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1st day in 2nd grade
Old 07-29-2015, 04:49 PM
 
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Would anyone be willing to outline their first day in 2nd grade?

I am moving to 2nd after 11 years in 3rd. I have a gazillion things I could choose from that I KNOW work in 3rd.

I am just not sure if I could also do them with 2nd graders.

I'm afraid I'll plan something that I did with 3rd graders and they won't be able to do it...or it will be a disaster.

Edited to add: My P believes strongly in building community/getting to know you activities. I don't "have" to start academics immediately.

However, I did have my 3rd graders write me a letter at the end of the day, telling me what they thought of their 1st day in 3rd grade. That gave me an immediate writing sample.

So, I have that planned and a read aloud. Everything else is wide open, lol.


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Yes!
Old 07-30-2015, 05:21 AM
 
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I am moving to 2nd grade this year after being in 4th grade for 14 years. Not much of what I did with my 4th graders will work with 2nd graders I'm sure. I'd love to see anyone's schedule or activities you use that first day!
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First day
Old 07-30-2015, 08:24 AM
 
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I tend to think of second graders on the first day as "first graders". I don't know what your school dynamic is like, but I always prepare activities knowing that one or more kids truly can't read anything and writing will be just as stressful. I probably wouldn't attempt letter writing in my building, but if most of your kids came out of first reading well, it would be fine.
Unfortunately most of my day is going over procedures and rules. It's amazing how much time that takes up! We practice and discuss, then try it for real. So we talk about hallway, then go for a walk (can also be a tour if needed). We discuss bathroom procedures, then take a bathroom break. By that time we have to discuss recess, because it's time to go outside!
In between I do "no fail" things like coloring a name tag that will be used in the room all year. This gives you a good idea of motor skills and who can follow directions. Every year I say, you can color or design this anyway you want, but do not color over the writing because then we can't read it. I think all of last year's class colored over the writing!!
I keep a few read aloud books ready to grab if something takes less time than I thought. Anything you give them to write or color they will probably do really fast. That's my experience. If you have a getting to know me worksheet or something with lots of directions, you will need to read it all to them and walk them through each step. I personally also avoid lots of gluing and cutting on the first day.
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That was me last year
Old 07-30-2015, 09:38 AM
 
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After teaching 4th grade for over 10 years I was completely shocked at what the 2nd graders struggled to do. I had an all about me worksheet for them to start as I took attendance. Many of them could not do it alone. So this year I will start with a color by sight word that goes with my superhero theme. I agree with ballerina0318 and I went over rules and procedures and then practiced them. It is best to teach students how you want them to do things in your classroom. I will also do a read aloud and have them do an activity that goes with my theme to decorate my board for open house.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:53 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions! I really appreciate the feedback. I would have had no clue.

Your advice eases my mind greatly. I guess I was thinking I had to start right in on academics/etc.

We are at a school whereby we have the students come up with/create the "rules" so that should take some time, lol.

Keep the ideas coming! Knowledge is power!


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Old 07-30-2015, 02:02 PM
 
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I was just looking back at my plans the year I did a straight second. I had also moved from a high performing school into a more average school and was shocked at the kids who couldn't do end of first grade expectations. There were many who could write pretty well, but the ones that couldn't were overwhelmed with some of the writing I expected. I probably wouldn't do letters, but I got some good information having them do a short writing project (like if you read Nobody's Mother is in Second Grade there is a short writing activity you can find on line - and if you can't and want it, let me know I will send it to you). I was actually surprised that I really had to work on how to sit and listen to a story because the kids were not able to like I was accustomed to at my previous school.

I like reading How I spent my Summer Vacation. There is a science experiment in the back of the book that I do every year because it gets the kids excited about science, is active, doesn't take much in the way of supplies or set up and I can teach some good procedures with it. The kids get psyched by that.

You just have to slow everything down, because while it is just one year, there is a pretty sizable difference. YOu can do many similar things as long as you scaffold a bit more.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:47 PM
 
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Kahlua~

That really helps! I just e-mailed the 1st grade teachers to ask what they read aloud last year. Once I hear back from them, I can better decide what read aloud and follow up activity to do!

I heard First Day Jitters has a "jitter" juice activity. That might be fun, too.

