Typical Day in 1st Grade????

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by cutiegirlxo, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. cutiegirlxo

    cutiegirlxo Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2008

    Ohhh boy- I am sooooooo NOT used to teaching 1st grade!!!! My class is very low functioning in the sense that some children can't even copy from the board!! To copy homework it took about 40 minutes!!!! 98% of my children do not know sight words! I felt like at this age some students knew basic ones such as: am, is, are, etc. Since they can't read or write AT ALL I am finding it extremely difficult to keep the day filled with activities. I teach lessons, but it seems difficult to have them do independent work b/c it's sooooooooo hard for some of them and I'm in a classroom by myself. Can you please tell me your routines and if the children in your classroom know more material or do they know about the same as mine this year? What activities do you do during the day that are fun? Please help!!!
     
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  3. lotusblossom

    lotusblossom Companion

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I am in a classroom by myself also. I have a class of 21 children, 2 are special ed and 12 are ELL.

    What reading curriculum do you use? There should be a list of sight words they know by the end of Kinder in your teacher's guide.

    Do you have a word wall up they can access to remember their sight words?

    Here's our schedule:

    8:15 - 8:45 - Handwriting practice
    8:45 - 9:45 - Reading - currently I am not doing guided reading groups, I am just training centers, so they are doing centers.
    9:45 - 10:35 - Writing - I always model something whole group (we use Lucy Caulkins) and in their writing folders they have a copy of the manuscript alphabet. The word wall is also Velcro so they can take down any words they need to use.
    10:35 - 11:35 - Math, which is calendar, some whole group and center work.

    The afternoon is dicier - we're supposed to be starting a Skills block but so far the principal hasn't really told us what it's supposed to look like, so I am using my afternoons to do read alouds with extensions.

    Some days they'll also do activities like work in teams to sort magnetic letters on cookie sheets into upper and lowercase, or vowels and consonants, etc.

    We've spent a lot of our social studies time talking about civics - rights in the classroom, rules, etc - and taking photos of "good first grade choices" to post w/ our rules list.

    What are you asking them to copy from the board? If I model for my kids what they need to copy, most of them are able to do it.
     
  4. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I have taught first grade for years. I would say do not have them copy homework from the board. They have no idea what they are copying down since they can't read yet so why waste their time. It will be weeks before my kids will be doing any kind of independent work. We just started yesterday and I will be walking them through each lesson and activity. I will slowly ease them into doing independent work. I don't use many worksheets, I try to have a lot of my lessons as hands on activities, using worksheets only as necessary.

    It sounds like your kids are low just like mine. I have a room full of title one kids. They are great kids, so eager to learn but need to be guided along the process. Don't expect a lot from them early in the year. You will have to model everything you do. You will have to repeat directions over and over again. You will have to tell them 10 times to put their names on the papers. Just go slow, take it easy and you will see what a great grade it is to teach. First graders are like sponges, they soak up everything you give them. I wouldn't trade this grade for anything.
     
  5. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I agree. Even tho this is only my 2nd year..I have talked to my co-worker and she mentioned the fact that it's hard to go from the end of the school year when your students are almost 2nd graders and they are more independent and better readers, etc., into the beg. of the year where the kids are transitioning from K to 1st and some of them are non-readers and you have to repeat everything 10 times, etc etc. I'm guilty of it too, mostly because I miss my class from last year, but I know or at least I hope that they will grow out of it. 1st grade just has to grow on them, and we as teachers just need to realize that!
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I agree with the above posters. It isn't developmentally appropriate for first graders to be able to copy from the board yet. Don't worry!
    Also- can you start with reviewing the sightwords that they were supposed to master in K? I have been doing this by having the kids make minibooks that utilize these words. Today we did one with you,are and a. They wrote those words and pasted pictures of animals on the pages so it ended up as a book theycould really read bythemselves. I also have been doing poetry and makingthese into books. There is awonderful poem called Orange is a Carrot that I taught the children. I put the lines on sentence strips and taught them slowly. After each line, the kids then colored inthe picture of the vege thatwent withthe words. This is another book that theycan now read totally independently.
    I have also hadthem respond to books that I read aloud by having them illustrate their favorite part. I havethem write (as bestas they can) aswell.
    I think the key is to take it slow!!!!:)
    Take it SLOW!!!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 3, 2008

    Yep, copying from the board is pointless at this point. My students did good to write 2 sentences at the beginning of the year if that. We played games, cooked, read books, etc.
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 3, 2008

    Kids have to have the proper eye-tracking to copy from the board, which for many kids doesn't physiologically develop until they are 8! This is NOT an academic or intelligence thing, but the ability to move the eye back and forth and focus correctly. Why people ask young children to copy from the board I don't know--- not you, just curriculum and things in general.

