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First Grade Get-Together!
Old 09-01-2014, 09:02 AM
 
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Hi First Grade teachers!

Join us for a back-to-school get-together with other First Grade teachers right here on the First Grade Board.

Tell us: what is special to you about teaching First Grade? Also, feel free to share anything you'd like to share about yourself or your teaching interests. If you're a brand new teacher, let us know that too. Let's see who we have here!

New Members welcome!


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Teaching first grade
Old 09-01-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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Although I have been teaching over thirty years, this is only my third year in first grade. What I love most about teaching this grade is the level of growth and confidence I see in my students by the end of the year.
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1st grade
Old 09-01-2014, 10:47 AM
 
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I love how they come in as kindergarteners and leave ready for 2nd grade. I love the "aha moments."
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First grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:04 AM
 
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This is my first year teaching first grade. I love this age group because they are eager to learn, curious, fun, and have tremendous growth this year. It is an honor to teach this grade.
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First Graders
Old 09-01-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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I agree that the growth in first grade is amazing! Love it!!


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1st Grade ROCKS!!
Old 09-01-2014, 11:10 AM
 
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Teaching First Grade is special to me because EVERY DAY I see growth! From the beginning of the year to the end, there is MONUMENTAL growth in all of my students (every year)!! I have something special called "Magic Squiggle Art" which is a writing prompt. I try to have them do one or 2 a month, where all students get the same random squiggle on a piece of picture/writing paper. They need to turn the squiggle into something and then they need to write about it. I keep all of these and at the end of the school year, I bind them together for each child so that they have a record of their amazing growth from beginning to end! It is truly a work of art and a very impressive collection of writing from each child. Hope you all have an amazing year!!
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First grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:11 AM
 
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is where my heart is. I've been teaching for 20 + years. I love teaching first because of the excitement in learning. This year I'm trying to build more content - TEACHING WITH A BIG FOCUS ON SCIENCE. I'm feeling renewed!
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:11 AM
 
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They are sponges! The learning that goes on in first grade is amazing!! Plus, they make me giggle all the time!
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First Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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First grade is so much fun because of the progress that they make is huge. By the end of the year, everybody is reading, writing, and has a basic number sense. There is never a boring moment in first grade!
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First grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:19 AM
 
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Students at this age are still vert eager to please their teacher. They have an interest in learning, and they show the greatest growth over a year's time.


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First Grade is the Best
Old 09-01-2014, 11:36 AM
 
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As a many posters noted, it is a year of incredible growth. I take pictures throughout the year and when you look at the physical changes between September and June, it is pretty amazing. First graders are eager to please you and still have that innocence. It is an exhausting grade to teach but I wouldn't want to teach any other grade. I smile and laugh every day.
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Ah...first grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:36 AM
 
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This is my 11th year teaching first and there is no other grade like it. It is the year they learn to read and nothing is more important than that. They also learn to write sentences and paragraphs after coming in as kinders and only writing "inventively." The grade level is the hardest to teach but you reap the greatest rewards! Love first grade!
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:38 AM
 
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First grade is so wonderful because the kids fall in love with you and you fall in love with (most of) them!!
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:39 AM
 
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It is very rewarding watching them start to put sounds together and then take off reading everything.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:47 AM
 
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After several years teaching K, I have spent the last 3 years teaching first grade. I love the eagerness, sincerity, energy and gulliability of this age group! There is nothing more rewarding then watching their progress throughout the year, their growth and maturity in grade one is amazing!
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:49 AM
 
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While homeschooling 16 yrs, I realized I really preferred academics when DC were smaller.
I wasn't a good reader and love helping kids learn this important skill. I was in a 1/2 class for 4 yrs and this is my 3rd year with just 1st.
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First Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:49 AM
 
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I've taught 1st grade for 20+ years. It is still rewarding watching them grow tremendously throughout the year. Most of them still love school and want to please their teacher!!
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Ready, Set, Go!
Old 09-01-2014, 11:50 AM
 
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Teaching first grade keeps me on my toes!
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Glad to be here!
Old 09-01-2014, 11:51 AM
 
