I love the start of a new season! It gives me the chance to freshen up routines and activities in my classroom. In my opinion, the transition into Spring time is one of the best in first grade. The students have come so far, and it's easy to see it by this time of the year!
The tough thing about Spring, however, is that everything starts to feel a little stale. I find it harder to engage my students in the same old activities week after week. They have been working on the same center rotation, in the same classroom, with the same kids for so many months. We all know that when students aren't feeling motivated, that behavior problems start to arise, and work quality drops. The best way I have found to re-engage my students is through seasonal work, such as seasonal writing!
Why Seasonal Activities Work
At this point in the year, our students are almost second graders. There's no time to waste, and maintaining the same amount of rigor in class work is important! We want our students to have the skills and stamina that they need for the next grade. Working seasonal activities into your classroom will help keep your students working hard for a few reasons:
1.) They can make better connections to the work. When the work students are doing in the classroom reflects the activities, weather, holidays, etc. outside of the classroom, it is easy to make connections! When students can make connections from classwork back to their own lives, it's easier to motivate them!
2.) Motivation = resilience. When our students are motivated to finish an assignment, we see more focus and resilience against distractions around the room. We also see students digging deeper to finish work, even if it's more difficult. Having more connections to an assignment, and finding the work more engaging will motivate students to finish.
3.) Resilience results in growth! When our students are focused, engaged, and pushing through distractions, we will ultimately see more growth. The more students practice any skill in our classrooms, they more they will grow.
Seasonal Writing Fun
Writing is the perfect activity to turn into a seasonal center during any season! However you practice writing in your classroom, you can keep your routines and procedures exactly the same, but make everything feel brand new with a seasonal assignment.
One of my favorite seasonal writing activities are ‘Draw It! Write It! Read It!' journals. Each page of the journal comes with a brief, directed drawing, as well as a title that prompts students to come up with a story.
Students use the steps of the directed drawing to sketch an illustration that matches the title of the paper. After drawing, they write a story to go along with their illustration!
My Spring Draw It! Write It! Read It! journal has 10 different writing prompts and directed drawings themed around springtime! My students love these writing prompts so much, we use them in my classroom all year long. I know yours will love them too, and your students will grow as writers!
Grab Spring Draw It! Write It! Read It! Journal HERE.
Oh, and if you're interested in the whole year, you can grab the year-long bundle HERE.