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First week activities
Old 07-08-2007, 09:04 AM
 
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Since we're all new teachers here, I was curious if any of you have planned out your first week yet.

I've mostly been getting my procedures in place. I know that for the first week a great deal of time will be focused on getting procedures and routines down pat. Lessons aren't really the focus, I know.

I've spent very little time on what "work" will begin, lol. Have any of you made it that far? (of course you have and I look like a slacker, lol!) I'd love to hear ideas for fun getting-to-know-you activities and ice breakers.

One thing I have planned is to have them fill out an "About Me' activity. I have a movie theater theme and I will put them on my bulletin board that says, "The Main Attractions"....that's pretty much all I have so far.


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Biggest source of anxiety
Old 07-08-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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That first week is causing me to flip out a little bit. I feel confident about delivering instruction...but getting my class to work smoothly is causing me major anxiety. In the process of figuring out how to start the year, I have come across a few websites that I bookmarked to get me started. I hope this helps others- here they are:

http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.co.../firstday.html

http://www.lessonplanspage.com/BeginSchool.htm

http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/K_12/...ack_to_School/

http://www.teachingheart.net/ultimate.html

http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr360.shtml

You have to love the internet
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Thanks!
Old 07-08-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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These are going to be really helpful!! Thank you.
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my anxiety
Old 07-08-2007, 07:32 PM
 
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I'm anxious about getting started as well, mainly with getting my procedures to work and run smoothly.
I plan on having the students do a glyph I found on the internet and read "First Day Jitters" - still trying to find an activity. I also plan on reading "Officer Buckle and Gloria" as a way to talk about the class rules.
I'm still thinking about how to fill in the rest of the time and open to ideas.
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details!
Old 07-08-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I'm a first year first grade teacher, and the advice I've been given by everyone is details! Spend this time laying out where your students will pick up and turn in work, where the hall passes will go, when they can go in their bookbags, will sharpened pencils be available, ... I could go on and on! Most of our actual planning takes place the week before school starts as a grade level team, so I'm really focusing on every detail and routine. How do I want them to line up? What do we do on rainy days, and so on... I'm so excited! I can hardly wait!


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Me in a Bag
Old 07-08-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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I'm not 100% sure what my schedule will be the first week. I know we're not changing the first day but it's a 4 day week, so I'm not sure what I want to do after the first "get acquainted" day. My mom who just retired after 36 years said she used to tell the kids, "You're 4th graders now, you know what you're supposed to do and not do and only one person at the pencil sharpener at a time." Oooookay.

The big thing I am working on now is movie. I'm going to do a Me in a Bag activity where I put things in a paper grocery bag about me. In my bag is going to be this movie all about me, my family, my pets, etc. as well as some other things. Then I'm going to give the kids brown lunch bags for them to put in things about themselves so I can get to know them. I'm thinking a paper lunch bag because they're smaller and it will be harder for kids to bring inappropriate things to school.
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me in a bag
Old 07-09-2007, 06:19 AM
 
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I hope you don't mind us "old" teachers stepping in to help...... I was reading your ideas (which are wonderful, by the way!), and noticed the "me in a bag". I do that on the first day of school as well! It's their first homework assignment (other than bringing forms back signed) and they really get into it! I show them mine first (like 1dayatatime said) so they know how to do it. The next day they set them all in a pile and I open one occasionally (throughout the day) and take out the contents - then the kids try to guess who the person is. I only let 3 people guess before I tell who it is. It's great!
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first week
Old 07-09-2007, 10:28 AM
 
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I'm a first-year third grade teacher, and I feel like I've been so focused on setting up my classroom and how I'm going to get all the stuff I need that I haven't really thought about what I'm actually going to teach my students! Yikes! I've gotten some pretty good ideas from this board, though, so hopefully it'll all come together. I'm glad there's a board for us "newbies"...it helps to talk to people who are going through the same thing!
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johnsju, me too
Old 07-09-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I have been really focused on setting up my classroom, I haven't really been thinking about planning. I have it more in my mind now, but I am still just trying to get my centers, library, and classroom in order.

