Saturday, August 31, 2013

First Week of School and a Whole Bunch of Randomness

First Week 

The first week of school went really well. I only have 13 students. I had 8 on Monday, 9 on Tuesday, 10 on Wednesday, 12 on Friday. Then I got one more little girl the following Monday. So hopefully, I will get a few more. The kids I have are a really good bunch. So far...  I always wait until after Halloween to make any final judgments on my class. Something about October 31st.. You think you have a bunch of sweeties and all of a sudden, here comes the fireworks. I can close my eyes right now and think of 5 kids who had complete meltdowns on November 1st. Some just cranked it up a notch from their usual behavior- but there have been a couple who NEVER gave me any trouble until Nov 1st.  I used to blame it on Halloween- maybe it was the full moon, the candy- but now I have a new theory- the time change (which is usually the same week). I think it messes up their sleep, plus there's less daylight which kids and adults need.. So if your class tends to go a little nuts that week, just give it a couple of weeks and it'll calm back down. Or do like I used to do (back when I had sick days)- take off the day after Halloween :) 

      Why I Teach
So the first week of school- introduced the WBT rules, the class-yes, hands and eyes, teach- ok, and the scoreboard. Kids picked up on it pretty quickly. Tuesday was an awesome day. I have these blend ladders I use to review the short vowel sounds. Well, I used the "teach-ok" method and they taught their partners. They were having so much fun and they were all doing it correctly! One little guy was having some trouble but his partner helped him out. She sounded just like a little teacher. I thought to myself- "this is it. This is why I do what I do. Moments like this when they get it and they're learning and having fun and their little faces are excited and bright and there's a light in their eyes."
So whenever I get discouraged or tired of all the "stuff" that goes on while teaching, hopefully I'll remember this moment. 

 I wish I could show their faces.

My sister sent me this book to read to my class along with a sweet card about teaching. Made my day:) 

Speaking of pirates, we finally got to our pirate craft. Here are a few- turned out pretty cute! Some of them looked like they had been in a sword fight :) arms coming out of heads and whatnot...but that's okay. We've got time to work on those fine motor skills! 

Cats Can, Have, Are
We also did a little shared writing the second week of school. 

Top Secret Worksheets
My sister-in-law, Sarah, has created a shop on TPT! It's called Top Secret Worksheets. She just started and has most things for FREE for right now. She's wonderfully creative so I know her products will be awesome. I'm downloading her hidden message addition sheets for my early finishers. Check her out! Top Secret Worksheets

One last thing.....
Oh my goodness, why didn't I think of this last year? I put my fry phrase cards on the Promethean board. I just pulled up the pdf file from TPT and we went through them as a whole group. I will eventually get around to printing and laminating the cards, but this was great practice. I made fry phrase cards for all of Unit 1 and most of Unit 2. 


Oceans of First Grade Fun said...

Such a fun post! I'm doing WBT too. I started it a few years ago and used parts of it, but this year I'm going full force. Okay...I'm loving the phrases on the Promethean Board and the Cats writing activity! We did something similar using Frist Graders (are, can, have). The students will complete their mini essays on Tuesday. Enjoy the holiday break!

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