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I just noticed this email to join. I have been teaching for a long time. I moved from K to 1st grade four years ago and this year I am teaching two first grade classes that come to me for one half day each group. The other half of the day they are immersed in Portuguese getting math instruction. So I make sure they understand it in English and teach the Language Art component. I love Go Noodle for all those of you who do not have this--Check it out you will love it and it is free! I just learned about Project Approach and ordered the books to learn more. If any of you know about this I would love to hear from you. I absolutely love first graders. I hope I can keep up with two groups this year. It does take a lot of energy and it keeps me hoppin', so this is where I plan to stay if I can keep up!
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Love First Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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I love first graders. They are so eager to learn and they get so excited when you introduce new learning. It is exciting to watch the growth. They come in as little ones and exit as young learners. I love watching their faces when the finally "get it" and the pride they feel in their successes. With a few exceptions, they love to come to school and think their teacher is the best teacher in the world.
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I LOVE First Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:55 AM
 
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Every day is a new adventure! They are so eager to learn and they make every day special. Yes it is hard because their attention span is so short, so you need to have many activities ready. I wouldn't trade it for the world-except for the paper work
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Teaching first grade
Old 09-01-2014, 11:57 AM
 
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This is my ninth year of teaching first grade and it is my favorite grade. The children are so eager to learn and the growth they demonstrate amazes me every year!
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people pleasers...
Old 09-01-2014, 11:58 AM
 
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This is my 16th year teaching first graders and what I love most is how they are usually all such people- pleasers...... Every once in a while a kid comes along who for one reason or another is defiant or just angry.....but most of them are sweet and are willing to help others and they're excited about being big first graders!! I love seeing all the growth and how hard they work and every once in a while.....a kid calls me "Mommy" by mistake. There's never a dull moment!
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First grade
Old 09-01-2014, 12:12 PM
 
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20 years in first grade!

I love teaching children to read!
It's amazing to see how independent they become during the year.

Marcy, NJ
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joy of first grade
Old 09-01-2014, 12:15 PM
 
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I love the excitement that our first graders have. They are slowly 'getting' into the swing of school and can see what reading can do for them. Their writing skills come a long way in first grade too! It is my favorite year to teach!!
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Lost Track of How Many Years!
Old 09-01-2014, 12:22 PM
 
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I have been teaching first grade, off and on, since the late 1970's! No matter what other jobs I've taken through the years, I've always returned to first grade. I think the energy and excitement are very special. Also, I can try out a new lesson and not worry about it if it doesn't go well, because first graders are fine with trying it again a little differently the next day!
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:48 PM
 
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I am returning to teach first grade after ten years. I also love the energy and enthusiasm in the classroom and I love all the "wow" moments you see. I also love to be a witness to the change that occurs from the first day to the last and knowing that I was a part of that growth.
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1st grade
Old 09-01-2014, 12:50 PM
 
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I have been teaching for 26 years. 4 in first grade. I love the innocence of first grade and the way they perceive things.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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I have been teaching for 19 years and this is my 4th in Grade 1.
What I love most about Grade 1's is their desire to learn everything they can.
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Eager to Please!
Old 09-01-2014, 01:19 PM
 
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I've taught first grade for 9 years. I love teaching first graders because I enjoy seeing how much they grow and learn during the year. They still love their teachers and want to please.
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I've taught first grade for 16 years
Old 09-01-2014, 01:26 PM
 
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I left for a while to teach third grade, but I came back because first grade is my passion. I love the way they learn something new every day. They come into first grade like babies, and when they leave, they are independent learners. I also love the way they learn to interact with each other, and some of them make friends in first grade that they will have for life. To me, first grade is the cornerstone for all learning, and it is the most important year. There is no higher calling in teaching.
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New 1st grade teacher
Old 09-01-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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I've been teaching for 14 years, but tomorrow starts my adventure as a 1st grade teacher. I met my class on Wed. The kids and families seem great.
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15th year
Old 09-01-2014, 01:32 PM
 
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I am entering my 15th year of teaching first grade in the same school. I wouldn't change a thing! First grade was always my dream. I love to read and I love to teach kids to read. In first grade, the students listen to everything their teacher says and I love to see them practice new strategies and I love all those "A ha!" moments. The hugs are pretty great too!
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First grade is a joy!
Old 09-01-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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I have taught k-2 and special ed. and first grade is my favorite because of the growth and teaching reading. I always say every teacher should teach first grade at least one year to see how important it is!!! I love that they are so eager to learn and to please too! I love my firsties!!
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I love first grade!
Old 09-01-2014, 01:47 PM
 
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This is my second year teaching first grade. I loved the growth they made last year. I also loved all the hand holding and hugs. They adore their teacher and are so eager to learn.

