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PrimaryTeach8 PrimaryTeach8 is offline
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
New Member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
New Member
Old 07-12-2019, 07:20 PM
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You are so lucky! First graders are wonderful!

I had two student teaching placements, one in first grade which I LOVED and one in fourth grade which I hated. I'm going to be teaching second grade this year which will still be fun!

You will LOVE first grade! It's my favorite grade to teach! Like someone said, they want to please you at that age. You can get by with rewards that cost little to no money like bubbles, pajama party, stuffed animal day, they love all that! In the older grades, you can't do those things. They're "too old" for those. I would recommend ClassDojo for first grade with class prizes like those as far as management.

As far as literacy, I recommend having a classroom library with a variety of different topics and reading levels. What I will most likely be doing this year is dividing books by topics like animal fiction for example and all the books for that topic will be in a book bin. Each book will have a sticker on it that matches the bin (so books don't get misplaced) and also says the reading level on it. Some people disagree with reading levels, but I think they're pretty important with the little ones.

They LOVE read-alouds! So be sure to include a read-aloud each day. I have a ton of book title suggestions if you would like them. Coming from 6th, you might not be familiar with the popular first grade books so I'd be happy to help.

At the beginning of writing, I always include a quickwrite about a topic. They love this! I usually include a prompt like "Write a story about a snowman that goes sledding" (for a winter writing prompt). And then have them find 2 people to go share with and then pick a couple to share with the class.

Brain break that they love - go to YouTube and type in "getting in shape with the 2D shapes" They're learning the 2D shapes and getting exercise at the same time. They love this video so much!

Remember, first graders have a lot of energy so it's important to keep them up and moving. In 6th grade, students probably sat at their desks most of the day. In first grade, they should spend more time on the floor than in their desks. They should be on the floor spread out across the room for independent and partner reading time. Also, community circle, read-alouds, stations, reading, writing, and math mini lessons should all be on the floor. I have them come to the floor for a mini lesson, math for example. I'll have them gather in a circle. I'll do the mini lesson, then do guided practice together on dry erase boards, I'll send those who are understanding the material back to their seat for an independent math activity while I work with the others. Just remember to keep them active and moving. First graders can't sit at their desk all day.

Talking about all this is making me really excited to start the school year!!
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