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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

the first day of school: lesson plan

Last week I mentioned how I was hit with the shocking realization that Open House is only a few weeks away.  And since Open House is only a few weeks away, that means the first day of school is only a few weeks and a DAY away!  Holy cow.  (To put a number on it...TWO WEEKS from this Thursday...yikes.)

This will be my seventh year teaching and my fifth year in first grade.  I am not that nervous about the first day...yet.   I've been through enough first day rodeos to feel confident that I (and my fabulous co-teacher) can handle pretty much anything.  The number one key to a successful first day of school: plan, plan, and plan some more.  Make it a point to overplan!  If you don't use all of your ideas or copies, they can get thrown in the sub tub so they don't go to waste...but you do NOT want to be left hangin' high and dry with twenty-six little pairs of eyes glued on you.

I made this little cutie last year to help with the first week(s) planning a little easier...it's my Back to School Bible!



Last year I took the time to put all of the masters for the "must-do" back-to-school things in this binder...along with any pertinent directions...
See?  Here is a project we will do sometime in the second week of school all ready to go (aside from the copy-making and cutting, of course).  All of my masters for my getting-to-know you class books are in here ready to be run.  When I'm done making copies, I will stick everything back in the binder and it will be good to go for next year!

Some basic lesson plan stuff is in here, too, such as the plans I bought from TPT last year for launching the math workshop.  

So glad I took the time to organize this stuff last year!  Otherwise I would have total amnesia probably and forget about that "must-do" cutie-pie activity until the middle of September, haha!

We start school on a Thursday this year...it's kind of weird, but I do like it because it gives you two days to get your feet wet and then the weekend to recover before diving in headfirst on Monday.  I have some things in mind for the first full week of school, but I will probably make some adjustments to those mental plans once pre-planning starts and I have a chance to collab with my co-teacher.

So, here's my outline for Day One:

7:45-8:30: Greet students; have them hang up bookbags.  (DEAL WITH SUPPLIES LATER.)  Students will color in their coloring books.*  See footnote!  (PS:  I just can't deal with supplies while parents are in the room...I just can't!!  At some point during the day I get my para to attack that task or if she's not ever free I find a few minutes to do it later in a mass dump-out-your-bookbag-fashion.  I do have a system-maybe that will be a topic for a post-I just can't deal with the chaos while parents are in the room and I'm striving for a zen atmosphere.)

8:30-9:00: Clean up; teach transition signal/going to the carpet procedure.  Announcements & pledge.  Introduce teachers (All About books).  Have students go around the circle and say their names; Ice Breaker activity.  (Still thinking about WHAT kind of an ice breaker.)

9:00-9:20 (or when there's a break in hallway traffic): Teach line-up & restroom procedures; restroom break.

9:20-10:00: First Day Jitters read-aloud & activity.  ("My first day in first grade I felt ______.")  (Blogger's note: I will probably use a page out of a pack I bought on TpT to go along with the craftivity later on in the morning, but Anna Brantley's got some free pages that you can also grab here!)

10:00-10:30: Read-aloud: David Goes to School.  Rules discussion.  What kinds of rules do we need at school?  Why do we need rules?  Use students' responses to draft Class Promise.  If time allows, have all students sign the Class Promise.

10:30-11:00: Tour of classroom and school.  (There have been years this hasn't happened because of time escaping, but we find somewhere to squeeze it in eventually.)

11:00-12:00: The Kissing Hand.  Read-aloud.  Send students to the tables to work on Kissing Hand minibooks and craft.  Kissing Hand cookies (if time allows, or can take to lunch).

Here is what the crafty looks like-the pic is from Classroom Fun!

 (Blogger's note: You can grab the freebie minibook here.  I bought Mrs. Baldacchino's Kissing Hand unit on TPT last year just for the adorable Chesters!  Last year I totally lost my mind and let my kiddos paint...it was fun, but time-consuming.  Since I have 30+ on my roll right now, this year I will probably stick to letting them color!  And I might run the masters half size so the Chester is a little bit smaller.)


12:00-12:30: Clean up.  Review hallway & restroom procedures.  Teach lunch procedure and practice.  Restroom break on the way to lunch.

12:30-1:15: Lunch & restroom break.

1:15-1:35: Calendar Math (teacher does-tomorrow will pick a Name of the Day to help with Calendar)

1:35-2:00: Graphing activity (how do we go home?)

2:00-2:30: Teach Math Tool Rules (anchor chart).  Exploration stations with manipulatives (Unifix cubes & pattern blocks).  (Some years by this point we have run out of time for this-no biggie, we get to exploration stations big time in the next week as we launch our math workshop.)

2:30-3:00: Teach recess procedures; recess.  (If it's not too hot...if it is plan B is indoor recess with its own set of procedures.)

3:00-3:45: Snack.  Teach dismissal procedure.  TAG KIDS FOR DISMISSAL (so, so important!).  Pack up to go home.  Discuss morning arrival procedure for tomorrow.  Escort car riders and walkers to designated location.

WHEW!  Just typing all that out made me tired...and making it through the marathon of the first day is about a million times more exhausting.  I will post plans for Day Two soon!

Footnote: If you are lucky enough to live near a Publix, visit the customer service counter.  Tell them you are a teacher, bat your eyelashes for good measure, and ask for a class set of coloring books.  They gave me 30 last year no problemo.  They are SUPER DUPER for the first day of school because a.) they're free b.) you don't have to make copies and c.) even your speediest colorers won't make it through the ENTIRE coloring book that first morning.  If you DON'T have a Publix near you, no worries...I have a freebie coloring book in my TpT shop available for download!

A Book About Me

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