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Back to School is Getting Closer (with a freebie)!

Yay! Five for Friday is back– I love reading about everyone’s week!

1. Oh my— it’s officially August! That means it’s back to school time….but I really can’t complain. It’s been a wonderful summer of traveling, fun with family and friends and productivity! Plus, technically I still have until the 16th, even if these next 2 weeks will be filled with time spent in my classroom and preparing for the year…but I’m okay with that. These bookshelves just look so very sad without any book baskets to fill them up– that’ll be one of the first things I do at school!

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2. As I said, I’ve been productive this summer– one thing I’m very excited to use with my little friends the first few weeks of school is my Back to School Literacy Centers Bundle Pack!  This pack includes 5 fun centers and 5 fun graphic organizers all of which are aligned to Common Core.  The graphic organizers are great ‘getting to know you’ activities, compare & contrast activities and simple reading response activities that you can just copy and use. The literacy centers focus on foundational skills perfect for the beginning of the year (syllables, CVC word and picture match, vowels vs consonant sorts, rhyming sight words and beginning sound identification)- each one includes a recording sheet and writing extension as well.  You can check out this pack here!

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A few of the activities included in the pack!

3. I will also begin using my Back to School Think, Draw, Write Journals right away as well during our writing time. These journals provide me with an idea of how my little friends are doing in the writing department.  At the beginning of the year especially, I just want my little friends to try their best and show me what they know so far.  I do not expect them to be writing sentences but I like to see which students are willing to try writing on their own and which students are obviously more dependent on me.  These journals help teach me what my little friends are struggling with early on in their writing. You can check out this pack here!

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4. Of course I need to find out a little about what my students like in regard to reading too, so I created this graphic organizer to get an idea.  I will use this not only to get an idea of who is not a big fan of reading (so I can start getting them to love reading right away!) but also so I can plan my activities based on their interests that they include on this graphic organizer.  The more interested students are in something, the more likely the information is to stick so I want to know what my little friends like to read right away and plan accordingly. You can grab this freebie here!

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5. It’s my sweet little niece’s 2nd birthday next week! I adore her so much and cannot believe she will be 2– she’s just the cutest! I got her a few books as part of her gift and wow did I have a tough time not buying the whole store when searching for them…does that happen to all teachers? 🙂

Thanks so much to TBADoodlebugs Teaching and Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade for hosting such great linky parties!

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Don’t forget to check out our giveaway for your chance to win 2 QR Code Products from each of our stores!  You can see our post about our giveaway by clicking here!
Have a great day!


Picture of Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

3 Responses

  1. Your writing idea is great . I just went to a session at I Teach K where they talked about the beginning stagesof writing. this would be good to way to show growth.

  2. Wow, what a wonderful and helpful website. I work with low, middle, and high first graders and all could benefit from using the poem notebook. Please send me copies of the poems you use with your students.
    Thanks in advance.
    [email protected]

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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