True to form… a whole week went by and I didn’t blog; just like I told you would happen! Maybe I will set an alarm twice a week that will remind me to do this. It just gets so crazy!! So, here goes nothing… all of last week, in one, probably too long, post:
Tuesday: Tuesday kicked off the week after a nice, much needed 3-day weekend. The kiddos came back and were ready to learn- didn’t even skip a beat, really! We reviewed what little routines we had laid out, and from there on it was time to set sails for learning! Over the summer I decided I wanted to kick off the school year with 26 days of ABCs! Each day, for the first 26 days of school, we would learn a letter of the alphabet. That day would be dedicated to that specific letter. Even though the previous Thursday had been the “official” first day of school- I had decided against starting on the ACTUAL day- I wanted to spend those first two days focusing on routines, classroom and school wide rules, and just getting them settled in to school mode. SO- Tuesday became the unofficial start of school with the start of the alphabet- the letter “Aa”. “Aa” day was “All About Me” day- the students were encouraged to bring in one thing that described themselves. For example, if they liked to play sports, they could bring in a soccer ball or a trophy they had won. If they liked to dance, maybe bring in their favorite c.d. or a dance costume. I had asked parents to stay away from things like their “favorite toy” because that was going to come later (can you guess what letter? ;)) This worked out great! I had almost every student bring something in (some really clever things, too!) and they did very will sharing their items with their classmates. Along with the “All About Me” activity we also did the first page to our ABC craft book- the letter “A” was for apple, and we made apple pictures!
Tuesday wasn’t only letter “Aa” day; we also introduced a lot of new fun things in the classroom- for example, the calendar (we went over how we would talk about the days of the week, months of the year, and pattern on the calendar cards, as well as the weather, and we would keep track of how many days we have been in school. I also introduced a math activity called “Roll and Cover”- involves dice and a paper sheet that has the numbers 1-6 on it- whatever number they rolled they had to cover up with a sticker on their paper. Once the paper was full, they got to color it.
Tuesday also led us in to the discussion about classroom behavior/classroom manners. I read the book “David Goes to School” and we made a chart about “What Makes a Good Student”. This lesson actually went pretty well! However, I did forget to make the “David’s” with them, which I think would have been fun- I remember doing it last year and the kids came up with some seriously funny things (I’m pretty sure one of them was “don’t stick gum in other people’s hair”). So- FYI MISS SEMENTELLI- NEXT YEAR MAKE THE DAVID’S! 🙂
Wednesday: “Bb” day. Bubbles day. A open house I gave each of my kiddos a tube of bubbles with the saying “I have been bubbling with excitement to meet you”. 😉 I sent home a letter the night before asking for the kids to bring their bubbles back in to have for bubbles day- all but maybe 2 remembered (and yes- I did have back up just in case!) Bubbles day is just what you’d expect- we played with our bubbles for about 15 minutes- then I let them either keep blowing bubbles or go play on the playground for the last 5 minutes of our morning recess time. (For the first couple weeks of school I give them an extra recess in the morning- usually right after snack time. It lasts about 10-15 minutes.) Wednesday also brought about the introduction to pattern blocks! We went over the different pattern blocks, and then I showed them how to graph. I then gave each student a handful of pattern blocks and they had to graph what they were given- most understood and did it correctly! The others at least stayed busy with the blocks and the graph and didn’t give up/move around/etc.
Wednesday was also the day I introduced BRAIN BREAKS! If you’re a teacher in grades K-2 especially and you don’t know about Go Noodle (specifically POPSICO with the KooKoo brothers) then you’re seriously missing out on a much needed movement/giggle break. Go Noodle has saved my days many, many times. So, I introduced about 15 minutes worth of brain breaks- the kids LOVED it. I swear they could do brain breaks all day and be completely content.
On Tuesday we made the poster “How to be a Good Student”, and Wednesday we made a poster “How to be a Good Teacher”. I read the book “Teachers are for Reading Stories” and then we discussed the things teachers do or help you with in a school. We then put it on a poster- this was more for me to get a feeling of what and how they would like me to be with them. It was also to show them that it’s not only the students who need “guidelines” or “rules”- but teacher’s too!
Thursday: “Cc” day! COLORING DAY! Who wouldn’t want to be around this day? Only catch- before we actually got to coloring I introduced our “coloring rubric”- a very quick overview of what I expect their coloring to get to. A scale of 1-4, a 1 being all one color, just scribbling, a 2 being at least 2 colors, but still scribbling, a 3 being more than 3 colors and having more of a purpose with coloring (still very much outside the lines but there is evidence of purposeful coloring and a 4 being more than 3 colors and staying carefully inside the lines (though we said it was ok to be outside of the lines a little bit). This went pretty well- it will definitely be something I refer to all year. I will soon introduce the other coloring rubric that will be more along the lines of “you’re not done unless it has this, this, this, and this” (I’ll post about it when I do it!)
Thursday we also made a “A Good Classmate.. Is, Does, Says, and Is Not” poster- so we have now covered what makes them as an individual a good student, what makes me as their teacher a good teacher, and what makes them as a class together good classmates (friends) to each other. Can’t wait to do my “wrinkled heart” lesson.
On Thursday’s we do not have any specials, so our afternoon is pretty long- Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Davis to the rescue! We will be doing First Grade Buddies right after recess (this includes a read aloud, brain break, and once we get in to the swing of things- some math time with our bigger buddies!) We will have Fourth Grade Buddies at 2pm and they will be reading with a bigger buddy for a half hour every Thursday! I am so excited- I love pairing up my younger kiddos with some older kids- it’s fun to watch them interact and it’s a great way for the younger kids to make older friends to help them when a teacher may not be around.
Friday: “Dd” day! Dancing day! Brain breaks 3-4 at a time every hour-ish. So much fun!! We also met our Third Grade Buddies! Mrs. Knowlton’s class will be with us for an hour every Friday and we will dedicate this buddy time to SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS! I can’t wait 🙂
So that was last week in a quick overview. I really hope to not miss a WHOLE week again- though it is Wednesday, September 16th right now as I’m writing this- and guess what- I have yet to start blogging about the current week I’m in. To start tonight, or to wait… I guess just keep your eyes peeled 😉