It’s amazing the cumulative effect that occurs when you consistently do something a little bit at a time. When starting out a new school year, use time to your advantage!
Once you’ve scheduled your groups and identified your students’ goals, decide on a “building block” activity that you will work on each session. This activity shouldn’t take much time, but will make a difference over the course of a year. During each session, review the word, idiom, or skill that was introduced during the last session and then move on to the new one.
Examples of “building block” activities:
Idioms: Introduce one or two new idioms
Word meanings: Introduce a couple of vocabulary words and their meanings
Affixes: Introduce some prefixes, suffixes, or root words (e.g., tri=3, pre=before)
Parts of speech: Introduce and practice generating examples of nouns, prepositions, etc.
Fix-ups: Write sentences with errors on the board and have the students fix them and explain their corrections.
Goals: Have students tell which goal(s) they are working on and describe strategies that help them.
Word of the week: Give students a word or phrase to focus on producing correctly for the week.
For more information about starting off the school year right, check out a post from last year at
Add a comment and tell us how you start out your school year or what activities you do consistently to build up skills. We’d love to hear from you!