Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on the First Day

I survived the first day of school!

I think I have the cutest bunch of kids.  They truly had a great day.  Here are some of the great things about today:
  • We talked about my promise.  I promised them as long as they did their very best to learn, I would do my best to make it fun!
  • We talked about the difference between first grade and second grade.  The key points are that second graders are more independent and have more stamina.  
  • We learned how to play a couple of Math games.
  • We made a graph of how everyone gets home from school.
  • We learned "Class-Yes".  (See Whole Brain Teaching!)
  • We had several "turn and talk" times.
  • We read Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Noisy Nora.  There were great conversations about the characters in both books, and they really enjoyed the stories.  
  • There was the smell of brand new crayons, brand new pencils, brand new lunchboxes, brand new backpacks, and gorgeous new outfits.  (I even had one little guy wear a bow tie!  He was so cute!)
Then of course, some things didn't go that well:
  • It poured, meaning indoor recess.
  • I accidentally left out one of the buses on the "How do we get home" graph.  We had to squeeze in one little guy's bus over on the side.  He was a good sport, and I made a new master copy for the class that includes all the buses.
  • The first couple of days are mostly "teacher talk" and "children listen" type of days.  I much prefer more activity, but they don't know the routine yet, so we have to teach all the procedures first. Plus, they're still in "summer mode" which means they're not used to structured time for 6 1/2 hours. They get tired.
I have a confession to make:

I don't like the first day of school.  There, I said it. These are my reasons:
  • I don't know them yet.  I always get their names down by the end of the day, then they'll show up the next day in different clothes, and I have to learn all over again.  I don't remember which kid has the baby sister or which kid has a dog named Bo.  I know one of them does gymnastics after school, and a couple of them play soccer.  In a couple of months, I'll know all the siblings, pets, and hobbies.  That sure helps when I'm trying to get some writing out of them.
  • The kids don't know me yet.  They don't even laugh at my jokes yet!  I know, after a few days, they'll start to "get" my sense of humor and trust me.  It's happened for the last 35 years, and I'm pretty confident that it will happen again this year.
Click image for a freebie graph with our sports theme!

My students are great, and it's the smallest group I've ever had in 35 years of teaching!  That's got lots of great possibilities!  Things are going to fall right into place, I have no doubt!

12 comments:

  1. Good luck this year! I like your straight forward view on the first day.

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    Replies
    1. Little Miss,

      Thanks so much! I really love teaching best when I know the kids and they know me!

      Sally

      Delete
  2. The smallest group you've ever had... you must LOVE that! I agree, too, that it will be more fun once routines are established and I get to know what makes each kid "tick." Hope you have a great year!
    Chrissy
    First Grade Found Me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chrissy,

      Yes, I most definitely love the smaller group! I know it's going to be a great year, thanks!

      Sally

      Delete
  3. Smallest class ever? How many students do you have? I taught 2nd grade for a year several years ago and only had 13 students for the majority of the year. That was definitely my favorite year and my favorite group of students.

    Have a great school year!!

    Katrina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 13 students?!? Here in California, most of us are up to 3+, although our district is keeping it to 24.

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  4. I love the the class- yes! My Kindergartners respond very well to this. I found your blog through Surfin Through Second's giveaway and I am so excited to be your newest follower.

    Mrs.G's Kindergarten in Heels

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  5. Michelle,

    Thanks so much! My class loves when I do a variety of "Class", and they're always right on when they respond!

    Sally

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  6. I so agree with you, I don't like the first day....I like it so much more when the routines are rolling along and everyone comes in ready to work! :)
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse! Of course all his books are good!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

    ReplyDelete
  8. I picked Lily too! She is just to fun and stylish. Plus the story has such a wonderful message. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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