I was all ready with my classroom organized and my lesson plans. I put up our specials schedule and clock posters so that the students could just look to see the times and places we needed to be every day, all day.
The first week with students was mostly focused on getting to know one another and procedures. I read some of my favorite read alouds that touched on behavior and some that were just for fun.
For behavior, Babushka’s Doll is one of my favorites, since it shows how a bossy little girl learns a lesson when the tables are turned on her. Me First is a great lesson on how being first isn’t always best. Lilly’s Plastic Purse teaches a lesson about character and understanding. Lacy Walker Nonstop Talker, well that one is self explanatory.
Books on Behaviors
I also love to read picture books that help promote a love of reading and purpose for literacy, like Read Anything Good Lately and The Best Place to Read. Deep in the Forest is a wordless book that is a fun turn-around story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and links great to our vocabulary lessons we will be starting in a few weeks. It's a great introduction to reminding students that we need to read the pictures as well as the words to tell the whole story in a picture book. Q is for Duck is a different way to see the alphabet and challenges students to think outside of the box!
For the Love of Reading
As the days went on, I realized that first graders need more help to know the best time to ask to use the restroom or go to the pencil sharpener and when we need to focus when the teacher is talking. I made a poster to signal to students when focused learning time is happening. Click here to learn more.
September is here and that means testing to make sure students are showing growth from now until the end of the year. It's stressful for students. They so want to do well on tests, but they won't know most of the first grade questions. Some get very emotional and distressed. We will need to plan to do some fun, engaging activities to change the mood. We will start working on our math interactive notebooks to see all the ways to make numbers 1-10 (ex. 1=1+0=0+1...).
That involves cutting, pasting and manipulating the pieces! It's amazing how the students are drawn to these activities and take pride in their work. It helps to reset the stage for a great, true beginning of a year full of fun and learning! If you are in the middle of yours, here's to finishing strong. If you are starting your year, have a great one!