Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First few days back to school!

I started school on Monday and it has been a hectic start! We have some many new things that we're implanting this year. New reading and math curriculum, new lesson plan format from the county, new professional growth plan, new principal, and lots of new staff!

I've had an awesome start in my classroom though! My students are babies who need to be whipped into shape. I feel like I say this every year at the beginning! They are just so little and not independent at all! My feet hurt so bad from all the jumping up and walking around the room! I'm getting the kids comfortable with the routine, rules, and first grade work.

I've used Kagan structures this week for class building and team building. So far I've used Find Someone Who, Round Robin, and Timed Pair Share.  In Find Someone Who kids walk around when the music starts and when the music stops they pair up with the person who is closest to them. Then the students introduce each other. Then the person with the shorter hair (I just did because it was easy for the kids to determine) asks the other person if they can fill something out on their paper. I used Abby Mullins Find a Friend sheet from her Fun with Firsties back to school packet. It was perfect for first graders and easy for them to read. Then they switch and the other person fills out their paper. Then it starts all over again. The kids LOVED getting to know their classmates this way. They enjoyed moving around, meeting new people, and finding out new things about them.

Timed Pair Share is exactly how it sounds. In pairs, students share with a partner for about 30/45 seconds while the other listens and then they switch. This has been great for pair work and math talk!

I also used Round Robin for team building. the students shared what they did over the summer with their table. They just take turns talking about what they did to generate ideas for a writing activity. Everyone has a chance to talk and they keep talking about ideas until the time is up. We've done this with some other fun questions I just have a sleepy brain and can't remember right now!
Here is their writing from those wonderful summer activities: 

I'll have to take more pictures of my kids actually doing all this! I've been bad about taking pictures! I did take 1st day pictures of my cuties and I'll make a magnet for the parents of it for open house.

I'm loving the chalkboard stuff right now! I got this sign off Pinterest! 

I took some pictures of my kids doing read to self! How adorable! They read for 7 minutes! They were great at finding spots, staying in one spot, getting out and putting away their book boxes. We broke the stamina because one little guy was goofing off and "fake" reading which led to a whole new lesson.

I'm trying to stay organized but papers just keep piling up this week!

Thank goodness for cute binders and bins! 

I'll leave you with some school humor.

Hang in there teachers we're half way through the week! 


  1. I love the picture of your kids doing read to self. It made me wish I was back in the classroom again! Good luck this year!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

    1. Thanks! I love when they look so intense reading! They are doing a fabulous job so far! On our exit slips from class today I had 5 kids tell me read to self was their favorite thing! It melted my heart!

  2. Sounds like a great first week!!! Your room look so adorable! 7 minutes of reading stamina is awesome! I'm a little bit jealous! Plus your stack of papers looks harmless! Mine has taken over more than just my desk!

    Frugal In First

    1. The pile I assure you got worse as the week went on and was all over my desk. I just felt like at the end of each day I needed to at least stack them for appearances! Lol! I'm so excited for my kids they actually did 9 minutes of reading stamina on Friday. My kids are super into this year!