Saturday, August 31, 2013

First Day of School!

Happy First Day of School!

Whether some of you have been in school for a few weeks now, or start after Labor Day like many schools in Minnesota, "back to school season" is here.

Our school started this past Monday, and I am already LOVING how this school year is going.  :)  Here is how the first day of school went.

To start the day, I took a tip from Clutter Free Classroom and made a little ball of play dough for each of my students.  Read about that project here.

The kids were a little apprehensive when they came in, but once they started poking and prodding at their play dough, they had so much fun!  It was such a great way to ease any nervousness and welcome my students into their new classroom.

For reading, we started Daily 5... I bought the book that started it all here.  This is my first year trying Daily 5, so if you have any suggestions of how you use Daily 5 in your room, I would love to hear them!  

We talked about Read to Self, and what it should look like, sound like, and feel like.  I put one bin of my classroom books on each table, and I let them look through and choose three books for their book bins.  Then we started practicing Read to Self.  We practiced a few times, checking in between each practice to share celebrations and things they felt they needed to work on.

Some chose to read at their seats, and some chose other places around the room.  I could tell that they liked getting to choose whatever looked interesting to them to read.

For writing, I read them the story First Day Jitters.  We talked and wrote about what "jitters" might be, and a time they have felt "the jitters".  

For math, we explored manipulatives.  I put a bin of mainpuatives at each table, and students got to explore them for five minutes.  After five minutes, they rotated to a new table and explored a new manipulative.  After they had visited all of the tables, we discussed the purpose for using manipulatives and what each one can be used for.

I had things like pattern blocks, unifix cubes, base-10 blocks, and fraction circles out for students to use.

As if our day wasn't busy and crazy enough.... It was about 95 degrees outside, which meant it was much warmer inside.  We have a small window air conditioner in our room, but it has trouble keeping our room cool enough.  We kept the lights off most of the day to try and stay cooler.  We also had a "code blue" (missing kindergartener who was found after about an hour), AND an unplanned fire drill (something had set the system off).   What a way to kick off the year!

Overall though, my first day with my new kiddos went great.  I am so excited for this year!

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

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