The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and hope is spreading all around us. Yes, it's spring!
This year, we needed the signs of new life that spring brings more than ever.
Whether your students are in the classroom or joining you from home, consider all the ways you can bring fresh life into their daily learning experience. Perhaps you'll adopt a class bunny (for the courageous!), plant seeds, or go on a geometry treasure hunt in nature.
Some of my favorite writing lessons came from taking students outside in the spring to observe and write about the growing flora and fauna. One spring we fit all our writing standards into an insect unit. We wrote insect poetry, scientific journaling on the butterfly life cycle (watching pupas emerge in the classroom), creative writing inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's, Two Bad Ants, and of course our very own entomologist reports on each student's insect of choice.
Those of you already teaching with GLAD® strategies can imagine the plethora of strategy connections an insect unit holds. Narratives and Comparatives and Process Grids oh my! Learning Logs and Expert Groups and Found Poetry…. well, you get the picture!
It's an opportune time to focus on writing. This year, we want to ensure students not only have prompted writing experiences but extra time for unprompted writing, such as interactive journals or creative writing assignments. Unprompted writing will help students process and express what they've been experiencing this past year. You'll see that emerge in their fantasy stories, biographical entries and letters to pen pals around the world.
To spark this avenue of expression, consider introducing your class to a variety of writing quotes. Ask them which one is their favorite and why? Which one sparks something in their hearts and why? What are the ways that writing changes our lives?
We're creating a connection and a love for writing as an extension of who we are and the story or message we each have to share.