Friday, July 10, 2015

First Day of School Activities!

I am kind of in denial that school starts for me Aug 10th! Where did the summer go?!? Because this date is fast approaching I have been thinking about the first day of school and the activities I will have planned. I would love to share a few activities I will use with my new little first graders on our first day.

When the students come in I like to have an activity they can work on fairly independently as I greet parents and students and settle everyone in. I like to have an All About Me Book on each child's desk to start at the beginning of our day. This packet has fun pages that help me to get to know the interests of my students. Some of the pages include questions like, What is your favorite color? What is your favorite book? What is your favorite food? What are you excited about this year? Who is your best friend? What is your favorite thing to do in school? There are many pages in this packet and the students really enjoy working on this activity periodically during our first day. This is also a great activity to use to give your students a break from learning procedures and rules on the rug. You can get this pack here!

Another activity I will use on the first day is a page out of the Back to School Draw and Write Packet. This is an engaging activity where students will have to practice their listening skills, direction following, drawing, and writing skills. It will also teach them how to draw objects that students commonly use in their writing at the beginning of first grade. Included are 10 school related objects such as a pencil, backpack, boy, girl, apple, book, tree, and more! These will also be great for introducing writing center and our writing procedures. I will use this as a beginning sample of the skills the students have come into my class with after their summer break.
I also am in the middle of writing some procedures PowerPoint slide shows. I know these little ones will be tired and I need to keep the engagement high so I minimize the "Is it time to go home yet?" questions. The slide shows will be interactive with pictures and videos to show the students how to follow the rules and procedures. I will post a sample soon! I have high hopes for this project! :) It is amazing how automatically the classroom runs at the end of the year and it is so worth all of the repeating of expectations, and tiresome routine practice at the beginning of the year! 

One of my favorite parts of the first day is the classroom and school tour. The students are so excited to get their hands on the vast array of books in our classroom library, as well as use the materials in the desks they will get to sit in for the first time in their school lives. I love giving them a glimpse of the wonderful things they will accomplish and the resources they will get to use in the classroom. They also do not know the school very well, quite yet. They are used to the kindergarten classroom area and playground. The lunchroom, bathrooms, hallways and office are very new to most of the students and to ease anxiety we take a tour of these important locations.

Once the students have learned the rules and procedures I like to use the Back to School Procedure Task Cards to review important school information. I give the groups in my class points if they can work together to answer questions about the procedures we have learned so far. Check the task cards out here!

This year the students will be using monthly journals for their writing. I have created cute covers and paper with a variety of lines to meet my students' needs. On the first day (or maybe second) the students will prepare the journal by coloring the cover. We will not begin writing in them until the second day. Get the set of adorable monthly journals here!

I can't wait to share more soon! 

Happy Teaching!