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  • Eilis

Chapter 2 of Literacy Beginnings

Deborah Stewart has done a wonderful job of covering the second chapter for our blog book study. Be sure to visit her blog at to read her insights.

My thoughts on this chapter:

Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas present a great case for the importance of establishing a community of learners with clear expectations for behavior and routines.  I have found that a fun way to go over the rules repeatedly during the first days and weeks of school is by using puppets.  I use these ones from Oriental Trading 

to act out fictional kids following or not following the rules we have gone over.  The kids love learning the rules in this way and beg me to do it again and again...

One thing the authors suggested and I have not yet done, is to make a simple chart for the kids to follow for arrival routines.  I love this idea and plan to use photographs of actual items in our classroom to list routines such as putting away lunches and water bottles.

The authors also provided a great list of "Twenty-Five Ways to Use Circle Games to Create Community." I do something similar to an activity that they suggest with a rolling ball.  I have a Koosh ball that I throw to kids so they will know it is their turn to answer the given question (favorite food, a book you like, etc.).  It keeps things fair, gives shy students a chance, and provides a little gross motor work.

I also create a class book at the very beginning of the school year along the lines of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  The pages incorporate the students' names and photos (Emma, Emma, who do you see?  I see John looking at me...)  They love hearing their names read and looking at classmates faces. In fact, I have to be careful to add pages when new students join our class.  This becomes a very popular book in the Book Center for the rest of the year.

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