Hey there, elementary educators! If you’re anything like me, you’re getting pumped up for an amazing school year ahead. And what better way to kick things off than with the best first week ever? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie teacher, a solid plan will help you start strong and set the tone for the rest of the year. So, grab a cup of coffee (or your preferred beverage), sit back, and let’s talk about planning your best first week ever!
Create Your Goals
First off, let’s talk about the basics. You’ll want to start by setting some goals for what you hope to accomplish in the first week. Perhaps you want to establish a positive classroom culture, get to know your students, introduce classroom routines and procedures, and begin establishing a learning community. The best thing you can do is be specific and over-plan. It’s better to have too much to do than not enough. Having a wide range of choices will be helpful to meet the energy of your students and adjust your plan as the week unfolds.
Back to School Books
One of my favorite parts of a new school year is picking out new books to read! I pick at least 3 read alouds for each day of the first week. Step aside First Day Jitters, there are SO many new titles to choose from. You can read more about my top 15 favorite first week books here. So why not start the school year off right and pick out a book that will inspire your students to learn and grow?
Watch the video about the BEST books for Back to School
First Three Math, Reading, and Writing Lessons
A question you might have is “When do you start teaching content?”. I like to slowly roll out math, reading, and writing over the third, fourth, and fifth days of school. This allows the opportunity to dedicate the first two days to routines, procedures, and getting to know one another. By day 3, we are ready to start diving into some real learning.
For all three subjects, I sit down to think about what I want to communicate to my students about each subject. This helps me shape how I will introduce these subject areas to my students.
Getting to Know You Activities
Next up is planning your activities. Your first week should be engaging, interactive, and fun for your students (and let’s be honest, for you too!). Consider incorporating a mix of activities that involve movement, collaboration, and creativity.
Some possible ideas could include:
- Name Game
- Stand, Sit, Hands on Hips
- Hidden Picture Questions
- Puzzle About Me
Watch the Video to learn more about these activities
One might argue that establishing expectations is THE most crucial part of back to school season. Expectations are so much MORE than just rules. This is the standard for how your classroom will operate. The most important thing to remember is: Assume NOTHING! You cannot expect students to adhere to your classroom standard until it has been explicitly taught and practiced. To ensure you cover EVERYTHING, this routines and procedures planning page can help you keep track! It’s included in the free planning guide.
Need some help with planning engaging activities for teaching and practicing classroom routines, procedures, and expectations? Look no further, I’ve got you covered! In this helpful resource, you will find everything you need for introducing rules and expectations, discussing making good choices, implementing logical consequences and teaching students it’s OKAY to make mistakes with strategies on how to correct them.
First Week Lesson Plans
Last but not least, be flexible and willing to adjust your plans as needed. The first week of school can be unpredictable, so be prepared for the unexpected. Maybe your read-aloud takes longer than expected, or your students need extra encouragement to participate in an activity. Don’t stress – just go with the flow and adjust your plans as needed.
Check out some examples of my First Week Lesson Plans from years past.
So there you have it, folks – a fun and detailed plan for kicking off your best first week ever! Remember to stay positive, stay organized, and have fun. Here’s to a fantastic school year ahead!
Don’t give yourself added stress – use the free planning guide to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Whether you are an experienced teacher or starting fresh, this free guide + videos amplify the most important elements of setting up for the year. Get your pencil and paper ready – it’s time to start planning the most amazing classroom experience possible! Download the free first week of school planning guide now and have some fun as you prepare for an incredible year ahead!