Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's a Back to School Blog Hop Hosted by PA Bloggers

Yeah! It's a back to school blog hop with loads of FREE stuff! 

Are you in back-to-school mode yet? I am getting there! 

When my blogging buddies and I decided to try our first ever collaborative blog hop, I was excited (after I googled what a blog hop was). Anyway, I thought I'd 
"cutsi-fy"/fancy up some of my oldies but goodies for the new year. Lucky for you, you get two of them for FREE! Just click on the images below to pick them up in my TPT store.

#1 Poetry/Song book letter. This parent letter introduces our poetry/song notebooks. During the first week of school, I introduce a poem to my students. We focus on a skill (or skills), practice it daily (various ways), and by Friday, students can read this fluently (or at least more fluently than on the first day it was introduced). 

For the past 15 years, I've used some sort of notebook/folder where students collected all the poems/songs we learned throughout the year. At the end of the year, each child had a collection of many familiar poems/songs to keep. 
These notebooks are very beneficial for many reasons (fluency practice, fun, parental involvement, meaningful homework, etc.). 

I made this letter generic enough so you can use whatever kind of folder/notebook you'd like for your students' growing poetry/song collection (I personally like 3-ring binders). You can decide what songs/poems to put in. We focus on one (sometimes two) every week. By Friday, students are ready to perform it for "Fluency Friday", and the binder is sent home every weekend for reading homework. These binders work well to fill time, to pull out and reminisce, buddy reading, circle time, etc. Parents love them, teachers love them, students love them and hopefully, you will use and  love them too. 

#2 Survival Kit-Unfortunately, I do not get to meet my kids before school begins. But, they do get to visit the school with their parents a few days before the first day of school. Every year, I make a survival kit goodie bag for each child to take when they visit.  I collect everything I need (cotton balls, Life Savers, Hershey's Hugs/Kisses, pencil top erasers, band-aids, small stickers, stars-from craft store, shiny pennies-clean with vinegar and salt if they are grimy and birthday candles). From what parents have told me over the years, it helps to build that strong home-family trust/connection that is so important. Many parents make it a point to tell me how meaningful this survival kit is. 

Hopefully, I was able to give you something that you can use. What oldies, but goodies do you use at the beginning of every year? 

Now, don't forget to hop on over to Nick at 
Pure Rhyme & Sweet Reason (click on his button below) for some more FREE back to school goodies!

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