It’s the weekend before the first week of school! Last week was full of classroom prep and professional development (some good, some not so good). Now it’s time to get excited for a new school year!
I finished my first day plans about a month ago…although some things have been tweaked and changed! The Solar Eclipse on Monday has certainly thrown me for a loop! We won’t be able to go outside after 1:15 and depending on my students’ ability to focus on anything BUT this big event, I might be making the entire afternoon an indoor eclipse celebration.
Anyway, I am popping in quick to share my first WEEK plans. My first week is all about, you guessed it, getting to know my students (and giving them plenty of opportunity to learn about each other) while reviewing and practicing routines and expectations. Some activities are the same as last year (you can find those plans here) but there are some new ideas and books! Let’s get to it!
***PLANS are DOWNLOADABLE and CLICKABLE
so you can access where to buy the books or download resources**
This year, one of our school-wide initiatives is Responsive Classroom practices. Every grade level has 15-20 minutes blocked out in the AM for morning meeting. I will be using this AMAZING paperless resource by Erin Waters to help me stay on track with this goal.
The time after our AM special will be dedicated to getting to know each other. On Day 1, we will read How to Get Your Teacher Ready and share (which I will record on chart paper) about how we got ready for 2nd grade. Day 2, we will start this adorable flip book by Renee Dooly. Honestly, this will definitely take more than one day.
On Wednesday, we will play a whole group game that doesn’t have an official name and I don’t really remember where I learned it. The class will sit in circle and each student will think of something they want to share about themselves that can be represented by a hand gesture. For example, I like to paint so I might do a painting motion with my hands. Or Susie might like to play with her baby brother so she makes a gesture like she is holding a baby. We take turns one at a time reintroducing ourselves and sharing about our hobby. “Hi, my name is Mrs. Stahl and I like to read.” The whole class repeats it “Mrs. Stahl likes to read” while doing the gesture. Then the next person goes and reintroduces themselves. The whole class has to repeat what person 1 said, then person 2. So it is kind of a memory game/getting to know you. I hope my directions make sense!
On Thursday, students will share about their summer vacations by drawing a picture on a paper with puzzle pieces. Then they will cut it out and stick it in an envelop. When students are finished, I will pair them up to put each other’s puzzle back together while sharing about their vacation!
And on Friday, students will be scooting all around the classroom answering questions about themselves and their interests.
The next half of the morning, we will concentrate on classroom expectations. Each day, I have chosen a book to focus our discussion and an activity to help drive home the importance of each expectation. I will use some great books (links to purchase them on Amazon are in the downloadable plans) and a few resources to help me do this:
–Classroom Routines and Expectations Interactive Notebook by Hippo Hooray for Second Grade
–Roll and Respond by Savvy School Counselor
–Small vs. Big Problem by Jordan Dunagan Heyheyfirstgrade
–Behavior Stories by me : )
Phew! We made it to the afternoon. Just typing it all out is making me teacher tired : )
After recess/lunch we will have some quiet time. I might play a little music or read a poem book to settle everyone and get focused on the important stuff- ROUTINES and PROCEDURES!
I am going to mix up learning and practicing routines with building reading stamina. I use A Year of Many Firsts’ resource to help me review expectations for reading. For the first week, my book boxes are NOT labeled so students will just grab one (they already have 4 books in them) and find a spot to practice! By the end of the week, we will also do a whole group word work activity and I can see if we are ready to possibly start rotating between read to self and word work the next week–but I do NOT want to rush things!
Next up is math. We won’t start math on Day 1. Instead, we will use Mrs. Spitzer’s Classroom to talk about a growth mindset. Then for the next few days, we will explore math manipulatives and review expectations for using them. Towards the end of the week, we will play a game (Trash Can Math—you can read about it here) and dive into our math notebooks with The Applicious Teacher’s Back to School Math Activities.
Finally, after recess, we will do more fun getting to know you activities to get them moving around! The first is my FAVORITE by School and the City called 4 Corners. She explains the directions “Label your corners 1 – 4 like you would when playing regular four corners. Project one of the questions. Read aloud, then students should move to the corner that corresponds with their answer choices.”
We will also play Back to School Jeopardy by Tiny Toes. This was on my plans for last year and due to an unfortunate mold situation, we ended up only going to school for 1 full day that first week. This required me to cut out a lot of my fun B2S plans and this was one thing we never got to : ( Last but not least, students will “Find a Friend Who…” with a freebie by Learn Love Teach.
Well, I think I covered it all! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment. Don’t forget to download the plans and save them to your computer. Then you should be able to click on any of the pictures or links in the plans to find that resource!