Back To School With Guess Who? Mary from Mrs. Lirette’s Learning Detectives.

I’m soooo excited to have Mary from Mrs. Lirette’s Learning Detectives here today.  She’s moving back to kindergarten after being in 2nd grade and we are so glad she back with kinders.

Hi everyone!  It’s Mary from Mrs. Lirette’s Learning Detectives.  This has been an incredible week of back to school ideas, hasn’t it?  I hope I can add to your collection of ideas for the classroom.  Thanks to Marsha for allowing me to share with you!

One of my favorite activities for the beginning of the year involves environmental print.  Bringing this type of print into the classroom is so important because it helps to create a “print rich” environment for your little learners.  You can boost your students’ confidence by showing them that they have already taken that first step as readers.  This really helps bridge the gap between functional print of the outside world and what you will be teaching them in your classroom.

I love to get my parents involved right at the start of the school year.  This is a great first project to include them in!  After explaining what environmental print is and showing a few examples, I send a letter home with my kiddos asking for help.  I ask for each child to bring in a few labels, signs, or symbols of items around their house.  {Parents love this project because it is simple, FREE, and takes very little time!}
Once we have a pretty decent collection, my kids help me to create a class book with all of the items.  The book stays in our classroom library all year and is always a favorite.  You can download a copy of my parent letter along with several prompt page choices for a class book here.

Of course, you could use your collection to create a collage or other type of display instead of a class book.  It doesn’t matter how it is displayed as long as the students are able to view it.  🙂

I incorporate environmental print along with my initial overview of the letters at the beginning of the year.  This seems to be perfect timing because most children can identify with the signs and recognize the sounds even if they have not mastered the entire alphabet.  I am sharing my Environmental Spin and Graph activities on my blog today as well.  Click on the picture to head on over to download a free copy.

I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!  I’d love to know how you use environmental print in your classroom!

She’s BRILLIANT isn’t she?  You have to get over to her blog and pick up that freebie and let her know how much you love it.  And, of course, stop back tomorrow for more back to school fun!

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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