Several years ago we decided that we would develop a notebook of resources for our first grade teachers. Because we don't really have a Teacher's Manual for Readers' and Writers' Workshop, it seemed each year we were gathering the same things over and over before each unit. The idea was to put together a notebook of resources that we could look through before we taught each unit to give us ideas and resources for mini-lessons in particular. We kept the notebooks up for a few years but as so many of our teachers looped and came back, the notebooks became overwhelming. They became too big and too bulky. We got so we put in everything instead of just the "tried and true" stuff and we were limited by only being able to put in paper copies of things. Finally we went to a system of each teacher just keeping what she wanted, but we have realized, especially with our new teachers to the grade level, that we are still pulling together stuff before each unit and teachers will say, "I've never seen that" because they weren't on the grade level the year that particular thing was added.
This year, Melanie Holtsman introduced us to a wiki - a way to collaborate on-line. This seemed like the perfect venue to add, not only paper copies, but web sites, files, blog entries, slide shows, videos - well, the possibilities are limitless. We have closed this wiki so that it can only be edited by our community of first grade teachers, but we are certainly interested in sharing it with a larger community. Check out our first grade wiki! This is our first attempt, so let me know what you think!