What do you work on with your 1st graders during the first 6 weeks?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Pisces_Fish, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 17, 2012

    I'm in limbo waiting to hear about a 1st grade position. I told myself I wouldn't put the cart before the horse and start planning without an offer, but I can't resist the temptation. I've taught 5th and 3rd, and it's been a good 5-6 years since my practicum courses in college.

    Would anyone care to tell me about what 1st graders are like during the first several weeks? What can they do on their own? What concepts seem foreign to them at first? Any generalizations you can give me about your experiences would be great.

    Also, I love First Days of School and Tools for Teaching, but they're pretty geared towards the older bunch. Are there any primary elem books you found invaluable?
     
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  3. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2012

    I still use first days of school to help. I love the beginning of the school year! They are pretty much not independent at anything. :) the first 6 weeks are all about developing routines- we do daily 5 and start with 1 minute reading. We do handwriting, phonics, review abcs/sounds from kindergarten. I have lots of read alouds, color sheets for the first couple of weeks, different get to know you activities. We practice walking in the halls, how to open lunch materials, remembering their lunch numbers.

    I would say they need lots of modeling and lot of activities because their stamina is not very good in the beginning. They a very sweet and excited to be there, eat up read alouds, and want to do things the right way. I think I use some activities from the book The First 6 Weeks of School- there are some good cooperative games in there.

    Sorry kind of a mish/mosh post, but just trying to remember what it's like! It's easy to forget because they are so much more independent by the end of the year. I have a colleague that says she always blocks the first 6 weeks out of her mind.
     
  4. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2012

    When I taught first, I always tried to get a writing sample on the first day. This is also a great time to build community so you can do social studies lessons on getting along and rules and such. I loved using David Goes to School by David Shannon to introduce classroom rules.
     
  5. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2012

    I would make sure to have a "quiet time" after lunch, as Responsive classroom teaches. Many first graders are exhausted by then, and I've had kids fall asleep sitting on the floor. This little brain break really helps them get through the rest of the day.
    They get a folder with a few books, some drawing and writing paper, and can work by themselves quietly for 15 minutes. Then we gather in a circle and share what we read/drew/wrote.
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2012

    Routines and procedures. 1st graders are babies and they are in school full time for the first time. They can't do anything on their own and don't really know how to do "school". They are exhausted by lunch and need lots of time for centers and playing. They cry a lot those first few weeks.

    During the first 6 weeks we start counting, learning basic sight words and review letter sounds. I start Daily 5 routines. I also start with our social studies unit "All About Me" so I can get to know them.
     
  7. 1stGradeRocks

    1stGradeRocks Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2012


    Your students didn't attend kindergarten?
     
  8. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2012

    I think full time is the key word. :) if she's like me, we only have half day kindergarten!
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 17, 2012

    I agree with PP about routines & procedures! 99% of my students have been in school full-time since Pre-K (4), but 1st grade in my district is vastly different from "early childhood" education. We have MUCH less play/free time, and NO nap time at all. There is no room in the required schedule for it. During the first 2 weeks, here is what we do:

    • Teach, model, and practice routines, rules, & procedures down to the smallest detail
    • kindergarten review
    • beginning of the year screenings/assessments
    • get to know each other

    Some years, it takes more than 2 weeks, but I am required to begin instruction from the basal series (and in math) by week 3. For those years, we begin the instruction, but it goes much slower until the above listed (required, in my mind) items are fully ingrained in the students' (and my) brains and behavior!
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 17, 2012

    Hmmm....
    Took a tour of the school...
    I had some nice clocks with our special times on it hung up
    We talked about what they thought would be different in 1st grade. The 1st graders from the year before wrote letters to the incoming first graders, so we read those.
    A lot of going over rules, over the alphabet, sounds, writing, counting.
    Started some basic math like our 100 day counting, calendar, weather
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2012

    Yes, the attend kindergarten. However, they attend half time in kindergarten. Many benefit from a review of school procedures, expectations and basic number and letters.
     

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