Sunday, August 28, 2016

MORE First Week of School Ideas

Hi, everyone!  I am back after completing my second full week of school.  Hard to believe we've been at it for two weeks already!  I have a fairly small class this year {16-don't hate me!}.  I've never had a class size this small in my 13 year career, so I deserve it!  They are a lot of fun so far!  I'm here sharing a few more ideas for the first week/weeks of school!

Before I start my post, I must share an AWESOME product with you!!!  So I shared about these light filters on my Facebook Page but I wanted to share here, too, in case you missed the post.  I've been teaching for 12 years and have had horrible headaches multiple times a week for as long as I can remember while teaching.  I tried everything...meds, turning half my lights off, essential oils, drinking tons of water, etc...but I was still getting them.  A co-worker introduced me to Classroom Light Filters and I decided to make the investment this summer.  I bought enough for all of my lights.  I've been in school for two full weeks and have had...wait for it...ZERO HEADACHES!!!!!!!!!!  If you suffer from headaches or light sensitivity, you MUST try these.  I am linking them below.  If you do end up trying them, please let me know how they worked for you!  *The link below is an affiliate link.  The thoughts on this product and how it worked for me are my own.


Last week, we read Interrupting Chicken and did my free sort to go with it!  The kids think the book is so silly!  Every time someone interrupts now, I ask them if they are being an 'interrupting chicken!'

Grab the freebie by clicking the cover below.  And grab the book below!


We also played a simple dice/counting/fine motor game for Math!  I got the idea for this game from Cara when she did a FB Live about it this summer.  Partners each need a container of manipulatives {I used the glass stones from Dollar Tree}, 4 small solo cups {I got the shot glass size}, 1 die, and a pair of tweezers {link below}.  They each get 2 cups.  They each fill one of their cups with 12-15 stones.   To play, take turns rolling a die and counting out that number of stones with tweezers {dropping them into the empty cup}.  Game continues until one person has emptied their cup!  This is an excellent game covering many skills!


Also for Math, we played a few more games from my "Number Sense Math Games on the Fly" pack. I love how simple these games are and I especially love that I can whip one out of my organizer at any time {I keep copies of each game in folders} for a game!

We began our Math program.  We use Go Math.  I'm not really a fan but I don't have a choice.  I have to use it.  I do supplement it A LOT with games and other fun things to help make it bearable!  Do you use Go Math?  What are your thoughts about it?

If you do use Go Math, you might like these free vocabulary cards that I found on TpT to go with it! I've been introducing the words for each lesson as they come up and we talk about what they mean.  I also keep them on display for the whole chapter.  I love how they are color-coded by chapter!

We read Elmer and made these fun elephants using manilla graph paper.  I have done this craft with my kids for 13 years now!!  Every year of teaching!  They always love it.  We also read Corduroy and made these matching bears that I got off TpT HERE.


We read David Goes to School and made David directed drawings that I found from Jen.  *Can you tell we do a lot of "projects" during the first month of school?  The kids need these this time of year!

We started Spelling and practiced our words on Friday with an activity from my "Spelling on the Fly" activity pack.

We started our writing journals.  The kids decorated the covers and I glued them to construction paper to make their journals more sturdy.

We also started Handwriting.  I print these and place them in 3-prong folders to make books.

And...we started Morning Meeting!  This is so much fun!  I bought Brooke's packs and downloaded her free organizer.  *I'll do a longer post about this another day!

We've been having fun with my "Classroom Callback Posters!"

Have a good week!  I hope to get back to blogging more frequently when school slows down!

Monday, August 22, 2016

First Week of School Ideas

I made it through!  We began the year with a FULL WEEK.  It's always rough starting out that way, but I am glad it's over with!  Do you start with a full week?!  I don't remember always doing this...anyhow, I'm here today to share what we did during the long week!

I always ask my teammate to take a picture of me on the first day of school.  Cheesy?  Maybe, but I have pics from all of my 13 years!  Here I am looking fresh before I turn into a drowned rat due to running around the room all day.

Every year, Mr. Wheeler sends me beautiful flowers on the first day, reminding me to have a great year!!!  This year's bouquet was gorgeous!!!!

Our classroom library isn't yet open, but I always get books from the public library to put out for kids to browse.  We spent about 5 minutes each day reading quietly.  The library will open once we've gone over the procedures and rules for it.

We made a first day of school mini-book.  I used School Supply Addict's Visual Direction Cards {one of my favorite TpT purchases of all time}.  Grab the mini-book in HERE.

Grab the visual direction cards HERE.

The first few weeks of school, I give my kids Play-Doh breaks!  They need them as we ease back into school.

We read Chrysanthemum  and did a wrinkled heart activity during the story.  We all signed the heart, promising not to hurt one another.  On day two of this book, we watched the DVD and made our own Chrysanthemums.  These activities are included in my "Back to School Activities" Pack, which you can grab HERE.

We read How to Lose All Your Friends and completed our first class book, "All About Our Class." Get it FREE HERE.

We reviewed cafeteria behavior/expectations.  We colored our lunch ladies pictures to decorate the lunchroom {and used our NEW markers!}.  Get the coloring sheets HERE from Teacher Idea Factory.  We read Table Talk by Julia Cook.

I introduced Mr. Potato Head and we talked about earning compliments.  Grab this freebie from Recipe for Teaching HERE.

We read First Day Jitters, read a poem, completed our first written response, and drank some Jitter Juice!  Find the writing paper and MUCH MORE in THIS awesome back-to-school pack!

We played this back-to-school game and worked with partners.  Get it FREE HERE.

We played a game from my Number Sense Math Games pack and busted out the dice!  We also had a long talk about how to appropriately roll die.  LOL!

Grab my best-selling Number Sense Math Games HERE.

We played Denise's "Welcome Back Bump" game!  This is always a hit!  Get it HERE.

We looked at and took home our NEW data binders!  See more about my data binders HERE.

We learned how to play "I Have, Who Has."  Grab the back to school set HERE.

We read my favorite book of all time, Corduroy, talked about being a good friend, and made these cute bears!  Grab the patterns HERE.

We read "How Full Is Your Bucket?"  and wrote our first friendship notes to one another.  Grab the free notes HERE.

One the first day, everyone left with a first day certificate!  Grab them for your class HERE.  Editable version included so you can add each child's name!

I also gave out a few "Positive Notes!"  The kids were grinning and cheering on their classmates!  So cute!  Get them HERE.  *ESL version in my store, too!

We learned some of my "Classroom Management Callbacks," which the kids of course LOVED! Grab them HERE.  

On Fridays, we can dress down.  I wore my new "Ohio Teacher" tee from "Teaching is a Royal Adventure."  Isn't it awesome!?  She has lots of states.  Click HERE to see if she has yours!

My new teammate brought me a donut and left a cute note!  She's the best!  I am so relieved to have a fresh, new person on the team!

And, per usual, I left for the weekend with everything laid out, in order, on my back counter for Monday!  I can't function if my things aren't ready for the following day!

To grab any of the books shown in this post, click below {affiliate links}.


 Start a dice box like the one I have:

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