    If your kids can SIT for 40 minutes copying I am amazed! And the fact that you could keep them in their seats. I had one day of first grade and am blown away by the attention to detail it takes ME to watch them all as they move all about the room!

    Most of my students wrote one sentence today and I was impressed with that. I don't think they are low either, just normal.

    I've only had ONE day, but this is my schedule and I did it more or less, but everything was either longer or shorter and we did art.

    8:45-9:10- Centers and arrival
    9:10-9:40 Morning meeting
    9:40-10:30 Math
    10:30-10:50 recess
    10:50-11:00 Snack (with an activity like math, phonics, etc.)
    11:00-12:00 Reading block (read aloud, Daily 5- but I am doing 3)
    12:00-12:45 Lunch/recess
    12:45-1:00 Read aloud
    1:00-1:30 Writer's workshop
    1:30-2:00 Special class
    2:00-2:15 recess
    2:15-2:45 word work
    2:45-3:00 clean up, read aloud dismissal

    I had to have a third recess because my kids NEED it! Maybe later they won't! We actually had FOUR recesses today!
     
  9. lotusblossom

    lotusblossom Companion

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    Sep 3, 2008

    Just wanted to say what great advice is in this thread :)

    And YES - LOTS of recess in the beginning! We've been in school now a month (!) but the first week we took 3 recess a day. We're "down" to 2 now, I think I'll leave it here for a while :)
     
  10. ladycajun1105

    ladycajun1105 Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2008

    I teach first grade and this is my schedule:

    8:00 Reading
    10:00 bathroom break
    10:15-10:45 language arts/spelling
    10:45-11:15 handwriting practice
    11:15-11:35 LUNCH/bathroom break
    11:45-12:45 Math
    12:45-1:00 Review of Morning Activities
    1:00-1:15 Recess and Snack
    1:15-2:00 Social Living
    2:00-3:00 Art Connection to Academics
    3:00-3:05 Classroom Cleanup
    3:05-3:10 Read Aloud or Silent Reading

    I will say, the first few weeks they had a hard time writing anything down. We practice writing everyday. Now they can copy from the overhead with no problem and even from the chart paper. Copying Homework however, is still a task. I write it in their agenda books for them because there is not enough room for them to write. Do you use primary paper or wide rule paper?

    I also have used address labels and typed the homework on the label and just placed in their agenda books, works wonders. My school is a title one school so I am proud of my students, especially since this is my first year of teaching.
     
  11. cutiegirlxo

    cutiegirlxo Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2008

    Hi everyone!! I just want to thank you all for the great advice!!!! :) When you guys say recess what do you mean exactly? Do you go outside or do they play with something? I don't think my school would allow me to bring my class outside during the morning... but I would be able to take a break and do something that isn't in the curriculum for a bit. It is just difficult for me, because I am just so used to them being independent that this year I'm getting thrown into a loop.
     
  12. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Sep 4, 2008

    We are only allowed to have ONE true recess a day... going outside I mean. But- I do a lot of "breaks" with movement involved. It seems to help a lot!
     
  13. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Sep 5, 2008

    Don't worry! My kids last year had never copied anything from the board (we're supposed to start using planners in first grade!! AGH!), didn't know their full alphabet, didn't know how to spell their names, and didn't have one-to-one. THERE IS HOPE THOUGH! Keep at it, be as rigorous as you can be. I busted my butt to do it, but got my lowest kids from no concepts of print to a level H and some kids even into level M books, writing PARAGRAPHS, and copying two lines of homework (like two assignments) in about 5 minutes. It can be done!!!
     
  14. Kristybarr26

    Kristybarr26 Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2008

    I am so glad to have found this post!! I was beginning to think that I was all alone it the first grade madness. I previously taught third grade and I thought that I was doing something wrong. I'm glad to hear that this is typical first grade and soon shall pass:p You all have given me hope and possibly saved me from going insane:lol:.
     

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