Panic about first week of school...

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by snickydog, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I am sort of panicing about the first week of school. It'll be a four day week (we start right after Labor Day). It's my first year in elementary (I taught middle school last year), although I student taught 1st grade a year and a half ago during the winter.

    What does your first week schedule typically look like? I have a feel for what my first day will look like (come in, work on coloring pages while I get kids settled; come together and introduce each other at morning meeting; start calendar math; read aloud; practice coming into room and putting things away; take supplies; bathroom breaks as needed; short writing and drawing activity; read alouds/singing; color Play-Doh activity at end of day).

    What about those subsequent days as you need to continue introducing procedures? I don't want to bore the kids to death. :)
     
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  3. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    They won't get bored, they'll actually get excited. They become little show-offs lol. They get a huge sense of pride in showing the teacher and their friends how good they are at following the rules.

    After the first day, I spend the rest of the week doing Language Arts and Math in the morning but keeping the afternoon for back to school fun, such as lessons from the book "The Kissing Hands". If you search on the web there are tons of ideas to use for that book.
    You can also start introducing your first social studies unit in that first week (mine is 'All About Me'). I really hope this helps you :).
     
  4. brewergirl

    brewergirl New Member

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I am so glas someone else feels this way! It is also my first year in 1st grade- and teaching- and I am absolutely terrified! Any ideas ANYBODY has would be much appreciated :)
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Aug 21, 2007

    what grade are you going to be teaching this year?
     
  6. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I am right there with you, Snickydog. I am also a transplant from Middle School (8th grade Spanish) to 1st. I never student taught in Elementary School. I did all the course work though. I am pretty nervous too. I think we should start a support group! I guess that is waht this forum is. :lol:
    I start right after Labor Day. I finally met one of the other 1st grade teachers today. I am meeting with her and another teacher tomorrow. I hoping they will be lots of help. They have only taught 1 year of first though so I am not sure. We are a very new team. I keep focusing on my classroom instead of planning. Think it is because I am overwhelmed. I know I can decorate. I don't even know when recess is or where the kids line up. I am sure it will all come.
    I figure if we care enough to join this forum and get all the advice we want, we will figure it out. Its the teachers who don't seek out others that will really have trouble. We will be great! I hope:blush:
     
  7. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Aug 22, 2007

    I really like focusing on colors the first few weeks. It is such a great theme because you can do so much with it. Read alouds, brainstorming all the things that are red, for example, and then write Red can be a... and have kids pick a few things from brainstorm, you can have a snack that color, do an art project & poem about the color, have kids wear the color, sing songs about the colors. I also like to plan easy math like introducing manipulatives to the kids. Maybe you could get some pattern blocks, multilink cubes and color tiles or dominoes and just put a bucket on each table and have kids explore and count or pattern. I also like to pick a unit to start and just go really slow doing maybe 20 minutes a day of the unit, such as safety, or families or community helpers, those are good for beginning of year.

    You will spend LOTS of time on procedures the next few weeks. Do lots of rugtime discussion on what good behavior looks like and doesn't look like (lining up, pencils sharpening, walking halls).

    I also put in place when I want silent reading (1st thing in the morning) and read alouds (right after lunch) and practice what they should be doing then. Make ROUTINES for every hour of the day.
    So you know when to plug in spelling practice, writing time, reading groups etc. Go slow and add 1 new thing every few days. It will start to fill up your day before you know it. :angel:
     
  8. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Oh my gosh, yay! I'm glad other people feel the same way!!!! I know it will all work out. I remember last year at this time being overwhelmed because I had student taught first and I didn't know what to expect or how to plan for 8th grade science. The first couple weeks I felt like I was in teacher boot camp, but things got much easier. Now, it's just the other way around! I think part of my overwhelmedness (is that a word??? :)) is because I'm not familiar with the reading curriculum (Houghton Mifflin) and there are a billion little readers that came with it that are a disaster all over the library that the previous teacher left. Fortunately, they use Everyday Math which I am familiar with. I don't know my schedule, either... When I have specials scheduled, how many of my kids will be bus riders versus walkers or drop-offs, how recess or lunch go, etc. The middle school I was at was very very structured with class periods, new teacher orientation, etc. This will be so different!
     