I really like the me in a bag idea!
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All About Me Bag" & "Who Am I?"
Old 07-09-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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1. I have attached a version of my "All About Me Bag" that I plan on doing (this is my first time attaching something so let's see if it works, *crosses fingers*) that I saw somewhere and gave it my own personal touch.
I simply attach the little poem to a brown, paper lunch bag and they are ready to go (there is two copies per microsoft word page - as you will see). Of course, as others have posted...I'll do my own and demonstrate before hand! But I can't wait to see what the children do!!!!

2. I was also thinking about having them do a "Who Am I?" paragram as a bit of an opener on the first week. This will be a quick informal way to kind of see what there writing is like and help with getting to know the students! I will allow the students time to write a little something about themselves without revealing who they are...then the students have to guess who it is! (I would allow like 3 guess or it could go on FOREVER!) Give examples like: I have 12 brothers and sisters, blah blah blah.
(Ok so if your wondering - no I DON'T have 12 brother's and sisters - that's just the first thing that came to me! haha


Attached Files
File Type: doc All About Me Bag.doc (69.0 KB, 300 views)

Last edited by TeachKids853; 07-09-2007 at 06:45 PM.. Reason: Wanted to add another idea...
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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Thank you so much for sharing the All About Me bags! I love the poem!! I think I will use that on my first day.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:37 AM
 
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Happy to pass it on
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:46 AM
 
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Love-love-love your poem. I have done this activity every year I have taught but have never thought of adding the poem. Super! Thanks a bunch!
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Love it!
Old 07-10-2007, 09:20 AM
 
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Those of you that have done/are doing the "All About Me" bags, would you mind sharing some of the things you plan to include. Most bags are small so I'm just curious what you plan to share. Some things that come to mind: a family photo, maybe something small that's about teaching....I love to watch movies, so maybe a movie stub or my Blockbusters card, lol (just brainstorming here) ...stuff like that? I really love this idea and want to use it!

Also, I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who's been focused mainly on procedures!
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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You have the right idea! In my "me bag" I include things like: a family picture (but not with me in it), a piece of dark chocolate, an herbal tea bag, a store receipt (because I love to shop!), and a small toy monkey (to represent my jungle classroom).
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About Me Bag
Old 07-10-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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Mine is going to be an I Love Lucy tote (I think) then I plan on putting my about me dvd, something Ohio-y (I have a little flag I may stick in), something Disney, a recipe, and something technology related (perhaps a pictures of my iPod, digital camera, and computer).

Also, I got a lot of my room arranged yesterday and today they decided to order me a white board. Hooray! So I took down a bunch of stuff. lol it looks like I took several steps back, but I didn't, I'm cruisin' ahead!
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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So do the rest of you use a special bag of your own for your stuff, or use the brown bag as well, like the kids will be using?

MAN, I wish I could get in my classroom NOW!!!
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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You can technically include ANYTHING that fits "you". If it's to big to fit in the bag take a picture of it! For example: lets say you love to right your bike. OBVIOUSLY you can shove a bike in a brown lunch bag. BUT, you COULD take a picture of your bike and put it in there, or but your bike lock in the bag to represent the bike....get it?!
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brown bag
Old 07-10-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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I use the same brown bag the children will be using, to show them the items all need to fit inside.

I also let the parents know if they can't find the actual item to fit in the bag, a picture or illustration would be fine. For example if a child won a 4ft bowling trophy--he could stick a picture or make an illustration inside the bag.

The last thing you need is an interruption from the office calling with parents that need to deliver huge things to your room! Been there, done that!
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=)
Old 07-10-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I love this!!
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puzzle
Old 07-10-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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Has anyone ever let kids decorate puzzle pieces describing themselves? I saw the idea somewhere (maybe here) and thought it might be fun. just wondering if anyone had done it.
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A Few Ideas
Old 07-10-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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First of all, the "Me Bag" idea is wonderful. One of my college professors had us do this in our class and it was really nice to see what other people were interested in. Also, think of it as something that you can have the students do later in the year for different subjects. For example, you could have students do a Memory Bag for a book. They can bring in objects that represent the book then retell the book using the objects. (This came from Mrs. Renz--her website is http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/mccall/renz/ ) I think that I'm going to do this when we read biographies later in the year.

