The first week of school comes with so many new beginnings, especially in first grade! Here is how we kicked off a great year:
We explored math manipulatives!
I always tell my kiddos - "get your play out now, so that from now on we can use these for math!" I structure this so that each kids gets to choose the manipulatives that intrigue them the most. After showing each manipulative and telling them how we will use it this year, I give each child a styrofoam bowl and let them fill it with any manipulatives that fit. At the end of their "play" we practice organizing the manipulatives back into the containers they belong in. I find that this gives my students ownership of our math supplies, and also models for them how to keep them separated.
We established our Growth Mindset!
Our first five days of school center around the common theme of doing your best and being part of a team. I love setting up the culture of the classroom to be a space where we all learn, grow, and make mistakes together. Starting this from day one is a must!
We read some amazing stories!
Teaching "The Power of Yet" with Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
We read the story together and then made a list of thing we can't do. Each student decorated the word "yet" by filling it with pictures of things they can't do, then they wrote sentences for each item that we will revisit throughout the year to check in on their progress! I can't wait to cross off names from our class list as students learn how to do some of the things they said they couldn't! I included the Amazon link for the book below!
Teaching "Empathy" with How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath
After reading the story, I played Kid's Presidents video: 20 Things People Should Say More Often and we added to the list by "filling our own buckets" with kind things we could say.
The kid version of this story is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS and my students are always hooked. It's one I read every year and still love the reactions my students give me. I especially love hearing about their "buckets" later on in the year just when I think they have forgotten! There is also an adult version that I am interested in reading as well!
Sharing our own strengths with Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
Forming effective teams with The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane Derolf
We responded to our counselor!
Our counselor asked the staff to describe the first week of school by finishing the sentence "The first week of school is like..." and she got some great responses at caffeinatedcounselor.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-first-week-of-school.html I decided to get a first grade perspective!
I'm just an Elementary Nerd sharing my excitement for the classroom!
Blogs to check out: