The Best Day Ever: Activities and Centers that Support Independent Writing

This week my kids learned about autobiography.  You bet it’s a big word to learn especially that most of them are English language learners with beginning reading level.  The first thing I had to do then, was to get them acquainted with the term.  I devised a game, which I dubbed as “Say it Right, Do it right.” The game requires them to say “auto” and “biography” alternately, each with different gesture, and whoever does not say it right with the right gesture during the game gets eliminated and goes back to his/her seat.  I did this, pointing to each kid alternately until everyone else, except one, is back on their seats.

Let me tell you this.  At the end of the game, the word just got stuck in their minds, a few of them were still saying the six-syllable word happily while lining up for dismissal.

My agenda for the day went like this:

Whole Group Activities/discussion

  • Say it Right, Do it Right game
  • Introduction to Autobiography (using an Anchor Chart with definition and short example with focus on use of pronouns I, Me, My)
  • Review of Phonics lesson: short /o/ (which I had to include as part of the summer reading program)


I created three learning stations for my 12 kids with four members in each group:

  • Writing Center – (It is necessary to place the strongest group of kids in this center during the first rotation; they are the ones who need less teacher support.)
  • Phonics/Vocabulary Center
  • Reading Center –  (This is where I am stationed so that I can guide them into reading and comprehending the text that is appropriate for their reading level.  This is also the time I provide more details about an autobiographical text).

To apply their learning, they wrote about their best day ever, just simply titled “The Best Day.”  In the Writing Station, I wrote the instructions and provided the template with an example.  I also have a word bank for them.  The center has markers, crayons, and papers – all they needed to complete the task.

The Best Day writing assignment

The Best Day writing assignment-2

     So far, I am quite satisfied with what they have done.

My kids at the phinis:vocabulary center

My kids at the Phonics/Vocabulary Center

Me at the Reading Station

Me with my kids at The Reading Station

This is Summer school and I just make the most out of the very few resources that are provided to me.  The classroom is bare of any decorations, and it is okay.  It is, after all, Summer.

Happy Summer!

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Love Notes from Summer School

Fact:  If you are a teacher, Summer time is your most favorite season of all.  No papers to grade, no Monday blues, no Common Core lessons to plan – Nothing of these sorts.  Unless you decided against your very own will to teach during the summer.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be all that stressful.  It only takes four to five weeks, you have fewer students, and in most cases, you implement a reading or a math program  that takes less time to prepare.

Sure, you have to contend with being assigned farther away from where you live, with a classroom that looked like the teacher probably sighed (after packing all classroom stuff) at the thought of TGIS.  Whew!  Thank God it’s Summer.  But then again, it’s not all that bad.

Yes, I finally decided to teach Summer School.  After three long years.  I  have rising second graders who need all the help they could get to make it through the next school year.

After just three days of teaching them, I have no regrets of ever having to teach this Summer.

Notes of Love from Summer School

 See?  That’s proof that we’re all having a good time in my class.  In my next blog, I’ll let you know what my kids are learning this Summer.  Stay tuned!

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