This year I'm hoping to teach more science. They love it and need it.
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First Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 01:49 PM
 
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I love first grade for many reasons. My top three reasons would be, in no particular order:

-Their excitement and enthusiasm for everything. They are excited to learn new things and feel so proud of themselves when they master a skill.

-I love that 6 year olds have no filter. They have very interesting ideas about the world and I love listening to them.

-The ammount of growth my kids show by the end of the school year is amazing. They grow so much academically, physically, and socially. It's so fun to make the comparison of this at the end of the year.

I feel so privileged to be beginning my third year with this wonderful age group.
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First grade!
Old 09-01-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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I teach 1st/2nd grade Combination class. I love how my first graders try so hard to work at the same level as my second graders. Must agree with others...my first graders show so much growth over the school year and they love to learn!
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First Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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I have taught for 34 years. The last 15 have been in first grade. I love how curious first graders are and how excited they get over learning new things. I love how much six and seven year olds learn and grow in just one school year. I love how they laugh and giggle.
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First grade is special
Old 09-01-2014, 02:39 PM
 
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I really like teaching first graders. I teach with an awesome team and look forward to seeing incredible growth this year. Students make amazing growth in such a short time.
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First Week of First Grade!
Old 09-01-2014, 02:42 PM
 
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This is my fourth year teacher 1st grade and I love it! I love teaching reading and phonics and incorporating technology and science whenever I can. I love teaching first grade because students are just as excited as I am to be at school. I also love being goofy and have fun while learning!
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1st Grade
Old 09-01-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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I have taught across the grade levels and finally landed in first. I also taught special ed. which opened my eyes to all children.
I love to help the struggling student with a diversified curriculum and then wow the ah ha moment happens when the light bulb goes off.
I love the innocence and trust they have at this age.
I LOVE going to work each day and looking forward to their smiles, hugs, and curiosity.
Teaching 1st grade is the hardest of all as we are responsible for building their foundations.
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This will be my
Old 09-01-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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3rd year teaching first grade. I love this age! They come in so dependent and unsure of themselves and they leave with confidence.
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Third year teacher
Old 09-01-2014, 02:56 PM
 
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This is my third year teaching first grade. My favorite part of first grade is seeing how much their reading grows over the year. I love watching them build confidence.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:36 PM
 
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I love seeing the growth in kids during the school year. They come in as babies who are dependent on me for everything and leave as confident and independent little ones. I also love seeing them learn to love to read and explore and to develop friendships with others.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:45 PM
 
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Been teaching first grade for thirty years and still love it! I am thrilled when they discover that they can read! I enjoy when they develop a love of reading. We sing, we dance, we laugh. They keep me young!
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first grade rules!
Old 09-01-2014, 05:37 PM
 
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Eighteen years in first grade and counting! I love reading about what all of the other teachers love about first grade. One of my favorite parts is teaching them to write. I love that they find their "voice" while they learn to write. And I do believe that they learn to read through their own writing. I love first grade!
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First Grade is #1
Old 09-01-2014, 05:43 PM
 
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I love teaching 1st grade. The kids come in at all different levels and they all leave reading, writing, and knowing their math facts. The kids come to school wanting to learn and loving life. I have taught for 17 years and 11 of them in 1st grade. Here's to a great year!
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What I Love Most
Old 09-01-2014, 05:55 PM
 
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I love the hugs given so freely by first graders and sharing a wonderful story with them. They are so engaged when I share a book or funny story about my own life with them.
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Love First
Old 09-01-2014, 06:18 PM
 
