Saturday, August 31, 2013

Five for Saturday? ~B2S2013

Hi there! If you’re one of my FB fans, you know I posted a quick…brb…yesterday after school. WEllllllll, let’s just say that little nap turned into an all night affair! There is absolutely NO tired like teacher ‘Back to School’ tired! After gulping down the normal Friday night pizza, this teacher was too pooped to party and if I had tried to type a post, I promise you, you wouldn’t have been able to read it!

Soooo, here I am on this lovely Saturday afternoon ready to share about our very first week of school! We had a blast. I am totally and I mean to.ta.lly smitten with my new batch of firsties. They’re all just adorable and jumped right in, ready to get started….well, after they got used to having to be up so early again. That first day was a bit of a wake up call for all of us, lol! Hellllo!


We ended day one with a glass of jitter juice that helped us to be just a little more perky on Tuesday. The classroom has already started to change just a bit to accommodate the kiddos. You know all of those great plans you make, that get tweaked just a bit when the kids come in and add their perspective? Well, our daily schedule was the first thing to change!

It started out looking like the image on the left (facing out, of course), BUT the kids wanted a way to be able to tell what was going to happen next or just to know how close we were to going home! =) Sooooo, as we completed a portion of the schedule, we decided to flip it around to show how much work we’d already done. They love it and you better bet they won’t let me forget it….after all, this is a procedure they put in place!

Now, our schedule is all hashed out and looks like the image on the right….ready for us to tackle again on Tuesday. This is my first year teaching Reading first thing in the morning, but I do believe I like it! The day goes by pretty darn quickly when you’re having fun!


We also practiced, and practiced and practiced…..AND practiced building our stamina for Read to Self! They did an AMAZING job. It took us a couple of tries to knock out those first 3 minutes, but by the end of the week, we had doubled it to 6 minutes and 40 seconds! Whoop whoop! If you haven’t seen our very first anchor chart of the year, you can check it out HERE! By Friday, my kiddos were singing the expectations for Read to Self and very pleased with how well they had done building those muscles for reading!


We also successfully implemented our morning routine. We start with working by lamp light. Most of the overhead lights are dimmed and soft music is playing to create a calm atmosphere. This helps to minimize the distraction of class friends who are arriving tardy to the party.

Directions for morning work are projected onto the whiteboard. They begin very simply (see above) in order to build routine and confidence. For the first two days of morning work, paper was placed on table groups, but beginning next week, they’ll be using their journals in their book boxes to reflect on reading. The directions will remain simple for the first couple of weeks or so, but after we’ve begun to firmly grasp them, the instructions will go a little deeper into reading skills.

The dots indicate Go and Stop….draw on the left, write on the right. Green and Pink….why pink? That’s easy! I was all out of Red! Ha!!!


Though our little small group table won’t see much action until we finish learning the expectations for Daily 5, its all set up and ready to go with vowels to help our words stick together like glue! I’ve just added these little guys as the fan freebie over at the FB page {I think}…LIKE and grab them if you could use them too! If you try to download them and the Fans tab doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll come back and add the link here.

Thanks for stopping by to see what our first week was like! We had a lot of fun and did so much more that I’ll be sharing a little later! Enjoy your long weekend! It’s going to be an exceptional year! 


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