Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Focus Walls...and a Freebie! :)

Focus walls are all over Pinterest and teaching blogs lately. The more that I read and thought about them, I realized what a useful tool these are for students...of all ages! I've seen them done for every subject, some even have multiple subjects all on one. However, I already have a pretty big space devoted to math, so I wanted to make my focus wall all about Reading and Language Arts.

My purpose for creating and utilizing a focus wall this year was so that my students would consistently know where to look for help if they got stuck. I'm anticipating that this will be very useful during small group time...whether I'm referring back to it with the group I'm working with, or if my students are using it independently during Word Work or Writing centers. No more "Mrs. Beverly, I don't remember what ___ is!" They'll know exactly where to look every.single.time!! :)

Additionally, it holds mini anchor charts for all of the major points we'll be hitting on that week in Reading and L.A. It will be easy for me to refer to while I'm teaching, so that students can really learn how to utilize it and refer back to it themselves. I am excited about getting this started this year!!!

I created my bulletin board...got some cute headers, made a cute bunting...and then...had no clue what to actually put on my focus wall.

{FREEBIE alert...keep reading to the bottom! :)}
I wanted something that would be consistent with our Reading Street curriculum, and that would be easy to organize and pull out each week when I needed to change it. This is what I came up with:

I love it! I have the first week of school all ready to go. It correlates perfectly with our Reading Street curriculum. We typically follow along with Reading Street for spelling words, phonics, genre, grammar, and comprehension strategies. We don't use their writing guides, but there are writing posters included in this pack!

I didn't want to have to laminate every poster, so instead I just stapled sheet protectors to my bulletin board under the headings. This makes it so easy to slip in the posters as they change every week.

Here's a closer look:
Reading Street highlights two different comprehension strategies each week, so posters are included for both. There are also posters for each grammar or conventions skills for each week. The grammar posters are ones I'm particularly excited for my students to have handy to reference during Word Work.

The genre posters also include some simple clipart that relate to that week's story. I personally wanted these sets to be very printer-friendly, and I think they are! The only clipart you'll find is on the genre and phonics posters, and it prints out just fine in b&w if that is still too much color-ink for you! :)

I've got their high-frequency words posted, which we'll refer to daily. The packs also include the amazing words, but I don't have them posted on my focus wall. There's a poster for the phonics skill for that week as well. (Second grade has one phonics poster per week, but the first grade pack typically has two phonics posters per week.)

The last thing on my focus wall is a pocket chart for spelling words (thank you Target dollar spot!). Another great resource for students during morning work and centers!

I've already got the focus wall posters all set to go for the first unit...so that's at least one thing I feel on top of!! I just printed them, put each week's materials in a sheet protector, and used a sharpie to mark the edge with the unit and week number...

...and filed them away! So easy to grab on a Friday afternoon (or a Monday morning if you're the kind of person who rushes out on a Friday afternoon like me!) and stick up on your wall.

I'm so excited about this resource!! So far I've finished Unit 1 for both first and second grade, and plan to knock out the rest this month...here's a preview of what you get:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Grade-Reading-Street-Focus-Wall-Posters-Unit-1-1357895
{First grade}
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Second-Grade-Reading-Street-Focus-Wall-Posters-Unit-1-1354127
{Second grade}
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Grade-Reading-Street-Focus-Wall-Posters-Unit-1-1357895http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Second-Grade-Reading-Street-Focus-Wall-Posters-Unit-1-1354127

 Now, enter to WIN one!!! Winner gets to choose between the 1st and 2nd grade set. :) AND, if you read this far, you deserve a freebie, so head to my Freebies tab on my Facebook page to snag the "Focus Wall" chevron bunting you saw above on my focus wall. :)



4 comments :

  1. Where did you get your cute alphabet?

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    Replies
    1. It's a freebie on TPT! :)
      Here's the link: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Black-Brights-Chalkboard-Alphabet-FREEBIE-1260044

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  2. What a great resource, thanks for sharing :)

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