  9. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Thanks for the tips, Pattie! When do you intro centers? I feel like they have to be introduced semi-early for children to do while giving assessments (I don't know exactly which my school does, but even running records, letter/sound tests, etc) but at the same time I want to model, model, model them so the students work at them appropriately.
     
  10. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    We are also using Houghton Mifflin. I have all of those little books too, plus the phonics books and the 5 different textbooks and all the teaching materials. Mine are organized as I don't think the last teacher used them. They are still in the plastic book shelf thing they came with. I can help you put them in order if you need that.
    It is overwhelming with so many materials. Social Studies also has a bunch of those little readers. I haven't found math books and the newly adopted Science texts aren't here yet.

    I haven't even thought of assessments yet. Now I am getting a little scared. :unsure:
     
  11. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Ah yes all the millions of things that come along with Reading. That's the one major thing I am freaked out about. We have a Reading series but we also have a Phonics series. The Reading series has phonics in it but we don't use it (because that would be way too easy apparently). I am scared to death about using all of the materials and making sure I am using them when they need to be used. Ahh! As long as I can make it thru Reading and Phonics everyday I'll be doing good. The rest of the subjects shouldnt be too hard. ( I hope)
     
  12. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    What do you guys use for math? We use Everyday Math, which I think is pretty straightforward. Yes, the HM reading comes with MILLIONS of pieces! I'm looking through the teacher's edition, and I know we have some books but I haven't found others. It's saying things like have the on-level kids read from such and such book - well, I don't think I have that book! Oh dear. :( My books are copyrighted 2001... I'm not sure if they have the same materials now as they would have with my version of the series. I need to find another first grade teacher and ask about what the school has and doesn't have and see how she does things.

    Have any of you guys talked with other grade level teachers at your school?
     
  13. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I had a meeting yesterday with two of my team. We didn't go over too much other than first day activities, spelling words and reading logs. I am hoping we will meet again but who knows. I am planning on doing a lot on my own but hoping we will collaborate at least on some things. I was told we do Language Arts all morning, math after lunch and then Science or Social Studies after that. IS that what you all do? Seems like a lot of LA. Our book is from 2003
     
  14. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    We haven't received our prep schedule yet (we start Sept 4) but we'll be doing something similar. Kids come in at 8:55 and we have lunch around 11:15, so yeah, that's about 2 hours of LA. But if you figure that's calendar time, morning meeting, unpacking stuff, all on top of whole group reading, guided reading, writing, and centers... I could see even needing time after lunch for LA if needed. We have short school days - the kids come at 8:55 and leave at 2:45 - so I think it will be a struggle to fit it all in.

    Our HM says copyright 2001.
     
  15. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 29, 2007

    Any news about stuff for school? We had our meetings the past couple days. Now school is closed (eek!) until the kids come on Tuesday. It'll be a lot of planning till then! What do you guys have planned for the first few days?
     
  16. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2007

    We use Saxon Math. It's very easy because it actually provides you with lesson plans which tell you what to say, what materials to use, and it gives you their classwork and their homework. So if I didn't have anything else for Math I would be covered because it's all in our program.
    We also have Language Arts a lot too. We have Phonics from 8:30-9:00 and then we have our Literacy Block from 9:00-10:30. In 1st you have to have a lot of LA because 1st grade is allll about reading. We use the Harcourt reading series and it also comes with a lot of little readers and decodable books and leveled readers.
    I've talked with my team a couple of times but I think tomorrow and Friday we will be discussing a lot. We just haven't had time to talk lately because of inservices and faculty meetings. Not to mention our kids can come tomorrow and meet us so we were all scrambling to get our rooms presentable. There's just so much to do, especially being a new teacher.
     

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