I am going to do a few things on the first day in order for the students to get to know each other. First, I came across an idea that expresses the idea that everyone in the classroom is “connected” in some way. Here is the link to where I found the idea: http://712educators.about.com/cs/ice...cebreakers.htm

I am also going to have students write “Biopoems”. I got this idea from a book that my principal gave me called, “Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?” by Paula Rutherford, but the same type of thing can be found on the web. Here is a link: http://literacy.kent.edu/eureka/strategies/biopoems.pdf . This is another one of those things that you can have them do later in the year for a character in a book, people in history, and even science concepts and math terms. The book has an example of one written for a Parallelogram (with “Para” being the first name and “Llelogram” being the last name and different statements that describe it, such as “Feel slanted left and right most of the time, need kite by my side” and “Realitive of square, rectangle and rhombus”)

I haven’t gotten that far on the “work” that I will begin except in math. I’m teaching 4th grade in Georgia, so we begin with place value and I have a few games and such to start them off. For science I was thinking of having my students fill out a chart about the things that they See (Observe) in the room from different angles and then comparing with other students. Since observation is one of the process skills in science I will get them thinking like a scientist on the first day without them even knowing they are really doing a science activity!

I have seen other activities such as having different “funny figures” that one child can see and the other cannot. The one that can see it tries to describe it so that the other can draw it accurately. The book that I saw this in said that first and second graders did it… but not necessarily in the first week, but it could be done and that way they are “Communicating” another scientific process skill.

Since I’ve written so much I will stop now ; )
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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You know...I have heard about/seen that somehwere too but I can't recall where to get them. It was something I was considering myself. I thought it might be a neat way to set the stage for the whole idea of the classroom being like a family/community/or whatever you want to call it. If anyone knows I would love to hear about it too!
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puzzle lesson
Old 07-10-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I found this lesson on a "first day activities" site. You could modify it as needed, but I thought it sounded cute. I'm considering doing something along these lines to show that we are all different, but we "fit together" nicely (or something like that )

Title - First Day of School - Make a Puzzle
By - Paula Maritz
Primary Subject - Other
Secondary Subjects - Art
Grade Level - 2-4
Here's a neat activity which is suitable during the first day of school, for students at any grade level.

The objective of this activity is to show each student that everyone is equally important. The fact that everyone is needed in the group, even though you all look different and have different interests.

Preparations for the teacher:
Create a blank puzzle on a large piece of paper. One piece for each student in your class. Make a few extra pieces, as well. For yourself and for students that might join during the school year.
Cut the pieces apart.

1. Distribute one piece to each student.

2. Have them write their first name on the piece. Thereafter they are free to decorate their piece to make it personal. For example, favorite color, favorite pattern, write their favorite food, subject, TV-show, subject, sport, artist, toy etc.

3. Let the students assemble the puzzle together. This involves collaboration, problem solving and patience.

4. Laminate the puzzle and put it up on the door to your classroom.

Assessment:
Discuss in what ways you are alike and different. (Probably you will learn new things about each other...)
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:43 AM
 
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These are all such great ideas! I too have been so worried and wrapped up in getting my classroom together and organized that I haven't had a lot of time to actually formulate what I'll be doing on the first couple days. I teach 5th grade so again, they do know what they should be doing and what they shouldn't be doing (as another post said). I was also thinking about doing some goal setting on the first day. I have a sports themed room and so I'm going to hang a soccer net, print out soccer balls and I'm thinking I'll have them write 2-3 academic goals and 2-3 personal goals (not necessarily related to school, i.e. family, home, sports, etc.). Then I'll hang them up on the net with the title "Aiming for our 5th grade goals!" Anyone could adapt this if needed. (I got this idea from this site somewhere)

I'm also going to try and have my students create their own rules (with my guidance, of course ) but is this something I should be doing the very first day? I am just not sure how procedural things should go that first day.