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This is my 22nd year of teaching and my 19th year in first. I love teaching first because they make a tremendous amount of growth throughout the year. I also love their excitement and zest for learning as well as all of the really cute things they say.
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Their excitement!
Old 09-01-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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I love how they get so excited about the simplest things. They are the best audience ever! I love seeing the world through their eyes! The wonder of 1st graders, it's the best!
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First Grade Rocks!
Old 09-01-2014, 06:31 PM
 
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I've been teaching first grade for five years now. It was a childhood dream to grow up and be a first grade teacher just like the first grade teacher who inspired me. It took awhile for me to make this dream come true but here I am. My favorite thing to teach is literacy!
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Me too
Old 09-01-2014, 06:53 PM
 
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I also came to teaching first after homeschooling my kids for 18 years. I like seeing the incredible progress firsties make, especially in reading.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:14 PM
 
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I have been teaching first grade for 27 years... where does the time go? I just love the kids! They are a delight everyday! My favorite thing is teaching them to read and think about books.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:18 PM
 
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I love teaching First Grade because of all the growth I see in that year. They truly come in as kindergartners and leave as 2nd graders. For the most part, they are very sweet and really want to please.
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Why Teaching First Grade is Special To Me!
Old 09-01-2014, 07:44 PM
 
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Thirty seven years ago, I started teaching in first grade. Since then, I have taught grades 1-5. Three years ago, I returned to first grade. This is probably where I will end my career. One thing for sure, I know how important it is to lay a solid foundation with my first graders so that they can build each year.
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Eight Years in First Grade
Old 09-02-2014, 02:16 AM
 
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This is my eighth year in first grade. I taught one year in third grade before coming to first. I am always in a little bit of culture shock at the beginning of the year when I get my new class. The students come to first grade so little and dependent. It is amazing to watch their growth throughout the school year. They learn so much and become so much more independent throughout the year. They come in as babies and leave as big kids. It's awesome to witness this growth.
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What is special about first-grade?
Old 09-02-2014, 02:35 AM
 
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I love seeing growth from week to week. I use a one-minute timing each Monday and most children have more words per minute every time.
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Special about First Grade
Old 09-02-2014, 09:33 AM
 
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I love to teach students to read. Many come into first grade thinking that they can't. It's not always easy, but I love proving them wrong.
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What's Special about First Grade
Old 09-02-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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I started my teaching career in 1986, but my fabulous journey in first grade didn't begin until 1994. One of the most special things about teaching first grade is the students' desire to learn. It seems as if they can't learn enough; the more you give, the more they grow! I have a shirt that says it all, "I teach first grade...for all the little reasons." (There are little stick people in between the two phrases.) That just sums it up!
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First Grade Fun
Old 09-02-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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I love the energy and curiosity the first graders have. For the most part they love school, want to learn and are always willing to please. This is my 5th year in first and I;m still learning new things.
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First year in first
Old 09-02-2014, 02:45 PM
 
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This is my first year in first grade. I am a long-term substitute so I don't know where I will be next school year, so this year I want to learn and gain all I can about first grade! The best part about first grade to me is that everything is still so new and exciting for these children. I love eager learners!
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:32 PM
 
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I love first grade because they still love school, love to learn, grow so much academically and socially!! It is fun to show parents how much their child has grown over the year.
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This is my 25th Year in First Grade
Old 09-02-2014, 03:33 PM
 
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I can't imagine teaching anyone but first graders. First graders are full of life and keep me young. I love their take on life. Every time I share a favorite picture book kids help me see the book in a new way. I love how much growth 6-7 year olds make in one school year. It is amazing how much their little brains are like sponges. My favorite part of my day is teaching writing. I love how quickly my kiddos become writers. It doesn't take much to increase the excitement of new content in my class room. I love technology with first graders. I laugh every time my little ones teach me something I don't know with our iPods and iPads.
I love first graders.
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First Grade Rocks!
Old 09-02-2014, 03:54 PM
 
