What will you be doing your first week of school? We usually have a few days on our first week of school. During that time I usually read “First Day Jitters”, “Kissing Hand”, “If you Take a Mouse to School”, or “Froggy Goes to School”. On the first full week of school we begin our Rules and Routines Unit from Guided Reading with a Purpose. The focus of this unit is to discuss classroom rules and routines while we learn about characters and setting from a story. Below you will see the 5 anchor text I use to teach characters and setting.
David Goes to School, Miss Nelson is Missing, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, The Recess Queen and Chrysanthemum
To make it extra exciting and fun for the students, I try to dress up like a character from a book and create different settings daily. This gets them really excited to come to school each day and creates anticipation. Last year they were trying to guess who I would dress up like the next day. Here are a few pictures from last year. It is nothing elaborate.. I just bought a few hats off of Etsy. I do realize this is a little over the top but that tends to be how I roll.
On the first day, I only focus on characters. I begin with a game called “What’s in my Bag?”. Slowly I take an image out of my bag and put it on our chart. Once we have all of the characters out of the bag, we brainstorm what they all have in common. The idea is to get them to understand the term character. Here is an example.
This anchor chart is then on display for the week. On day two, we learn about settings. We play this game again but this time the pictures include different settings.
I also set up a mystery setting at their tables. Each day they come in and they have to guess where they are at for the day. I just went to the dollar store and purchased items around the same theme. Here are a few snapshots of some of the settings I created. Can you guess what they were?
(beach, bathroom, pet shop, birthday party)
During the week, we read a different story each day and worked on shared activities. We do 1 to 2 worksheets each day and discuss parts of the story using the colorful cards I have created.
Of course we had to sneak in a few crafts throughout the week. Here are the ones included. I never have time to do them all so I pick and choose. I like to provide choice also. My students picked which teacher they wanted to make from Miss Nelson is Missing and which student from The Recess Queen.
Here is their finished work. I love their interpretation…so cute.
Finally, we ended the week with a fun sharing project. I don’t like to give out homework or projects that ends up being a parent project. Since I have 7 children I feel the parent’s pain in that area. This assignment was optional. I told them to bring in something that represented a favorite character or setting from a book and we would try to guess it. This is the perfect activity to address the “Speaking and Listening” standards. It was almost like show and tell for them. They loved it. We had a variety of things brought in but I’m pretty sure Captain Underpants got the most laughs.
This is the first week in a 40 week series of units that teach a specific standard and skill. Some teachers call it “Shared Reading”. In my school this is our large group guided reading time. It is a wonderful opportunity to present a new concept to the whole class and work on building listening comprehension. In all honesty it is my favorite part of the day. It leads into our writing and sets the tone for the day.
Here is what others have said about this unit.
“I loved the first GRWAP file that I bought so much, that I purchased others! Lots of resources to choose from. Clear teaching points and great ideas!”
“Very thorough and engaging! The students love the book choices.”
“I love the literature connection! Very enjoyable and complete!”