six Weeks every year around this time. It reminds me of the importance of establishing and practicing procedures in a systematic way. If you're struggling with where to start with your little ones, I highly recommend this book! (click the image for Amazon affiliate link)
After many long days, trips to Target, and more Amazon orders than I'd like to admit, my classroom is finally ready! I enjoy creating a space for my little learners that is purposeful in design. Don't get me wrong - I love to browse social media for inspiration and ideas, but I only include elements in my classroom that resonate with my educational philosophy. I include white space, natural elements, and a monochromatic color scheme. Here is a peak into my first grade classroom!