Last edited by eliza4one; 07-30-2015 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:05 PM
 
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We did the jitter juice activity last year on the first day and it was a hit!
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:10 PM
 
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They love to use their new school supplies, so this year their bell work will be to color and cut a rocket ship to be added to a "Take Off to Learning" BB. I use Whole Brain Teaching, so we learn those rules right away and then they write the rules by tracing over the dotted line on a penmanship practice sort of page. Of course, I notice who is left-handed, slow to start, grips pencil funny, etc.

Sometime in the morning I'll read to them on the carpet. I teach procedures as they come up, so if I'm going to read a book on the carpet, we have to practice how to move to the carpet, how to sit, where to sit, how to listen, etc. Repeat the same process for every procedure that day.

Often I use a Scholastic News since that breaks up the need to listen to my voice alone. In the afternoon we do a very easy math paper with an easy game, and I also give them time to explore the room. Of course, once again, we talk about student expectations in caring for classroom supplies.

I also allow time for them to read silently. Since I'm not sure of reading levels, I just place book tubs at their group and watch as they try to choose something to read. For many, their reading skills became rusty over the summer. In fact, I recommend doing some kind of BOY reading assessment as soon as possible so when fall conferences come up you can provide documentation that their reading level at BOY 2nd was lower than the EOY in 1st. It happens a lot, and I want parents to realize how much their child may have lost over the summer by not reading.

Some years we do a simple science experiment or a cooperative brain teaser puzzle. Other years, they start filling out an "All About Me" page and start working on a "Me" bag so they can bring a sharing item the next day.

I guess my main tips are:
* Teach procedures in detail, and practice them for several weeks.
* Limit mini-lessons, directions to 10-15 and then allow for student
participation.
* Start clipboard assessments right away.

Hope you enjoy 2nd grade!
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First day of school
Old 07-30-2015, 07:45 PM
 
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Good luck in second grade. You're going to love them. Just remember, they are really coming in as first graders until you teach them how to be a second grader. You will teach lots of procedures and review them over and over again the first couple weeks of school. I read to my students a book every time we come in from recess or lunch. I think it's a good transition for students before starting an activity. One activity I started doing a couple years ago was with play dough. After greeting the class and taking roll, I let them play with the play dough I have placed on each desk for 5-10 minutes (I also put down a piece of wax paper on their desk so it doesn't get messy). Then I have the students create their final masterpiece. I give them a paper for them to write a couple sentences on what they created and why. I only expect a couple of sentences from them. There will be a couple of students who write only one or two sentences and struggle with that. There will be a couple of students who will write a novel. Most will write 3-5 sentences. They love this, especially when they learn that they can take the play dough home.


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First Day Jitters
Old 08-01-2015, 05:06 AM
 
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I read the book and then do an easy writing activity which goes into their portfolios as the beginning of the year sample. it is quite simple but some still struggle! You can find the activity online but if not, I can send it to you.

beginning second graders are very different from end of the year second graders
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Nobody's Mother
Old 08-01-2015, 05:09 AM
 
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I would love to have the writing activity! Thank you...
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Wow, so many great ideas!
Old 08-01-2015, 04:46 PM
 
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A few more things to consider:
I plan to take a picture of each child on the first day of school, then another near the end of school. This is a great gift to send home at the end of second grade.
If you are tech savvy...Video record the students saying how they are feeling, what was their fav part, what they hope for the year, etc. you can then use a movie editor and show it at back to school night.
Parents love to receive notes about the first day. I'm planning on having the students complete a mini "day in the life" for their parents that highlights the day's activities.
For Soc. Stud. We will be keeping a class timeline for the year, I will introduce this on the first day.
For STEM, I will introduce our daily data bulletin board: this will include everything from the calendar to weather, # of school days, etc.

Finally, try to keep in mind the different modalities- if students listen to a story, then perhaps they can do a tactile activity and then perhaps something kinesthetic. Music is also a great way to break up the day.
Good luck!
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2nd grade
Old 08-02-2015, 09:01 AM
 
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Look up 'Morning Meeting'. It's a great program for community building and the kids love it. I combine it with calendar activities.
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Scavenger hunt of the room
Old 08-02-2015, 09:34 AM
 
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I have a scavenger hunt of things in the room that I will stress procedures for throughout the first week. It is done with icons and labels. One of the things to do is to get their picture taken. When they have completed the scavenger hunt they get to go to a treat bag with a pencil, grip, or other things.
Then we start in one corner of the room and take a few minutes to go over the expectations for them one at a time. Hmmm why do you think the tissues, sanitizer and trash can are here? How many people should be here at a time? How many tissues should you take?
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I moved from 3rd to second
Old 08-02-2015, 10:45 AM
 