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This is my 30th year of teaching first grade and my 32nd year of teaching. I absolutely love seeing how much the kiddos grow and learn. It's amazing to me! They are so loving and accepting of each other. School starts tomorrow and today was a work day. I felt so incredibly calm all day while my co-workers were totally stressed out. This is a time that I'm so glad I have a ton of experience! Now let's hope this calm feeling stays with me for the first day of school tomorrow!
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:03 PM
 
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I have taught K - to adult ed and everything in between. Grade 1 is my favourite because they are just s cute as kinders but can pee on their own. :-)
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First Grade
Old 09-02-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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I love their eagerness to learn!
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Love first grade
Old 09-02-2014, 05:34 PM
 
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I love this post! With the business of back to school it is so great to see so many that share my love of first grade. I have been teaching for 13 years, 7 years in first grade. I love how first graders are so full of compliments and hugs. They love that I am silly with them to get them excited to learn and love all of the voices that I use when I read aloud to them. I love all of the themes that we are free to teach and explore as we are learning to read. I may work my tail off to do my very best to teach my firsties but I love that I also get to watch how much they learn and grow.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:37 PM
 
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Hello Everyone! I hope you have had a happy start to the New School Year! I have enjoyed teaching first grade for many years and have recently returned to the grade after a few years as a teacher coach. My favorite subject to teach the kids is writing
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:18 PM
 
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First graders are so capable! Well to me, anyway, since I taught kinder for over 20 years before teaching first grade. I love how when they first come to school they already know how to be students. (For the most part.....) My class is awesome!
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First Grade Is My Favorite!
Old 09-02-2014, 07:54 PM
 
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I started teaching first grade 10 years ago! I taught 3rd and 4th grade for a couple of years and and jumped at the opportunity to come back to first grade this year! I love how my kiddos 'get it' after Winter Break and I get to see 'aha' moments all the time! I love to look back at the end of the year and see how far my babies have come!
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1st Grade
Old 09-03-2014, 01:23 PM
 
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The special thing about first grade is when you hear them read a book for the first time. This year is special because my daughter is in my class. I am thrilled to be teaching her peers as well.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:33 PM
 
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First Grade is the best! They come in almost like babies and leave so mature. As a 1st grade teacher, you get to witness that transformation. They are so eager to please and most of them love school and their teacher. It's a great year for little ones.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:31 PM
 
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I moved from third grade to first this year! I LOVE it!! The students are so excited about learning and I too can already see growth even though we've only been in school three weeks. I'm looking forward to what this year has in store!
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Love First Grade
Old 09-03-2014, 04:49 PM
 
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I love the amount of growth you see the students make in the year. I've taught several different grade levels and first grade has shown me the most growth. They enter and leave completely different students, who are hopefully reading!
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First Grade
Old 09-03-2014, 06:12 PM
 
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This is my third year teaching first grade and I love it! I love how easily excited my students are. It seems that no matter what material I have to cover, or how boring I personally think it is, if I just "pretend" to be excited about it, my students will too! Enthusiasm among first graders can be contagious. They are very impressionable as first graders, and I feel like it is so important to be able to impact a child's life at this stage.

I love thinking "outside the box" and work hard to keep my students actively engaged. I believe that kids should work hard, but also have fun. That is what I strive for in my classroom. Learning should be made fun and interesting and I want to be able to inspire a love for learning.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:01 PM
 
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This is my second year as a classroom teacher. I taught pre-k last year. I also love the energy and enthusiasm, but I have to say that I am in an area with extreme poverty and many challenging family situations. I willing signed on so that I could make a difference and I am, but even after reading and applying many of the principals in Wong's book, I am ready to quit by the end of the day. My students act like they have never been in school before. The noise level rises if I turn my back to pick up a piece of paper. They are constantly asking to leave to use the bathroom even if we are doing something fun (which I strive to be doing most of the day). They push, shove, etc. I love teaching and helping to change lives, but I'm not sleeping at night thinking about the chaos. Suggestions?
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First Grade
Old 09-04-2014, 02:29 PM
 
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Like many others, my favorite thing about first grade is the huge academic growth they make. It is also fun how most of them think you are the best, most beautiful, nicest teacher ever.
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First Grade
Old 09-04-2014, 08:13 PM
 
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I probably should not be on this First Grade board since I retired a few years ago, but I cannot help it. Just as a Marine will always be a Marine (Semper Fi), once a First Grade teacher always a First Grade teacher .

