Nervous about 1st grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by shandannon1, May 4, 2006.

  1. shandannon1

    shandannon1 Rookie

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    May 4, 2006

    Hi!!! Well, I am currently a first year teacher teaching 6th grade. I found out that next year I will be teaching 1st grade. At first I was very very excited,,,but now I am getting a little nervous because I have no experience with 1st. Everything will be new to me. Can anyone tell me of any good books or websites or magazines that deal with 1st grade? I was also told that we would be teaching saxon phonics to them,,,I have never taught saxon anything before but was told that it is just a script that you follow word for word.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!:) :)
     
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  3. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    May 5, 2006

    Hello there! I am finishing up my first year in the first grade (taught K previously for 5) and I love the grade! You will love the first grade. They love any books by Eric Carle, Jan Brett, and even Dr. Seuss. They also adore the Junie B. Jones books, the Magic Tree House books (toward the end of the year) and truly any book read aloud to them. Check out the Caldecott books at your local Library.

    As for magazines... we read Scholastic News weekly in our class which I am sure your school would order for you at www.scholastic.com. It's great nonfiction reading and ties in beautifully with our social studies series. :)

    I have never taught Saxon phonics/reading, but we're starting a new series (Harcourt) and I am very excited for that! :)

    Feel free to IM/email me if you want more info/to chat about 1st grade!
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    As Starista stated scholastic is an informative website. First grade is such an exciting age group. I think the biggest problem after making the switch will be to ensure that everything is clear, etc. The older grades obviously can hadle more independent work. Why not try centers? I would love first grade... congrats and good luck
     
  5. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Weekly Readers are used here in first grade.
     
  6. wikteacher

    wikteacher Rookie

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    I use Saxon Math and Phonics in my K class and I really like it. It's a little boring for me b/c it is the same thing every day and scripted (which you do not have to follow word for word - it just is kind of a guide), but my kids LOVE it and it works. Every single one of my K kids are reading at some level - I have 4 that reading Level 2 chapter books!! (which i know probably has more to do with their readiness level than the phonics program, but it's still great to see...) Saxon spells out the materials you need for each lesson and if your school orders you the kits, you will just have to pull those materials out of a box or folder. It is very easy to adapt to the different needs/skill levels of your kids also. So, I guess overall I am a Saxon fan. If you have any questions, please message or e-mail me!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2006
  7. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    May 5, 2006

    I teach 1st and looking from where you are coming from (6th grade) remember that these kids are still very dependent on you. Get ready to use all of your patience, be prepared to model EVERYTHING a million times, be prepared for LOTS of tattling, be prepared to guide them EVERY inch of the way and be prepared for having the BEST time with those little ones. It is so much fun but very demanding.
     
  8. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    May 5, 2006

    remember those first graders are going to be more nervous than you are, you will be great!
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    remember routines, routines, routines... they need that and your job will be a little easier when they learn that. Most of all, have fun with these little guys!
     
  10. NELNaples

    NELNaples Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    I agree with everyone. Order is key. And transitions - they haven't quite mastered that developmentally yet. So you usually have to do things in steps.

    Say I am going to have them get ready for specials. I say ok - I am looking for the first quiet & clean tables with good students sitting at them (good students means sitting up straight, eyes on me, and hands on desk together). Then I line them up one at a time. I usually remind them how we walk in line. Etc.

    I actually have taught in K-8 and I really liked them all. But I LOVE Kindergarten & 1st. I stopped subbing for anything above 4th (we have 20 elementary schools in our county so I can choose from a lot) because it was just too much of a difference for me. But they are so great. I always hear - Hi MS L!!

    I agree too - patience patience patience. I want K or 1st next year and my biggest thing is that I want everything neat, a schedule and I want to be proactive about classroom management.
     
  11. shandannon1

    shandannon1 Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    Thanks for all your advice!!! I am already feeling more confident!!!
    :0)
     
  12. 1stgradekids

    1stgradekids Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    Shandannon1...
    I made the exact switch you did! My first job was 6th grade language arts. I only taught that for 1 year and then switched to 1st grade.. This is my 2nd year in 1st grade.

    It did really take me some time to adjust to the age level. I was very use to great helpers in 6th grade. I almost died the first time I asked one of my kids last year to run an errand to the office and they came back 10 minutes and never made it the office. They got lost! :)

    They are 100 times more needy, but also 100 times more loving and accepting. I sometimes miss the great class discussions with the older grades and the independency of the students.

    I love 1st grade now though and enjoy being the one who teaches them to read. I teach at a very low income area with not much parental support. Some of my kids start off not knowing their letter sounds. When it clicks though, it clicks and they LOVE learning to read!

    I don't use Saxon, but we do use a scripted phonics program for my struggling students and I use a guided reading for the higher ones.

    A ton of books on all levels is a must. My kids love to read and pretty much have a book in their hand at any free time.
    Phonics centers are a must. (Letter matching, sounds, rhyming words, and etc...)
    Fluency is the big thing in AL and they must read 40 words a minute by the end. So second semester we move into fluency centers. Fry phrases, timed reading, partner reading, and listening centers.)

    I feel like my motto is READ READ READ! :crosseyed

    parent teacher stores have some good books that have ready made phonics and fluency centers. You just have to laminate and cut out and put in a folder.

    They spend a lot of time in centers during reading and math.

    Also buy some really good pocket charts in all sizes. You will find a million uses for these!

    One more thing...any sing along rhymes, learning songs, silly songs and etc... They love to sing! Dr. Jean has great C.D.'s

    Sorry so long, I just know exactly how you feel and I wanted to help ease the transition.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  13. 2ndTimeArnd

    2ndTimeArnd Companion

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    May 5, 2006

    For your own professional reading, try "And With a Light Touch" by Carol Avery ... she gives you a day-by-day account of what it's like to teach first graders. I found it inspirational and helpful. The Lucy Calkins series, "Units of Study for Primary Writing" also is great for giving you ideas for writing workshop (although Calkins' students are way more perfect than mine!). I would agree 10 times over with the advice about modeling - EVERYTHING - even things you can't imagine that you would have to model. I taught a 1/2 split, then 2nd grade the last two years, and even the 2nd graders need lots and lots of examples. My first year I just overshot too often what their abilities and thought processes were, and I would think you might tend to do the same, coming from 6th grade. They'll be so so needy the first semester ... but the great thing about those primary grades is you get to see so much growth after Christmas and beyond. Good luck ... it's a great, and very rewarding, age to teach.
     
  14. lsmisko

    lsmisko Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    Visit the Santa Maria Bonita school district site. It is full of ideas and printables that will make your life easy if you are using Houghton Mifflin.
     
  15. Tri'nTeacher

    Tri'nTeacher Rookie

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    May 6, 2006

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