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last year, and love teaching second! One thing I learned is that I needed to slow my pace. Our first day is a half day, and the first thing we do is unpack our supplies. Next we go over a few procedures (I do this over 3 days so it isn't overwhelming), then we play a "get to know you/icebreaker" game, then talk about how 1st and 2nd are same/different. The last thing I do is read Wemberly Worried, which kicks off our Kevin Henkes book unit. I LOVE beginning the year with him because the kids are usually already familiar with some of his books, they can easily make connections to his characters, and the themes always inspire great discussions about their concerns/hopes for the coming year. The second day is a full day, and I ease right into the curriculum while still setting aside time each day (15 minutes) to introduce procedures/ rules. Hope this helps!
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:49 AM
 
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Thanks to all of your fab ideas, plus a few of my own, I have the first week sort of planned out! I know I have way more planned then we will ever get to, but...that's better than the alternative!

I think the main thing for me will be to remember they won't be as fast/mature as my beginning of year 3rd graders I have had for the past 11 years.

Thanks, everyone! I hope others have been helped as much as I have been!
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First Day Jitters
Old 08-04-2015, 11:37 AM
 
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I have the book and plan to read it. I would also love the writing activity. Please and thank you!!
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First week in second grade ideas
Old 08-05-2015, 02:09 AM
 
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** A Tangled Web- gather students in a circle sitting around you on the floor. Hold a large ball of yarn. Start by telling the students something about yourself. Then roll the ball of yarn to a student without letting go of the end of the yarn. The student who gets the ball of yarn tells his or her name and something good about him or herself. Then the student rolls the yarn to somebody else, holding on to the strand of yarn. Soon students have created a giant web. After everyone has spoken, you and all the students stand up, continuing to hold the yarn. Start a discussion of how this activity relates to the idea of teamwork—for example, the students need to work together and not let others down. To drive home your point about teamwork, have on student drop his or her strand of yarn; that will demonstrate to students how the web weakens if the class isn’t working together.

** Balloons with question- put a variety of different get-to-know you questions into balloons that you blow up. Have the kids pick a balloon and sit in a circle. Let the kids pop the balloons at the same time and proceed around in a circle one person at a time letting the kids read the question and answer it. A variation on this could be that everyone has the same questions and the kids put their responses on a sheet of paper without their names. They fold up the answers into a balloon and blow it up and tie it. Mix the balloons up and everyone pick a different one from their own. Have everyone sit in a circle and pop the balloons at the same time. One at a time the responses are read and guesses are made to see who wrote what.

** Create a person- Each person gets a long piece of paper. The first person draws the head (not allowing others to see), then folds the drawing over so the next artist cannot see the head. The next person draws the neck, folds the paper, and passes it on. In each instance drawings are folded over so no one will know what the end result looks like. The last person puts a name on it. When the folded paper is opened, roars of laughter follow. Groups can share drawings.
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I've been there
Old 08-19-2015, 05:45 AM
 
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I, too, moved from third to second and agree with other posters that it's important to keep in mind their age. They're really little darlings on this first day. In addition to going over rules and expectations (and factoring in lots of time for transitions and bathroom breaks) I like to plan a few simple activities like coloring a bookmark, read alouds, etc. I also have a few more challenging things on tap for the more advanced kids - and I also like to let them know they've got high expectations to meet this year.... not in any sort of "you need to be worried" kind of way, but they love it when I give them "second grade challenge" work on the first day - they feel like Big Kids. So we do some writing... they take a quiz about me (there are no wrong answers)... and I give them DEAR time, when I expect them to read quietly and practice for our reading workshop. They also get homework (which they LOVE) to fill their All About Me bag for getting to know you activities the second day.
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First Day Activities
Old 08-21-2015, 03:20 AM
 
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I too am looking for First day activities for 2nd Grade and liked your Read Aloud idea. Can I get the book Nobody's Mother Is in Second Grade at the library? I would like the writing activity that goes with it. How do I get it on line? Do you know of any Cooperative Learning activities that even low performing students could do?

Thanks for your suggestions

Davidah
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:30 PM
 
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You can def. check at the library. I've heard it's kind of a hard book to buy as it is no longer in print.

My coworker had a copy so my plan was to use hers. However, I never ended up using the book. (Hate when that happens).

If you google activities for the book, some will come up!
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