When my way-back-when-principal pulled me kicking and screaming out of my beloved Kindergarten and put me into First Grade, I did not realize how much I was going to love the first grade level. A year later and I was hooked. The students were loving, eager to learn, independent enough to do some work on their own, and the academic growth during that year was phenomenal. I have taught other grades, but nowhere was the growth as apparent as in First Grade. To see my (low-income mostly minority) kids go from barely knowing their letters and sounds to reading and speaking fluently and enjoying it was thrilling and extremely rewarding. It was also gratifying to hear parents tell me that their kids were always bragging about how Mrs. CVT did things or what Mrs. CVT had said. Best of all, no matter what I looked like, they thought I was beautiful.

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I also love the energy and enthusiasm, but I have to say that I am in an area with extreme poverty and many challenging family situations... I am ready to quit by the end of the day. My students act like they have never been in school before. The noise level rises if I turn my back to pick up a piece of paper. They are constantly asking to leave to use the bathroom even if we are doing something fun (which I strive to be doing most of the day). They push, shove, etc.
For you new First Grade teachers who are struggling, yes, First Grade is a very difficult grade. Many/most teachers avoid it like the plague. It is very hard work. Your students will very likely be quite immature when they come in, but you will see them blossom over the year. The first few months are really the hardest as you try to establish order. First Graders try very hard to please, and if you provide a firm and fair structure, they will thrive. They need a lot of wriggle room and time. Don't expect them to sit for hours on the carpet or at their desks. It is against their nature.
You will need to model model model whatever behaviors you want to see. Even if you think they've got it, you'll have to model it again. You will have to go over every rule every time, especially at the beginning of the year. When teaching rules, one good way to do it is by having a child model what not to do and then to do it the correct way. Children are very visual learners, and will retain it better if they can see what is expected. Don't expect them to remember it after just one time.
Believe it or not, by the end of the school year you will be (almost) sad to see them go.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:30 PM
 
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I love teaching first grade because after ten years teaching first I still find that I am learning new things about it every year. I also love watching the children grow from where ever they happen to have started to the the end of the year. Each child shows huge growth in several areas. I especially love to teach writing because they grow day by day as the year goes on. The joy of teaching the children the important social skills they will use throughout their life is irreplaceable. The consistent interest in pretty much anything which comes with their age makes even the hardest years easier and more playful than it would be without the interest.
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Teaching first grade
Old 09-06-2014, 11:30 AM
 
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I love teaching first grade! I love getting students excited about reading and writing. There is a great amount of academic growth within the school year. I love watching all the things they can do at the end of the year! Plus, no day is ever dull in first grade!
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Forever 1st
Old 09-07-2014, 08:33 AM
 
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31 years in first grade and I have loved every year of it and all its changes. What PreK is teaching now, I taught in my earliest days. I love how much they learn each and everyday and how much they grow as little people that are OM goodness so independent from the kindergarteners they are as they arrive at my door! That is why I stay and hope to stay for more years to come!!!!!
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Growth and Confidence
Old 09-07-2014, 10:00 AM
 
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I love to see the growth in the reading ability of my students. They gain so much confidence once that "light bulb" goes off and things click for them. Love to see kids love reading.
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First Year
Old 09-11-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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This is my first year as a First Grade teacher. I taught SPED for 5 years, then I taught 5th grade 2 years and then 2nd grade one year. Now, this year, I'm teaching 1st. I hope to see much growth and then for it to be evident on the SAT 10. Our evaluation depends 50% on the proficiency and growth of our students. It's really hectic. I am enjoying the sweetness of 1st graders....but boy are they wiggly little worms!

Any suggestions for wigglers and talkers?

Fran
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:28 AM
 
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I LOVE teaching first grade!! I love teaching them to read. It is so rewarding to hear them when they finally "get it".
This is my 21st year in the classroom and my 2nd year teaching overseas. I currently teach at an International school in Suriname.
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