P.S. I love the bag idea--I did this in both of my practicums in college and the students seemed to really like it.
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Sports Theme and Rules
Old 07-12-2007, 12:41 PM
 
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Warning, I am doing a sports theme as well; even though I am teaching 2nd grade maybe we can toss some ideas back and forth.

As far as rules, I will be having the students help come up with rules and I will type our "class constitution" up that night and we will all sign it. I figured we would come up with the rules on the first day of school (I will guide them in ones that they might be missing, but I deem important), we will write them on chart paper. Then I will have the class constitution typed up for them to sign the second day!
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Ahh!
Old 07-12-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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I'm like some of the rest of you. I've been so busy in my classroom trying to figure out where things will hang, go, etc. that I haven't thought much about the first day/week procedures. I love the All about Me bag. When I was doing my student teaching there was a teacher in the 4th grade that made a poster about herself with pictures of things she liked to do. Some were actual baby photos of herself, graduation, etc. After 7 years of teaching she still has it hanging on her wall (laminated, of course). That's something that us teachers could do, also. The only problem with that is if you don't have much wall space (like myself) then it'd be easier to do the All about Me bags. Thanks for all the great ideas!
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Great resource
Old 07-12-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Here is a great website that is a very complete guide for back to school activities/procedures etc.

http://www.mandygregory.com/Back%20t...g%20Procedures
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Puzzle
Old 07-12-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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I found a puzzle idea like this on a website (can't remember which). I drew a large 2 (I will teach 2nd grade) on posterboard and will cut it into pieces when I get my class list. Then each student will write name and decorate their piece. Once they piece it together, I plan to hang it on my door.
I like the 'Me Bags'. It is a really neat way to let the students introduce themselves!
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:49 AM
 
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I like the idea of the "2" puzzle. Something I use every year ,and it has really worked for behavior. I get 2 small bags of chips or whatever you want. (The 25 cent bags) One bag I crush before hand so the insides are all mashed. (try to not mess up the bag so both bags look the same on the outside.) The other I keep whole. When we begin talking about how our words can hurt others, I pick up the bag,with the crushed chips, and talk ugly to it like a child would to another child. Ex: "You can't play with us." "You are ugly." stuff like that. The other bag, the whole chip bag, I talk nice to. Then at the end of the activity, I pour the mashed chips on a paper plate and the whole ships on another plate. I tell the children that even though we can't see how the words effect others on the outside, this is how the child feels on the inside. The kids love it and it really gets the point across. It has worked for 1st grade all the way to 4th grade.
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Apple Activity
Old 07-13-2007, 04:53 AM
 
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Terri, I've done the same activity except with 2 apples. As I said the mean things, I would drop the apple. Then at the end we cut it in half and looked at the bruised apple and the nice apple.

You should have seen the kids eyes when I dropped the apple the first time.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:11 AM
 
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I'm not a brand-new teacher (going into my third year), but I'm happy to share some tips for your first week of school. If new teachers prefer to keep this board just for newbies and I'm stepping out of line with these, please let me know and I'll edit my post right away.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks for all of the discussion about "me bags". What a fabulous way to start the year...I'm going to steal that idea! I also love the idea of the apple/bag of chips. It's a very powerful way to show children how much words can hurt. Yet another new idea for me to use. (This is what I love about teaching!)

All right, here are some tips (most of which I learned the hard way during my first and second years of teaching):

* teach bathroom procedures early on in the first day. You want to teach them BEFORE anyone asks to go to the bathroom...because I can almost guarantee that if one person asks to go, 15 others will suddenly claim to be on the verge of an accident! Figure out what your procedures will be: when can they go? Which bathroom can they use? How do they ask?

Take the class on a tour to the bathrooms, showing them the most direct route...otherwise you will probably have at least one smart little munchkin go down one set of stairs, past the office (with a quick wave to the secretary), up another set of stairs, past all of the upper grade classrooms (stopping, of course, to gaze into each one), down one hallway, up another (with a quick visit to last year's teacher), and over to the water fountain (all that walking makes you thirsty) before FINALLY making his/her way to the bathroom.

* Overplan for the first week of school. Have way more than you could possibly get done in a day. It is far better to have too much than to have too little.

