Think back to your first two weeks of school… (Or imagine if you’re a first-year teacher.) When you think of back-to-school rush, you think of rules, procedures, get-to-know-you games, all about me, and reflection. What if I told you that you could find a way to easily start ELA practice on Day 1? Teaching ELA in the first weeks of school can be done with themed ELA activities. Check out each domain below!
Getting To Know Each Other with Speaking & Listening
Get-to-know-you activities are a very popular activity in the first few weeks. This goes hand in hand with Speaking and Listening standards! Teaching students to carry on conversations is a great way to break the ice.
Also, any read aloud is a great opportunity to practice speaking and listening. One of the standards for S&L is to comprehend a text read aloud. Any time you grab a back-to-school read-aloud, check out the Speaking and Listening standards to ensure you’re covering that standard, too.
Reviewing and Practicing Group Time with Language and Foundational Skills
At the beginning of the year, you’ll have to teach your expectations for centers or small groups. This is a great time to bring in your ELA standards while also practicing how small groups work in your classroom. First, you can teach where kids go and what they’ll be doing. Then, you can easily work in your ELA skills!
Using First Week Topics to Inspire Writing
Self-reflections are very important within the first week of school. I love the idea of using the first week of school as a standards-based activity. However, your students may need a bit of practice after the time off over the summer. I would suggest a practice activity (that is BTS-based) to give them a chance to refresh their ELA knowledge. For example, the opinion activity above shows students practicing opinions and reasons. Then, the narrative writing activity above shows verbal sequencing with transitional words.
Tying in Fictional Reading (RL)
RL standards are very important throughout the entire year. In the ELA sets, you’ll find one practice activity that focuses on finding detail in illustrations. Then, students can also practice reading comprehension with a back-to-school theme.
Informational Reading Practice (RI)
Informational reading is really fun to tie teaching ELA in the first weeks of school. The nonfiction topics that you can pull from are very high interest for students because they have so much experience with them already. You can teach about things they know about, such as buses, teachers, school supplies, recess, school lunch, and more! This will make the standard practice much easier because they’ll be so familiar with it all!
Suggested Resources You’ll Love
Throughout this blog post, I’ve shown activities from the 1st and 2nd grade Back to School ELA set. Here are all the grade levels I have for you.