It is hard to believe that it is Friday Saturday! This was our first week back and I have 28 first graders in my room! At the beginning of the year I am always amazed with how long our line feels but I know I will get used to it. When I picked my kiddos up from music this week our music teacher said, “28 is really a lot of first graders in one room…” Yes, I am well aware! 🙂
It is hard to figure out exactly where to begin with such a crazy week! So, let’s start with..
Day 1: Jitter Juice We read, “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg. This is a favorite book of mine as it seems to put my “first day jitters” to rest as I can tell the students the truth…that just like the character Sarah, in the book, I too was nervous to come to school (and that I couldn’t sleep the night before!) So, we drank “Jitter Juice” and made our very first class book! I first read about Jitter Juice from Abby at The Inspired Apple I simply tweaked the recipe to be Green Hawaiian Punch and Sprinkles. It was simple and the kids thought it was delicious and loved that it made the “butterflies in their tummies go away!”
Day 2: Chicka Chicka Sticka Sticka!
We read a familiar book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. The students love reading along to this story. After we read our book, students got a special bag with letters in them. They all wanted to know if they got their own alphabet. I told them it wasn’t the alphabet but that these letters were special and students would know why these letters were special when they opened their bag.
Once students opened their bag they discovered that they each had their very own name! They quickly stuck the letters up and down their coconut tree and colored the rest of the page.
Later in the afternoon we went on an alphabet hunt to find a hidden mystery letter! My first graders walked in after lunch to letters everywhere-on the walls, on file cabinets, on doors of cabinets..everywhere! I told my firities that there was one letter that missing from our alphabet and it was their job to figure out which letter was missing! We talked about what it meant to be detectives and off we went on our mission.
Students soon discovered our mystery (or missing) letter! It was a fun activity that had students engaged while they were matching uppercase and lowercase letters in the alphabet. Students also had the opportunity to get up and moving around our classroom which I know they appreciated and enjoyed.
Day 3: Beginning Sounds Name Plates
One of my teammates introduced me to this activity and it is definitely a favorite because it is super simple, the kids really enjoy it, and it gets students practicing their letter sounds! All you need for this activity is the long construction paper. After folding it in half, length-wise, I wrote the student’s name on it in big letters (doing my best to space out the letters.) Students get this folder construction paper and are instructed to cut in between each of the letters. Students then lift up each flap and draw something that begins with that specific letter.
The example below is made by Sergio. He first cut in between each of the letters to create the flaps.
Then, he drew a picture to represent each of the letters in his name. “S” shooting star, “E” egg, “R” rabbit “G” jack-o-lantern (oops! pretty close though to a “g” sound!) “I” ice cube, and “O” octopus. I always love when students are so excited about what they are working on that they ask “Can we take this home today?” Well, this is definitely one of the projects students are excited to take home and show their parents.
Day 4: Introduction to Addition
This week we began discussing addition. I was very impressed to see that several of my first graders had a pretty good concept of adding. We read the books, The Mission of Addition by Brian P. Cleary and Domino Addition by Lynette Long. We had students stand up as we practiced adding different numbers of girls and boys to create addition sentences. Then, we did a few virtual dominos together on the SMARTBoard and finally made our own dominos using gram crackers and chocolate chips.
We rolled a virtual di on the SMARTBoard and each student put that number of chocolate chips on one side of his/her domino (the gram cracker.) Then we rolled it one more time to see how many chocolate chips were needed for the other side. After our domino was full-students drew the dots on their domino paper and raised their hand to tell me the addition sentence. This was definitely an activity that I was grateful to have a SMARTBoard for because some of my students needed to be able to follow along and see it up there. Students loved this activity and since I told them they couldn’t eat it until we were all done with our domino addition worksheet students were eager to finish!
This domino addition page is a freebie that you can get by clicking here.
Much of the first week is spent modeling and discussing appropriate behaviors/expectations. Just a few expectations that we modeled/wrote an anchor chart for/modeled some more/discussed this week: lining up, carpet, working at your tables, centers, bathroom and hallway….and the list goes on and on! Although it might seem like a lot the students need to hear and see the expectations for each of these so that they have that reminder and know how they should be acting. It really does help for the rest of the year to run a lot smoother. So, we modeled a lot!
On Friday, our entire school does a P.B.I.S. Kickoff! For those who are not familiar with P.B.I.S. it stands for Positive Behavior In School and the 4 rules we cover are: be safe, be caring, be respectful, be responsible. Our kickoff takes us around the school to four stations: the playground, the hallway, the bathroom, and in our own classrooms to discuss technology. We discuss and model appropriate behaviors for each of these places. After we finished we came back to the classroom and students were asked to think about ways they could follow our school rules each and everyday. Then, students filled out this handout.
To grab this freebie click here or on the picture below!
To get all of these activities (and more) click here!
One of Aylin and my good friends just entered the blogging world (we are so excited for her!) Her blog is Deteremined2Tri. It is a blog about all of her experiences as she trains for all of her races. In a few short weeks, Lauren will be running her 8th Iron Man! She is an amazing individual who is also incredibly inspiring (she ran my first marathon with me!) So if you are a runner or simply looking for a little motivation to start hop on over to Lauren’s Blog!