Tip #5 for Making Your Next School Year Easier

Some districts give teachers planners or calendars as a thank-you. As an avowed planner/calendar person, I always view this a welcome gesture. I enjoy filling it in and seeing how my year is going to shape up. There’s something about chunking the school year into seasons, units, weeks and daily lessons that’s comforting to me. A roadmap in hand also makes the start of the school year a little less daunting, because once the daily grind kicks in, it can be a real challenge to find time for thoughtful, long-range planning.

That's why tip #5 for making your next school year easier is to

This summer, take advantage of some of your free days to get a head start on planning your first units.  

If you have access to a copy machine, you might want to get your copying started, too. With all this planning ahead of time, September should be a breeze – and you can enjoy the summer breeze, too!

Looking for some ready-made units to get you through the start of the year? Here are some of my favorites:

Narrative Writing Unit:

In this detailed, CCSS-aligned, 10-day unit, students write personal narratives about an interesting experience that taught them a lesson. In their personal narratives, students will include key elements of narrative writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. Through the study of a mentor text, pre-writing activities, draft guidelines, revision mini-lessons and guides, peer conferencing, and editing, students will write a powerful personal narrative. This Narrative Writing Unit can be taught at the beginning of the school year to learn about students and build a classroom community, or in conjunction with Open House. It’s versatile, though, so you can use it anytime –after a school break, or even at the end of the year!

Nonfiction Text Features Unit: 

This fun resource includes six engaging lessons about nonfiction text features that can set students up for a year of successful reading.  Each lesson and activity is designed to be hands-on and interactive.  Many of the elements that students create in the lessons can serve as a reference for them to use throughout the entire school year (match-up, search and find, guide book).  Four nonfiction texts about scientists are also included in this resource for cross-curricular integration.  This unit is not only fun, it's also jam-packed with ways for students to master nonfiction text features.

Thanks for stopping by!
Mary Beth

Ready for more? Check out these tips:  Tip 1Tip 2Tip 3Tip 4Tip 5Tip 6Tip 7Tip 8Tip 9Tip 10

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