My First Week Plans

Are you back to school yet? Teachers start tomorrow and our first day with students is Monday 8/22.
I am always back and forth about making visual plans for back to school.  There are SO many other things to do and it seems like a waste of time unnecessary.  However, I find them to be super helpful. I like putting all my activities together and being able to rearrange them as needed. 
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!
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 about 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
  • I hand out their math work books 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 which you can read all about here
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 and shapes). 
Then we come up with rules together.  I 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.
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 use kinesthetic activities like the (free!) roll and respond.  I find that students can better understand the “why” to our class rules if we dig a little deeper. I read a book almost everyday 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.
I made sure that 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.
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. So, I love that 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.


This School Year Will Be the Best {freebie}
All About Me bunting {freebie}
Getting to Know You Four Corners
Be a Reading Expert
Back to School Scoot

Find a Friend Freebie
Back to School Jeopardy

For more first week activity ideas, follow my Pinterest board here.

Hope you have a great first week!

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