So, yesterday was my first day of school and it was overall a good day. I guess the big thing is remembering their names - I'm not good with names and it bugs me how long it takes me. Do you have a method that you do that helps you? I'm open to advice!
So, here's what I did on my first day. Just my simple plan. I always write out my first day as a checklist - too many details to try to fit inside the little boxes in my plan book.
1. Opening - Who am I? worksheet - they did this when I was doing the paperwork type thing. I collected it and will add to their student info area.
2. Introduce myself - started off with what do they know about me, what do they want to know about me... (basically a K,W, L type thing)
3. Showed them my Snapfish book about 4th grade - pictures from the past year of activities we completed.
4. Tour of the classroom - where things are, what the different areas of the room mean.
5. P.E. prep/Welcome back assembly/Recess time (took 90 minutes of the day)
6. Find Someone Who game and share time about the different things.
7. Practice Whole Brain Teaching of "Class? Yes!" - That was fun!!!
8. Over 3/4 of my class brought all their supplies, so we unloaded their backpacks and organized as much as we could. I love the fact their families looked it up on the class website and knew what to expect.
9. Read Aloud - Did you fill a bucket today? Brainstorm about our classroom, discussion about behavior, behavior chart, etc. Talked about how our bulletin board buckets work, then students took an index card and wrote a note to someone in the class to fill their bucket - they turned them into me for me to pass out after I read them.
10. Team work Puzzle Challenge - took the idea straight from Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies. We only had a 1/2 hour to do this activity due to lunch, so it was more to see how much they could accomplish in that amount of time. Out of the 6 groups, only 2 got far enough along to see a puzzle really forming. It was a good discussion with those 2 groups sharing what worked to work as a team, and the other groups mentioning what they could have done differently. As they were working on the puzzles I was wandering around listening, putting office papers on their desks, and taking their first day pictures.
12. I had every intention of having a brainstorm of what Read to Self would look like, but that didn't happen... we had to organize the huge pile of office paperwork into 2 piles - the stuff they needed their parents to fill out and the stuff their parents just needed to see. So we tackled that task, then I had to explain how the Classroom Library was set up. Then it was just the basic write down your homework (Read 20+ min, Office Paperwork, Agenda $), clean up your area, and head out the door end of school moments. Mondays we are dismissed at 1:30 - so it's a pretty early day.
Some things that I realized or remembered about myself... I love having a routine, a real routine, and starting over having to tell them every little thing bugs me. I don't like talking up a storm but I know it's necessary on the first day. I loved being a part of the action with playing Find Someone Who... and I loved having my students tell me something they enjoyed about the day as they exited the classroom. It might be a challenging year, but then again it could be the most wonderful year ever. We'll see how today goes...