My First Week of School Lesson Plans and Resources

Are you back to school yet? Teachers start tomorrow and our first day with students is Monday 8/22. I am excited to share with you my first week of school lesson plans and the resources I will be using!

So, here they are!  I searched and searched and searched for the best activity or book to read first thing on the first day.  It seems First Day Jitters is the overall favorite and I really can’t find anything else that is as fitting.

For the first week of school, our whole 2nd grade walks through lunchroom and recess procedures and then has recess together in the morning. We really don’t have a morning recess in our schedule but we think we might just need one–at least while the weather is still nice!

Morning Resources

Is there any other perfect day 1 read besides First Day Jitters? If so, let me know! Not that I don’t enjoy reading it but I also love switching it up!
I realize “Intro to Math: What will we learn?” is pretty vague so here’s a deeper overview of what we do:
  • First, we chat about and make a list of what they learned in math in 1st grade
  • Then, they make predictions about what they will learn in 2nd-grade math
  • Next, I hand out their math workbooks and let them look through the pages and we go back to the prediction and see what we can add/change
  • There is always this “Math in the Real World” type drawing page in the front of the book so they do that and we share
  • If there is time (there usually is), we play Trash Can Math
Wednesday and Thursday are spent discussing expectations and rules for math manipulatives.  I give them free time to explore about 6 different tools:
  • dominoes
  • base 10 blocks
  • 2-sided counters
  • geoboards
  • Unifix cubes
  • shapes
Then we come up with rules together.  We use this sorting page to drive it home and make sure they know what’s up!
You can find this in my math tools pack here.

Rules and Expectations

After our AM recess, it’s all about more rules and expectations (so fun!) Well, I have tried to spice it up by breaking down each expectation and connecting it so it has more meaning and using kinesthetic activities like the (free!) roll and respond.  I find that students can better understand the “why” of our class rules if we dig a little deeper. I read a book almost every day and we discuss the character’s behavior.  I also use fictional short stories the first week and throughout the year when we need a reminder about behavior in our classroom and around the school.
In each story the student is making both positive and negative choices. We talk about what they are doing well and what they could improve upon. There are also sheets for written reflection.

Afternoon Resources

After a looooooong morning of more serious-type stuff, I tried to pick more interactive, game-like activities for the afternoon. Let’s face it, by that time I am tired of talking and they are zoned out, too. A lot of these get students up and moving! I made the afternoon focus: getting to know each other.  It truly goes hand in hand to build a classroom community along with setting expectations.

Thanks for reading all about my first week of school lesson plans and resources. For more first-week activity ideas, follow my Pinterest board here.

Hope you have a great first week!
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