* Teach a quiet signal the first day and practise it throughout the week. Be very clear about your expectations.

* Depending on the age that you teach, keep activities very short. I teach second grade. By the time everything is in full swing, I expect my children to be able to work independently for 40-45 minutes at a time. The first day of school I expect them to be able to read independently for 4 minutes and play a math game with a partner for 8 minutes. Yes, this is VERY short, and many of my kids groan when I stop them. Great! I WANT them to want to keep working and wish for a bit more time, and I will give it to them...tomorrow, or the day after. I stop while they're still engaged, before anyone has time to finish or get bored. Remember that you're teaching them what you expect from them for the whole year. If you keep it short, they can be successful right away and you're setting a really positive, "you can do this" tone. If you ask them to focus for too long on the first day, some kids will fail and you'll be forced to address their behaviour. Better to ensure success for everyone, especially the first day. As the days go by, you can ask them to work independently for longer periods of time.

* I find that my first day runs smoothly if I make it a balance of teaching procedures, "getting to know you" activities and academics. I think that academics are important on the first day, because most primary kids are excited to be back in school and they all seem to want to WORK! I tie academics into either getting to know each other or learning procedures. (ex. my first read aloud is preceded by a mini-lesson on how to sit on the carpet for a story. We design nameplates...both art and getting to know one another. Shared writing is about procedures...on the first day, I usually make a chart with the children about rules for lunchtime. Math is about learning to work with a partner...we play an easy game and focus on taking turns. And so on...)

Good luck! You're going to love teaching!
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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NIUteach--good idea. I like your constitution idea. I had my friend (a graphic designer) design a poster that has a ref on it and it says "Play by the rules." Then i think around it we'll make pennants--one for each rule. I am also going to have the students come up with these rules. Then they'll write the rule down, color and decorate the pennant, and then I want them all to sign it--either their pennant or a separate paper. I"m not quite sure--any ideas?

I also made a bulletin board called Book Blitz and it's a football field. The students will each have a football helmet and then each time they read their 20 minutes at home they get to move 5 yards. When they reach the end zone, they get to pick something out of a treasure box.

I took an idea from here for my job chart which says, "Homerun helpers, or Pitch in and Help" (I haven't decided yet). I made little baseball mits (just in word) with the name of the job on the bottom side. THen each of the students names will be on a baseball and they'll switch to the different mits/jobs each week. I put them on a baseball diamond on the wall.

Do you have any other ideas you might want to share? I'm really stumped as to what to do in the front of my room/door as an entrance. I saw some good ideas on here but I"m just not sure what I would look the best.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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What a great way to show how words affect others! I will have to use that this year. I am really nervous about the first day and I love all of these great ideas. Thanks for sharing!


Random: Great advice! I had not thought about bathroom procedures when I made my list to go over. I will now though! That and I will use the quiet signal idea, too. Thanks! Advice from an experienced teacher is always welcome!
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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I will be a first year 2nd grade teacher and I am so afraid that I am not going to have enough things planned for the first couple of days of school. My school starts on a Thursday. If you don't mind I would love to see your rules and procedures to see if I am on the right sheet of music with mine.Do you have a website? What book do you read that goes along with sitting on the carpet? Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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Thank you for all the wonderful advice...and I think everyone on this board would welcome you with open arms! If you can't tell, we are all a little anxious about that first day/week I have one question- do you do any type of informal assessment that first day? If so, what? I want to get started with some type o academic work, but I don't want to overdue it right away. Your help is much appreciated!
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:59 AM
 
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I'm happy to share an outline of my first day of school (sorry, it's pretty long). Keep in mind that my kids line up outside and walk in with me. They don't trickle in, and I don't have any parents coming in the school. Children don't bring school supplies, so I don't have a bunch of "stuff" to organize. I skip morning work altogether and start right away with morning meeting, but if I had parents or school supplies coming in, I would probably have something for them to do at their seats as they arrived.

I'm afraid that I can't share any hand-outs, songs or read aloud titles, because I don't teach in English. My first read aloud is a version of The Giant Turnip, which has a great message about cooperation.

