Happy day, friends! I hope this post finds you well and loving (or about to love) your new group of friends. This year, it has taken me a few days to fall in love. My group last year was incredible and left SO high, that I am having to remember where they started. Tomorrow will be Day 5, so I wanted to take a few moments to share what Day 1 looked like in Room 134.
My plans are very flexible for the first few days and honestly, I always plan too much. The first weeks are all about community building and procedures. The learning will come smoothly (and eventually) if these two are in place. You can grab a copy of my first day plans here, but please know I made it to only half of it (ha!) and the times are pretty much all wrong (My OCD-ness wouldn't allow me to just put them in a list).Since I won't launch Work on Writing for several weeks, I do lay out all of my materials for the few first weeks until our schedule normalizes. I love being able to grab whatever I need and easily trade something out if it's not working or we need something else (i.e. brain breaks).
Crayon and Whimsy's Ocean Animal Pattern Block mats and they were perfect! My friends loved creating ocean animals, and my new friends would trade mats when they finished. I had a few friends who weren't interested in ocean animals, so they played with the blocks on their table. It was a *simple* and perfect way to start our day. Plus, everyone could feel successful at the activity!
Now that we were all on the carpet, we read How Will I Get to School this Year? It is a very silly book and a great way to level the playing ground. At this point in the morning, I don't want to talk about going home because it will stress everyone out (myself included). But this simple, short book is a great way to talk about the ways we are the same. We then graphed how our friends get to school!
Now, it's already 9:30 and time for a bathroom break, which requires learning how to line-up, split into boys/girls, and practice bathroom procedures.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, so we could practice reading the pictures!
Our Back to School shelf is also in action and my friends love having access to 'free pick' and read-aloud books. Before stamina-building friends are aloud to pick one of these books but cannot return it until the end of stamina. Otherwise, I would have 23 friends up, standing, and moving during reading stamina! (If you search #1stgradebookshelf on Instagram you can see lots of our weekly bookshelves.)
After creating our i-Chart, I show students their book bins. They grab their bins, place their bin on their desk, and come back to the carpet. Then, when everyone has their bin I call a few students at a time to pick their reading spot... (That's right, I don't choose spots unless I need to. It cuts down on time, and for the past two years, it hasn't been a problem.)after the second day of school, but it works! You can download your own stamina graph here. (To learn more about how reading stamina works in our classroom, you can read this blog post.)
counted to 100 with Jack Hartman!
We did slip in a first-day self portrait that will be the front page of our Writing Portfolios this year. I love the idea of having a year-long writing progress to show parents and Cara Carroll offered a simple way to manage them, so I'm game this year! (You may grab this page free here.)
Friends, the first day is definitely a whirlwind with two main goals - (1) have the children leave smiling and (2) getting the children home safely. If you think I'm kidding, I'm really not. Those two jobs alone are hard enough - ha! :)
With 4 days under our belts, my friends are starting to become 'mine' and this is a great feeling. The first few days, I always worry if I will love this group enough or as much as the last one. Every day, with every new moment, the feeling dissipates and my excitement for a new year grows.
So, tell me - how did your first day of school go?