Engaging 1st Day activities for 2nd grade

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by heartofateacher, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. heartofateacher

    heartofateacher Companion

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    Jul 22, 2007

    Hello Everyone.

    I want to start the year off running so to speak and was wondering if anyone has any engaging 1st day activities. I have some Get to Know You and All About Me activities, which are fine. But I want something different. Any ideas? What do you do in your classroom the first day/week that's unique and different? Share even if you don't think it's unique. TIA.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeArnd

    2ndTimeArnd Companion

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    Jul 22, 2007

    Not unique and different, but here are a few of the only ideas I can think of now ... I'll check my files later:

    I do a class graph on how they are getting home - bus, car, walk or bike (I have cutouts for each; they color and stick it on butcher paper I've labeled); you could also do a graph on their favorite lunch

    I divide an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of white paper in half, label one side "This is me on the first day of 2nd grade" and the other side "This is me on the last day of 2nd grade." They draw the first-day half, then I collect and keep them in my portfolio box, and pass them back out on the last day; nice memento for mom.

    Lots of read-alouds: First Day Jitters/ Black Lagoon books/ Don't Eat the Teacher/Miss Nelson is Missing

    I think I have a couple make-and-take books they can write in and color - check Enchanted Learning to see what they've got

    During the first week we do our first class book about things the kids like to do. I ask 5 or 6 kids each time I have a few extra moments (don't do all at once or they'll never sit still) - "What's your favorite thing to do?" We work together (shared writing) to craft a one-sentence response, i.e. "Jasmine likes to ride her purple bike in the park." Once they're all done, I write the sentences on strips, then give one to each kid - not their own. They have to cut up the words, mix them up, then put it back together, like a puzzle, and glue it at the bottom of a 12x18-inch paper. Then they draw the other classmate doing whatever is in the sentence. Sometimes we do crayon/watercolor resist ... this is a project that takes several days (thankfully!), then I laminate and bind the pages. This is always a favorite class book all year - I think because it's the first one we do, and because it's about THEM, and they can all read it

    Guess I'd better get out that file and start planning myself - only 4 weeks left til I have 7-year-olds running in the door ...
     
  4. heartofateacher

    heartofateacher Companion

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    Jul 23, 2007

    Thank you

    Thank you, DinDenver for the reply. I love the sentence strip book idea. I usually read The Important Book and then we make one. I think I'm going to try your idea as well. Thanks again.
     
  5. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2007

    LOVE your book idea!! I need to get serious with my planning, as well....only 3 weeks left for me!! (WOW- time flies!)
    any more class book ideas you'd like to share? I have done and few, and the kids love it...and would like to do more of them this year.:p
     
  6. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I read Elmer by John McKee (I believe), and then have the kids make an Elmer the elephant. It is about liking who you are, and not trying to change to be like others. The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle is one of the first stories I do with them from our reading series, and it has the same lesson-nice to compare and contrast.

    I do a b'day graph. The kids get a cupcake shaped paper and write their name and b'day on it. Then we put on the wall starting with Jan. It makes a bar graph. Then we discuss what we can learn from reading it.

    I make a class dictionary. Each student fills in their name on the prepared paper (after their name it says proper noun). Then there are 3 areas to fill in-each are numbered, like the entries in a dictionary. 1. what they look like 2. what they like to do 3. anything else you want-family info, what they don't like, favorite food/subject in class, whatever you choose. Then put a pic of the kid on his/her page and put in ABC order.

    Ex. Beth (proper noun)
    1. Has long, brown hair, hazel eyes, fair skin and is 5'6".
    2. Likes to paint, draw, and teach and horseback ride.
    3. FAvorite foods are pizza, chocolate anything, and raspberries.

    I like Dindenver's idea about the first day/last day photo. You can also have them write a sentence about themselves as a handwriting comparison.
     
