Thursday, August 20, 2009

Starting The Year Off Right!!

Wow! What an amazing workshop last week in Williamsburg! I love the fact that after being involved with this program for 4 years now I still come away with so much to take back to my classroom and school. While learning and reviewing so many strategies in 3 days can seem overwhelming, this is the absolute best time, right before the new year starts, to start planning on how to use the Power Tools strategies in your content area. One of my absolute favorites is using picture books. They are such a fun and exciting way to introduce students of all ages to a new unit or concept! Many of our students have lost the appeal of learning, and listening, to a teacher instruct on a new topic. As I always say, taking them back to a "happy place" or a time in which they eager to learn, is one of the best ways to capture their attention even in the upper grades.

The first step in the new year will be to set routines and procedures in your classroom. As Shannon reminded us, the "Getting To Know You" activities would be one of the first steps to take in implementing the use of Power Tools. My advice from there would be to take at least 1 strategy per week and incorporate it into your lessons. Starting small will help to build not only student confidence but yours as well. Good luck to everyone! I hope you are as excited about the new year and all the new ideas you are going back to school with!


  1. Sarah, I could not agree more. This was a very powerful workshop!! I personally have already taken the steps to look at the "Getting to Know You" activities and have several ideas floating around in my head as to how to use them. I am looking forward to a very exciting year with these truly powerful tools!!!!

  2. Like you 2, I am also energized and ready to impliment some of these strategies. I have been looking for new ways to get our students interested in literacy, now I have some new tools. This will be a fun and full of learning year.

  3. I am stoked to use these strategies in my classroom. I think a lot of times students see the textbook and are overwhelmed because in reality they do not know how to breakdown and understand the information. We sometimes just ASSUME they do know how to do these things. I can't wait to use some of these strategies along with "marking the text.."
    (Tiffany Truitt)