Beginning of the year activities

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by primaryteach, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. primaryteach

    primaryteach Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2011

    I am a brand new teacher (was hired and took over a first grade class in January 2011), so I've never taught the first three months of first grade. What type of activities can you suggest for the first few weeks of school?
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 31, 2011

    read alouds
    establish, model and practice routines
    read alouds
    determine that everyone's names are spelled correctly (seriously)
    practice routines
    begin teaching guided reading & math activities, rotations, & routines
    tour the school
    tour the class (explicit explanations of areas and how they are used)
    all about me activities
    read alouds
    practice routines

    I know I'm being repetitive, but you have to be in order to establish order in your classroom. Any time during the school year when your students do not follow your rules/routines/procedures, reteach, re-model, and have them practice until they get it right!
     
  4. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Friendship Salad is a cute idea. Google it! :) I did it last year for the first time, and the kids loved it! Also- look for fruit shaped silly bands... I found them in Michael's last year and gave one to each child after the activity as a reminder of what we did.

    This year I will be doing this activity again, and I plan to follow up with a language experience activity.
     
  5. primaryteach

    primaryteach Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Thank you!
     
  6. primaryteach

    primaryteach Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Thank you for the Friendship Salad idea! I goggled it and will definitely put it in the plans. :)
     
  7. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2011

    One of the activities we use is based on Kevin Henkes book, Wemberly Worried. We read the story and then talk about the children's worries and that goes hand in hand with how to be a problem solver in and out of the classroom. We have a "worry" book that we leave out for a while where kids can write or draw their worries.
    We also read First Day Jitters and the children write about how they feel about starting first grade. They make a semi-life sized portrait of themselves and then write their feelings on the first day of first grade in a thought bubble. We graph their various feelings and post the little first grade portraits above their lockers in the hallway. It's a good way to get kids talking and think about feelings.
    We always graph birthdays in the first week too.
    The children also graph their names according to length after reading Chrysanthemum by Henkes. We talk about who has the most letters, fewest, which children have the same number of letters in their first names and etc. The goal is to get some math vocab in there. It's a cute activity that packs a punch (for lack of a better phrase). I also found a REALLY cute activity on a first grade teacher's blog about doing a tour of the school using the gingerbread man story. I don't remember the link but will try to find it on my computer and link it but she had adorable clues written. A great way to get the kids to know the school and the people in it. I know that often they are in the same school in kindergarten but there are a lot of new worries and etc. when they come to first grade and it's a great way to ease some of them and show them that they are familiar with the school and staff etc. When we come to each place we talk about the rules and expectations for the given place. We make a stop in the cafeteria and practice going through the lunch line, finding their seats, appropriate volume, throwing out their trash, etc.
    We also make a stop on the playground and walk the perimeter so they know the boundaries and again, rules and expectations.
     
  8. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 3, 2011

    p.s. We also have the kids bring in their favorite story that they read at home/or are read to at home. These books are then used the first week or so. We sort them by genre, fiction/nonfiction, etc. They keep them in a bin on their tables so that they can read them/look at them when they are finished with their work. Other kids from their tables can also look at them.
     
  9. teachkinder

    teachkinder New Member

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    Aug 5, 2011

    I always like to start with reading the book "The Kissing Hand" and lead a discussion on how they feel on the first day of school or the book Chrysanthemum and focus on name identification and recognition type activities. I like to follow with a related craft activity for the bulletin board. This activity is related to their name and getting to know each other. Icebreaker activities are best to start with and then easing into rules.

    Enjoy getting to know the children
     
  10. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Aug 5, 2011

    Oh how I love The Kissing Hand. They read it and do lots of activities with it in Kindergarten so I don't get to use it. :(
     
  11. seeking2913

    seeking2913 Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2011

    I like the fruit salad idea! I think instead of using the "rotten banana" part I might take a different twist on it. In discussing likes and dislikes we could graph our favorite types of fruit and why we like each one that was listed as well as how each fruit comes in different sizes, colors, and flavors. While each one is delicious on its own, when we put them all together they make this wonderful mix of flavor! Just like a fruit bowl, our class is made up of different kids of all kinds. Each "flavor" adds something special to the blend and it wouldn't taste the same without all the flavors together. After they enjoyed their yummy (and healthy!) snack, we would focus more on how we can keep our class "tasting good!" I'd have them break into groups and discuss amongst themselves the things needed for a successful class and then they would share with the whole group. From their ideas we would compile a list of rules and expectations. I love the silly band idea for the end of the day! :)
     

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