8:00-8:30
Morning meeting:
-Children find their name cards (on the carpet in a circle) and sit down
-Introduce children, invite each one of them to share their favourite colour
-Read morning message (has everyone's name written on it)
- Share my Me bag (thanks again for that idea!)
-Teach quiet signal (mine is a clapping pattern which the children copy. When they've finished, they cross their arms over their chest)
-Practice quiet signal by having children move around the room and chat about their favourite things
- come back to the carpet. Shared reading of a song. Practice singing it 2 or 3 times.

8:30-8:45
-Teach bathroom procedures.
-Teach personal identification numbers, lining up, walking in the hallway.
-Walk together to the bathroom, taking most direct route.

8:45-9:15
reading workshop:
-mini-lesson: you have the best job in the world, get to read every day! Make chart for what the class should look like/sound like during independent reading time. Have a child model the behaviour to the class and discuss.
-read independently for 3 minutes from baskets at desks. (Note: if anyone is off-task before the 3 minutes are up, stop immediately)
-teach transitions (after quiet signal...how do we return to the carpet?)
-call children to carpet, brief check-in (what went well? What was difficult?)
-read independently for 3 more minutes (unless anyone is off-task)
-call children to carpet, check-in (what went well? What was difficult?), remind them that they will have time every day to read

9:15-9:30
Read aloud and discussion
-quick discussion: how should we be sitting on the carpet for a read aloud? What is your job while I am reading?
- teach think-pair-share (turning to a partner and discussing...how to look at one another, how to sit, how to take turns).
-read the story with 2 or 3 stops for think-pair-shares
-begin class reading log: record date, title, author and rating on a chart. This will be modeled this week and children will start their own reading logs next week.

9:30-9:50
- teach proper use and care of crayons
- children then work on making a nameplate (a "tented" sheet of cardstock), decorating it with things that they enjoy
- invite a few children to share (others will share over the next few days, whenever we have a few minutes)

9:50-10:00
- teach recess procedures (using playground equipment, waiting for me to dismiss them, lining up at the bell), go outside early to walk the perimetre of the playground before recess starts.

10:00-10:30
-recess and snack (for most of the first week, I join them for recess and snack. I want to be sure that they are internalizing the procedures)

10:30-10:40
-sharing circle: recess check-in. Teach community circle procedures (only the person holding the talking stick can talk, no noises, look at the person who is talking, you have the right to pass)

10:40-11:10
Math:
- teach Make the Date (come up with as many equations as possible to make the date...in this case, 4). Do the activity with the whole group, recording on the whiteboard.
- review counting by 1s using the 100s chart
- Ask children to close their eyes while I cover several numbers on the 100s chart. Ask for their help in figuring out what numbers are missing.
- Think-pair-share: discuss with your partner a number that is covered. How do you know? Invite a volunteer to come flip a number, explaining his/her thinking to the class.
-Explain the game that they will play with a partner: one partner uses counters to hide five numbers on a 100s chart. The other partner must guess the numbers, and explain how they know. When they’ve finished, they switch roles and play again.
-Divide the class into pairs, assign spots and pass out materials (counters and individual 100s charts)
-Stop the class after 8 minutes of play (or as soon as anyone starts exhibiting off-task behaviour)
-Whole class share: what was easy? What was difficult?

11:10-11:35
Writing workshop:
-This year you're also going to have another great job. You aren't only going to read other people's books and stories, you're going to write your own!
-first writing sample: write me a letter telling me everything that you think I should know about you. Brainstorm ideas together: favourite things, families, favourite passtimes, pets, etc.
- teach proper use and care of pencils and erasers
- children write independently. If they finish writing, they can draw and colour on the top half of their sheet with the crayons.
-these will be my first writing samples, to give me a quick glance at my students' writing abilities

11:35-11:50
-teach lunch procedures
-shared writing: what should the class look like/sound like/feel like during lunch? (make chart)

11:50-12:50
lunch and recess (again, I stay with them for most of the time)

12:50-1:00
community circle: recess check-in

1:00-1:15
teach and practice morning routine (come in, hang up your backpack, change your shoes, write in your agenda, sit on the carpet and read the morning message)

1:15-1:20
brain and body break: milling to music
- children move around to the music. When I stop the music, they quickly partner up with the child closest to them and share on a given topic. The topics will be: what is your favourite animal? What is your favourite food? What is your favourite thing to do in school? Do you have any brothers or sisters?

