Tip of the Week July 18, 2008

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July 17, 2008

Classroom Libraries - A Fresh Way to Organize When we set up our classrooms each fall, one of the spaces which requires thoughtful consideration is the classroom library or 'den'. The way we plan for its use can mean the difference between a space where children independently find, read and return good fit books, or a space that becomes an eyesore which requires constant management from us. The classroom library can function as the heart of the room, or its Achilles heel.
This is the first in a three part series of how we organize our classroom libraries. This week you will find an article detailing the journey we have been on with our classroom libraries and ending with exactly the process we follow now:

Design - A Fresh Way to Organize... Classroom Libraries

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Take a look at this slideshow which features the process of reorganizing a classroom library and a tour of two completed libraries:

Design - Classroom Library Makeover Part I of III (SLIDESHOW)
 

Nothing clears up our thinking and learning like seeing it for ourselves. In this video Joan introduces the accuracy strategy "Flip the Sound" to a whole class of first graders. This indispensible accuracy strategy works two fold, it helps students figure out words and also starts them in the process of monitoring and thinking about their reading. Notice the addition of a kinesthetic hand motion to deepen the retention of the strategy:

CAFE? - Accuracy, Flip the Sound Part II of III (VIDEO)
 

Christie, a featured teacher on our site, confers with one of her fourth grade students. This conference begins with Connor jumping right in and summarizing, or might we say retelling every detail of the story. Christie skillfully, focuses the conference on the goal and strategy, he had identified as his next steps in his learning:

Setting Reasonable Goals with Connor (VIDEO)
 

Many of you who joined us in our design classes this summer have asked for this form, Phases of Classroom Design. For all of you making changes to your rooms this summer or fall, here it is:

Design - Phases of an Environmental Change (PDF)

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