Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Peek at My First Week of School

The first week of school...
It's exciting.  It's nerve racking.  It's busy.  And boy, is it TIRING!
The first week (or three) are certainly not a normal picture of how things flow in the classroom during most of the year.  My main focus is helping students get comfortable with me, each other, and how we do things in class.  
While it's tempting to go ahead and dive into curriculum, I think it is really important to take plenty of time to teach your students routines and procedures that will follow them the rest of the year.
With that being said, here's a peek at some of what went on during the first days in our classroom.

I made little Welcome to 1st Grade goody bags, which I totally forgot to give out one first day.  So, my new firsties got their treats on the second day of school.  Oh well...

During the first few weeks of school, I do lots and lots of read alouds.  My young learners need breaks during the day.  Read alouds are a wonderful way to break up the time.  Plus, I love, love, love read alouds!

Two favorite books during the first week of school is Tad Hills' How Rocket Learned to Read and Rocket Writes a Story.  I used these stories to help introduce Read to Self and Work on Writing during our Daily 5 launch.

Speaking of the Daily 5, we spent loads of time working on Read to Self.  We usually start Read to Self on the first day.  But, this year, we started Read to Self on the second day.  To date we are at six minutes of sustained Read to Self.  We have more work ahead of us for sure.

As part of our launch, we continuously reference our Daily 5 I charts.  There is link to the free set of my Daily 5 I charts later in the post.

As part of the launch, I really love using my Daily 5 Trace and Read Mini Books.  These books reinforce the procedures we are working on in class.  Plus, students can work on them independently.

In math we began working on numbers to 120.  This week and next week, we will focus on number representations.  I made cut and glue bubble maps for students to show their understanding of ways to represent numbers to 20.

In addition to our practice with number representations, we also worked (as a whole group) on the first week of our Calendar Connection.  As the year goes on, the daily Calendar Connection activities will be independent.  But for now, students need guidance in how to correctly complete the tasks.

The back to school packet we used (pretty much) all week goes along Melanie Watt's book You're Finally Here!  My students love this book.  We did math and literacy activities inspired by You're Finally Here!  We also made cute You're Finally Here! bunnies to hang outside our classroom.

Even with all this craziness going on, I had to get started my beginning of the year assessments.  These assessments will take a few weeks to complete.  To be honest, the individual screenings are tough to fit in this time of the year.  But, they are really worth it.

Below are my lesson plans for the first week of school.  You can maybe get a better picture of how things fit together.  Click on the plans for a free copy or just to get a better view.

Here are links to some of the resources listed in the lesson plans:  Daily 5 Owl Themed I Charts, Daily 5 Trace and Read Mini Books, You're Finally Here! Math and Literacy Activities, Fun With Firsties (by Abby Mullins), Calendar Connection, and Student Data and Goals.

I'll leave you with one more resource that I stumbled upon this summer, Scholastic's 20 Back-To-School Tales.  This dvd has wonderful stories on it.  It is a life saver if you need a few minutes to turn in your lunch numbers or get a dismissal list in order.  Best of all I got it on Amazon for around $5.  (I know...pretty exciting;)!)

I guess that's about it.
If you are still on summer break, enjoy and know that many of us are totally jealous of you.  If you have started back to school, I hope you have a wonderful year.  
Thanks for stopping by.