  7. heartofateacher

    heartofateacher Companion

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    Jul 23, 2007

    BethMI,

    I like your idea as well. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. abequette

    abequette Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2007

    I am a new 2nd grade teacher too. I am loving all of these ideas so far. Does anyone have any more?
     
  9. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Our first day is so full of stuff: getting to know one another, exploring the classroom, exploring the school, and learning new procedures.

    One of the things I like to do the 1st 2 days of school is a Homework bag. Those that come to our Open House (the Thursday before school starts) get a brown paper sack with a little poem on it. It tells them to put 3 things in it that will let others know who they are. I do this too, and we always have a lot of fun. For those who didn't come to Open House, they get their bags the 1st day of school and share on the 2nd. I'm searching for the poem. I know I have it somewhere, but I can't find it. When I do, I'll post it.
     
  10. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I've been teaching summer school to k and 1st graders and have had lots of time to design a cool rainforest and ocean animals unit. I found lots of cute art ideas browsing through Oriental Trading online just putting in "monkey crafts" and simply animals. I got lots of ideas that way and then I hand drew lots of art projects with layers of different colored construction paper. I thought I'd go over rules as usual the first day but then make door hanger monkeys using brown construction paper and brown chenille stems(pipe cleaners) and put a caption: "We don't MONKEY around in Mrs. ___'s classroom. And then post a small list of our class rules on the back glued on. I'm gonna do a unit right off the back on ocean animals. Not in our core but I think enrichment things are perfect for the first few weeks of school. I have puppets with shared reading poems, rebus stories and songs to go along with them all. Look on enchanted learning and you can find songs/poems to go with any topic you choose. Lots of teachers to a "get to know you bag" kind of like student of the week only everyone does them and they pick 1 boy and 1 girl a day to share and call it King and Queen. I tried it and it is fun but I got tired of it by the 3rd day - go for it if you want, the kids love it.
    Take tours of the school, some teachers have a class stuffed animal go missing the first day and have a hunt for clues going from principal to lunch lady having notes left behind about where the class pet might be. I do hundreds chart fill in the numbers for math and write a "My first day of 2nd grade" for the portfolio and I date stamp it. Play some games like fruit basket, hot potato to say your name etc.
     
  11. nytwinbee

    nytwinbee Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    read Chrysanthemum

    I start with Chrysanthemum, then we talk about each others names and I graph out our names on a chart.

    This is a way for all the children to get to know each others names.

    We also go over rules and procedures and have a lot of getting to know each other activities.
     
  12. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    My favorite thing for the first day:

    I have a bulldog, so of course :haha: I'm reading "The Mystical, Magical Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog." The students will write three things that make them special and illustrate it. The work will go on a bulletin board, and then after Back-to-School Night, into a book.

    I love the book because it makes the point that we are all different in many ways but that our differences make us special--and we can turn "disadvantages" into strengths to help others.
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Oh! I also read 1st Day Jitters!
     
  14. MrsM1

    MrsM1 Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I was thinking of doing a get to know you interview type thing. I will pair the students in random order, then they will have several questions for them to choose from. For example, my partners name is-, his/her age is-, their favorite thing to do is-, favorite color-, forvorite food-, etc. then they will make an illustration showing some of the things he/she learned from this interview.
    I did this as a lesson last year with my 1st graders, but I'm thinking it's a good way to start the year.
    The final work can be a class book / a book for each child.
    What do you all think?
    I like the homework bag idea/"me" bag.
    I will be new to 2nd grade & was wondering...do most of you go over calendar review in the mornings?
     
  15. abequette

    abequette Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I too was wondering about doing calendar in 2nd. The Kindergarten teacher I was under during student teaching had a phenomenal calendar time. If you guys do calendar, do you still check the weather, sinig days of the weeks and months songs. I would kind of like a run down of what a second grade calendar time consists of.
     
  16. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    My thoughts exactly abequette...how in depth do you vets go with calendar time?
     
