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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Easing BACK into SCHOOL

Some of you teacher peeps are already heading back to the classroom.


The first day is always a crazy one.

Each year I take more and more OUT of my plans for the first day. I have found that all the cute crafty stuff is just too difficult to tackle with wee ones who are struggling with being in school for...
A WHOLE DAY!?! Those poor babies... it's tough. (HEY, it's tough for me and I've had a zillion first day in first grades!)

That difficult transition is a definite downside to half-day kindergarten.

Last year my day consisted of a few basics. Of course I read them a couple of first day stories... my favorite:

And, the first thing the kiddos did was make their self portraits while I took their photos. Each of these things get saved for their end of the year "Sea How I've Grown" folder.

Behind those photos (this is actually from many years ago because I keep forgetting to take a new picture!!) is a collection of work from the first day and nearly the last day. The kids do the exact same assignments both times so that the comparison is of apples and apples - as they say. :) I put all of these assignments together in The First Grade Measuring Stick. You can find out more about that {here}.

We also toured the school.
Had a snack.
Established some rules and routines.

It was very calm, but I felt like I needed to do a little more - without making things crazy.

I decided I needed a few more calm but engaging activities for that first day. I'm adding in a simple "get to know your classmates" game. To play this game, I will give each of my kids a card. The cards are "paired" so the kiddos will mingle with the each other to find a new friend with the same card. Before we start I will let the kids know the things they need to learn about their new friend. We'll go around the room and have each student share those two things with the class. I plan to use this game throughout the first week so that everyone gets a chance to "meet a friend" and set the "community" tone for our classroom.
First grade is a tough transition, for students and their parents! Most years, at least one kid cries... and many parents leave my room after drop off with tears in their eyes. I TOTALLY get it. I want the parents to know that even after a rocky, nervous, emotional start, the kids always end the day in a fabulous frame of mind. This year, I'm going to have the kids share their emotions with a quick little "How I Feel" activity. Often the kids are a little nervous about first grade expectations. Some simple activities will engage their minds a bit while being stress free.
I love using readers in my classroom for all sorts of things, not just reading lessons. This little all about PLAYING at school reader will be fun for the kiddos and allow the advanced students a chance to spread their reading skill wings. Plus, it will be an awesome coloring/decompressing break. If there isn't enough time to squeeze this one in on the first day, it will fit in perfectly anytime during the week. I will use it as a choral read, follow along as we read, take home reader. 

If you'd like to add this little activities to your day, you can grab 1st Day Fun in my store.

I can't believe I will be back in the classroom in just one short month. Summers seem to get shorter and shorter every single year! When do/did you go back?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm Not Here! Ya Need to HOP to Visit Me!

Hey Peeps!
I'm not here today...I'm over at BlogHoppin' with a little tip on how to print your own posters using your plain ol' printer!

Head on over and check it out!

Before you go, just a reminder that our Christmas in July SALE is still on!!

For part 4 of the sale, my morning work resources... MORNING WAKE UP! are on sale!!!

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