1:20-1:30
Teach end of day routine: cleaning up, stacking up chairs, packing up, closing circle, waiting for me to dismiss them.

1:30-2:30 PREP PERIOD (on the first day of school I actually don't have my kids at the end of the day. We'll see how that goes!)

I hope that this is helpful!

Last edited by Random; 07-14-2007 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:11 AM
 
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At some point during the first week, I teach and practice...

*using and caring for material (they don't have access to anything - not even pencils - until I've introduced them to the whole group)
Crayons
Pencils
Coloured pencils
Erasers
Markers
Scissors
Glue sticks
Math manipulatives
individual whiteboards and dry erase markers
playground equipment

*Procedures (discuss, model, practise). I don't necessarily teach procedures in this order, but I try to teach all of them before the end of the week.
Lining up
Walking in the hall
Bathroom procedures
Coming to the carpet
Sitting on the carpet
Sharing with a partner
Sharing with the whole group
Recess (going out, what we can play, playground equipment, coming in)
Quiet signal
Hanging up backpacks
Moving around the room (traffic patterns)
Writing in agenda
Homework
Morning jobs
Pencils (when/how to sharpen)
Snack/lunch procedures
Unfinished work basket
Handing in notes from home
Handing in finished work
Entering and leaving the classroom
What to do when the phone rings
Personal numbers
Emergency: fire drills, code red
Distributing and collecting materials
Asking questions
Listening to announcements
What to do when someone knocks at the door
Finished work (what to do next)

*Classroom agreeements:
I have very broad rules that I will introduce on day 3, once we all know each others' names and have had several opportunities to work with one another. This is new to me, as I've always made the rules with my class, but I was trained in Tribes last year (classroom management) and I actually quite like the idea of "non-negotiable" rules. That's the great thing about teaching...we can always try new things! Anyway, for each agreement, we will make a looks like/sound like/feels like chart, model and practise, do some role-plays and scenarios and then these will become social goals throughout the school year (ex. today while you're working with a partner, I want you to focus on listening attentively to one another. Be ready to share how things went at share time). These are the four agreements:
- Mutual respect
- Attentive listening
- Put-ups (the opposite of put-downs...basically, being appreciative, inclusive and positive with one another)
- The right to pass

OK, sorry if I'm going overboard. I always type waaaaay too much when I'm posting on ProTeacher. Please remember that this is what works for ME. Same thing with my schedule for the first day. Everyone is different and everyone has to find a way to meet school expectations while staying true to his or her own personality and teaching style.

Last edited by Random; 07-14-2007 at 06:18 AM..
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:50 AM
 
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This isn't my idea, but it is good.
ADD ON IDEA:I always start the year with Bill Cosby's book The Meanest Thing You Can Say.
For those of you not familiar with it, it is about a little boy who goes
to school and the new kid says "Lets play a game about who can say the
meanest things to each other." The little boys dad convinces him that the
best thing he can say is SO because there is no defense for SO.
We practice this for the first couple of weeks and then anytime we have
someone saying hurtful things to other people. The kids love it and they
want to be picked on. I will pick a child who wants to be the person
and I stand there and look them over carefully and then I say something like
"Blue hair barrets! Cool people only wear red ones" The kid will giggle and
say "SO"( by the way it has to be done with an attitude of indifference and
style) Then I looked shocked and say "Well you are not cool if you don't
wear red ones" "So" "Well you can't be my friend then." "So" By now the
whole class is laughing and saying "So" Then on the playground when a child
comes up and says "He called my stupid." I just say what
>do you say? "So" That right there is no answer to
"So" and you know it isn't true. I teach 2nd and I now have 5th graders that
will be standing with me when someone runs up and says He called me______ and they will turn around and say "Just say so there's no answer
to so. Elaine /nv/2
After reading the story, everyone sits in a circle and you have a large
paper cutout of a girl. Everyone gets the "girl" and wads or folds a piece
of her. At the end needless to say she's in bad shape. Explain that every time
they do this to her it's the same as saying something hurtful to her. Try to
smooth her out and explain that even though she can be smoothed
back out the wrinkles are still there, just like even though someone can
apologize and be forgiven, the hurtful marks are still left on us. It was a
big hit. I hope my explanation is clear, kind of hard to put into words.
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Random..Thank you!
Old 07-14-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I'm not sure where you get your name from- but that was anything but Random That first day schedule was excellent and just what I've been looking for! I think I just needed to see something concrete in order to get the wheels turning in my own head- so thank you! I'm feeling MUCH better about my first day/week. School starts August 27th- I better get busy
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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Hi Random,
Let me join the chorus and thank you for your posts! I will be a new Second Grade teacher so I found it quite helpful.