  17. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I focus on more indepth things


    today,tomorrow,yesterday-spelling the days of the week
    I give story problems about the calendar ("If I have an appt next Tues, what will the date be?")

    place value (We put the straws into the containers and then I ask what would happen if I added 1 more-ten more- or 100 more)

    coin value-I give a total and they show me in coins, then we discuss the two ways to write it. Later in the year we count up to $1.00 or $5.00 to make change.

    time on a clock-I give several time story problems too.

    I do a fraction pizza whole, half, fourths, eighths, 2 whole, 2 1/2, etc. and also a fraction of a set.

    we make tally marks and also Roman numerals to count the days of school

    I also do a math vocabulary word of the week and a shape of the week.
    .
     
  18. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2007

    CAlendar for me consists of a sheet they fill out as soon as they get to school (math message) it is on the overhead for them and they get right to work.
    I put up the number of days we've been in school (which everything then centers around), they fill in date, an equation to make the number of days (if it is the 27th day of school...19+8=27), place value so they would draw 2 tens and 7 ones, then show it another way-maybe 1 ten and 17 ones, roman numeral that = 27, money that = .27 They have to write .27, and 27 with a cent sign, plus show two ways using coins to make .27 (QPP, and DDNPP-I don't let them use more than 5 of any one coin). They do weather-I put up the temp on the tv, they write down in degrees F then look at their thermometer and write down degrees C. They track the wind and the sun/cloud (since we study weather). We also have a different pattern for each month-I cut out shapes to go with the month from the Ellison and we assign each color a letter, they hang in the room. So our SEpt. pattern will be AB. They write AB on their paper and circle what today is, that way they don't have ABABABABABABA written all across their paper. I also give them a problem of the day that ties in with our lesson. They are not allowed to ask me ?s about the math message in the a.m., they do as much as they can on their own, and we always take 10-12 min. to go over it right before math.
     
  19. 2ndTimeArnd

    2ndTimeArnd Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    BethMI, I love this idea ... I've been looking for a new way to do calendar for my 2nd graders, because they got kind of bored (and thus inattentive) with the tried & true/on-the-carpet meeting every morning where we did today, yesterday and tomorrow, etc., even tho I often mixed it up with more advanced stuff like patty2 suggests. And of course it was always the same kids answering and participating.

    You said you put it on the overhead ... so do they each have a sheet they fill out, or do they do it in their math journals, or what? And you said they "track the wind/sun & clouds" ... how does that work? Also on the same piece of paper?
     
  20. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2007

    Yes, I have a blank overhead of the sheet they use. I fill in the day number and problem and they fill in all the sections. They don't rewite my problem, though, just the answer. The paper has four sheets on it (2 on front...), I hole punch them and they keep it in their binder. I was actually thinking of making each kid their own booklet of them this year that I would bind. Hoping that would alleviate the papers falling out of their binders. The part that I hang in the room is the daily record: date, day number, Roman Numeral, and the pattern shape.

    Wind-their is a baeuffort scale (sp!) that we talk about and we record by making a stick (up and down-this means calm, no breeze), then we add a "leg" (as if making a stick person) if it is breezy, two if a little stronger. Arms are for a pretty good wind, then there are two more at the top which we really don't get to in MI-hurricane type winds. You can look up the scale and wind (MPH) on the internet-I don't remember the exact speeds, etc.

    Sun/cloud-we make an open circle if it is all sunny. Then we shade it for amount of cloudiness (talk about fractions this way too-if partly cloudy, we color half...) all cloudy is all colored in and we add a raindrop or snowflake next to it if there is precipitation.

    And yes, it is all on the one half of their paper.

    It is actually very cool, by mid-year we are using parentheses, etc!

    Hope that helps.
     
  21. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I teach 2nd grade too and LOVE my morning meeting/calendar time!!! I do almost everything named by other posters but Patti, how do you do the fraction activity??? I would love to include fractions in my calendar time. ;)
     

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