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August 23, 2021

First Things First and Context Clues

It was a wonderful weekend. I’m trying out this whole balance thing. School during the week and relaxing on the weekend. I hope that I can move into relaxing during the week as well. 

I’m learning (again) to let things sit. I can grade that stack of papers during the week when I’m getting paid for it. My plans are ready. My copies are made. My plan book and that stack of papers took a nice ride home and back this weekend.  It's all good.

One thing that does help me is planning out the entire unit at a time. Then even if something comes up, or timing has to change a little, well at least I know what’s next. It’s a little stressful at the beginning of the year, but it becomes easier. It's also easier when you can look back at past years and have the reminder of what you did...

Copies can be made in advance. Links can be grabbed. The big picture makes it easier for me to see clearly. 

This week I’m excited about our Context Clues Travel Adventure. Last week the focus was on dictionary skills, this week is all context clues. We have whole group practice on Monday, task cards for Tuesday, and then the adventure is going to be on Wednesday, then a formative check on Thursday. I use this product by Teaching with a Mountain View

For a small room transformation I hang this backdrop over my window, and these country flags around the classroom. 

I set up the stations around the room. One country at each station. I have the country context clues page and pictures of the country that I have googled. Each country has a specific color, so by the end the students should have completed the rainbow. 

We will start out with each kid making their own travel booklet. It’s just a few pages of copy paper folded together. They will use the markers to color code their booklets. There is a booklet included, but I don’t want to deal with the copy machine. 

This year an Amazon search for airplane stickers ended up with a purchase of airplane foam flyers. Since it won’t be their table groups flying around together, they will have to match up with those that have the same type of airplane. So 6 groups instead of our normal 8. 

We will do America together, then they will be flying around to the other countries. I’ll give them 10ish minutes at each station, and will use my best stewardess voice to let them know when it’s time to transfer to their next destination. After our last landing we will take a moment to go over answers for them to check their papers before turning them in so I can take a peek. 

I hope you have a great week! 

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