You mentioned that you don't teach in English. I will be a Bilingual teacher, teaching in Spanish. If you have any first week books you read that are Spanish, can you share them?
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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Oops! Forgot to ask you...it sounds like you use some of the Daily 5 techniques for modeling. Do you use the Daily 5 in your normal schedule?
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:19 AM
 
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You're very welcome!

Freer, I teach in French, so can't help you there. I'm not going to be using Daily Five to organize my literacy block, but I am using their plan to build stamina for both reading alone and reading with a partner. I think their 10 steps to building muscle memory is fabulous. As for the rest of it, it's really not my style. I'm a Reading Workshop girl all the way! Eventually, my 2 hour literacy block should flow like this:

25 minutes shared reading/reading workshop mini-lesson
45 minutes independent reading/buddy reading/conferences/groups
10 minutes sharing
10 minutes writing mini-lesson
20 minutes independent writing/writing strategy groups
10 minutes authors' chair

I also have a 15 minute read aloud later in the day and a second 20 minute block for shared reading or word study.

(If anyone's interested in talking about reading workshop, come visit us in the Sunflower room. There are also several really good blogs on ProTeacher about reading workshop!)
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:19 AM
 
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I love the book and idea! I have seen the girl cutout done with a heart along with another book ( the name escapre me at this moment), but that book sounds perfect, so . . .
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back to the puzzle pieces
Old 07-15-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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i think i'm going to give each student a puzzle piece at open house (back to school night). they will be asked to decorate them with their families, putting things on their they enjoy or things that describe them. also, i will have my own piece i will use at open house (introducing myself and also modeling). i'll let 3-4 students share each day the first week of school. as they share, they will add their piece to our bb. any suggestions/improvements would be appreciated. i thought this would be a fun activity for first graders and their parents and also a unique way for them to introduce themselves.
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Thank you for ideas
Old 07-15-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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Thank you to everyone for the ideas. Like other new teachers I am overwhelmed but with the help of all the wonderful posts on Proteacher I can see it all starting to come together. I have another question. Does anyone have their open house before school starts? If so what do you hand out or do? Do you give out procedures or just a welcome letter and gift for student? This is one other piece of the puzzle that has got me nervous. Thanks again.
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First Day...
Old 07-15-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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I have taught first grade for the past five years and a great website for the beginning of school is www.akidsheart.com you can make your own handwriting sheets. I always make each student handwriting worksheets with their first and last name on it for them to practice. On the first day of school I have each student 3 or 4 pages stapled together on their desk waiting when they come in. (This seems to give them something to do and their minds off of mom or dad leaving them!)I use the handwriting sheet and then a couple of coloring sheets. I know you don't want to think of the discipline/punishment , but those handwriting sheets also work well for punishment work!
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Re: First week activities
Old 08-16-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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The first week is really geared toward getting to know their way around the building, each other, the activity teachers, lunchroom procedures, rules and expectations, etc. ResidentAssistant.com is a good website for Icebreakers in the classroom. Group juggling, make a puzzle(first day of school), concentration.
Don't worry, we haven't even started on when the 'work' with begin.lol
We don't start until next Wednesday anyway. Have a good week.
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