Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Days in First Grade

We may have had a short two day week, but we managed to fit so much into those days! We are spending lots of time learning first grade routines - unpacking bookbags, reading morning message, beginning the morning warm-up, lining up, eating lunch in the BIG dining hall, going to specials classes, and more.

The 1D Kids are really enjoying morning meeting activities and greetings. They loved playing Pop! on Friday, and they begged to play it again. The teachers promised that we will play Pop! again next week, but we will also be learning many more morning meeting games. We also had fun with the ET greeting ~ the first two students in the circle touch fingers and take turns saying Good Morning (child's name), then the greeting is passed around the circle. This is a wonderful way to begin to learn each other's names -  plus it is fun!

We experienced our very first Quiet Ten on the first day of school. During Quiet Ten, all children write as soft music is played in the background. This is part of our Writer's Workshop, and it tends to be a favorite time of the day for students and teachers. Check out the 1D Kids' very first writing piece on the bulletin board across from our classroom. To prepare for this writing activity, we read First Day Jitters. Next we brainstormed some things we were nervous about before the first day of school (Mrs. Simmons was nervous that she would not be able to remember the names of the students in her class!). The students then wrote about their jitter critter and/or the thing they were worried about to start first grade. Since this was our first writing experience in first grade, this writing is unedited and the children used their first grade developmental spelling. As students are exposed to lessons on word families, monster words, writing conventions, handwriting, ideas, etc. our expectations will change throughout the year. For now we just celebrated the fact that every 1D writer produced a writing piece on their very first day of first grade!!

Even with only 4 school days, next week is sure to be a busy week as well. We will begin working in our math books, we will start Phonics lessons, and - best of all - on Tuesday we will meet our Third Grade Buddies. The teachers look forward to seeing parents at Parents' Night on Thursday and we especially look forward to learning more about each of the 1D kids during our Getting To Know You conferences on Friday.

**We have photos from the first few days of school, but I am having trouble posting them to the blog. Next week we will get the 1D Photo Spot set up and pictures will be available through iWeb.

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