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  #1  
Old 07-22-2007, 09:15 PM
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heartofateacher heartofateacher is offline
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Texas
Moving from 5th to 3rd!!!
Engaging 1st Day activities for 2nd grade

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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  #2  
Old 07-22-2007, 09:42 PM
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2ndTimeArnd 2ndTimeArnd is offline
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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 ...
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2007, 05:32 AM
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heartofateacher heartofateacher is offline
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Moving from 5th to 3rd!!!
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.
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2007, 08:05 AM
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Beezus Beezus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinDenver
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 ...
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.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2007, 12:43 PM
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BethMI BethMI is offline
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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.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2007, 06:35 PM
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Moving from 5th to 3rd!!!
BethMI,

I like your idea as well. Thanks for sharing.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2007, 06:43 PM
abequette abequette is offline
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KY
I am a new 2nd grade teacher too. I am loving all of these ideas so far. Does anyone have any more?
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2007, 01:22 PM
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Miss W Miss W is offline
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2nd Grade All-Boy Teacher
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.
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2007, 04:52 PM
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Utah
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Red face

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.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2007, 12:22 AM
nytwinbee nytwinbee is offline
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new york
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.
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