Friday, August 17, 2012

First Day Plans Linky Party

**Note: I'm having issues with the coding as it is wiping out the bottom half of my plans when the thumbnails show up...so you will have to click on the link at the bottom to see the other link ups. I'm sorry :( If anyone knows how to fix this issue, please let me know!

Even though we have a couple more weeks until school starts here in my neck of the woods, I have been planning, creating and thinking about my schedule and how I want to set things up in my classroom. I know I am a huge nerd (and you probably know this by now if you have read my blog for any length of time).

So I decided to create my very first Linky Party dedicated to the First Day of School Plans!


Be sure to link up and let us know what you plan to do (or have already done) with your kiddos on their first day of school for 2012-2013!


We are a PBiS school so part of our day HAS to include the Positive Behavior Walk through. Personally I like to balance a little fun, some procedures and some academics into my first day with my new class. Sure they need to learn the rules and routines BUT I also want them to WANT to come to school AND I want them to understand that school is for learning. It's a delicate balance but usually it works well for me. Here's my first day  breakdown (so far anyway):

We are in school from 8:20-3:09 each day with our students.

8:20-8:30ish First thing when I meet my new friends, we will head on upstairs to their new locker area and I will do a super quick introduction to their lockers and allow them to find theirs (I label them) and then put away anything they brought to school. NOTHING enters the classroom at that moment. I show them the proper locker procedures and how I would like them to line up in the hallway. It is relatively quick and painless and only takes a few minutes since I plan to reinforce it throughout the day.

8:30-9:00 Calendar Procedures
I want my students to learn their start-of-day procedures as quickly as possible so the first day I get them started on whatever our morning routine will be. They find their seat and start on the work left for them. I will give a very brief instruction and let them work. This serves two purposes: I can quickly scan the room for missing students and I can begin to learn about my students as learners immediately. Those that get started immediately and those who may need some nudging are planted in my mind and filed for later. It's amazing how much you can learn about your students in those first five minutes! We will be using Calendar procedures a la Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6

9:00-9:30 STAR Behavior Expectations
During this time we will review the school-wide PBIS rules and expectations and students will work together to come up with our classroom based expectations (there are school-wide ones and then each classroom brainstorms what it will look like in their own class since they are standard in the hallways and all common areas). 

9:30-10:00 Goals
We will do a goal setting and portrait drawing during this time. You can find the activity here. I am a huge fan of having kids make goals but also making it kind of fun. Plus what kid doesn't like to draw?

10:00-10:30 PBIS School Tour
As part of our PBIS we take the kids on a short tour around the school to review and demonstrate the expectations for all of the common areas. This time may change but generally we try to do them before our recess or lunch period so the students are ready for each area when they aren't with us the first time.

10:30-10:50 Recess

10:50-11:00 Restroom Procedures Review and Break

11:00-11:30 Read Aloud
Read aloud The Table Where the Rich People Sit and talk about impressions, assumptions and what it really means to be "rich". We will create an anchor chart to show how WE are rich (this is important because 99.8% of our students are on free/reduced lunch and likely don't realize how rich they really are aside from monetary things).

11:30-12:00 Launch Read to Self
From Daily 5 :)

12:00-12:30 Boggle Board
This will be part of our Word Work rotation for Daily 5 so I want to introduce it the first day and let the students work together with a partner to see how many words they can find/make. This also serves two purposes: first to teach them how to play it so they can use it independently during the rotations when we get that far but secondly to see how they work as a part of a pair. Listening to their discussions again gives you a lot of information about your students that you can glean from just watching, observing and listening.

12:30-1:10 Lunch

1:10-2:00 Writing
Writing is a huge thing for our 4th graders since they have to take a writing test as part of the MEAP in October. So this first lesson will focus on getting the students involved in brainstorming all of the things that they already know about being a good writer. We will create a criteria chart that we will hang up in our room to refer back to and then the students will have an opportunity to free write about anything they want (because we RARELY get to let them write about a self-selected topic) trying to use as many things on the criteria chart as possible. This provides me with a TON of knowledge about each student as a writer as I read their writings from the first day.

2:00-2:30 A Summer to Tweet About
I think its very important for kids to understand how to use the internet appropriately and I've seen some activities around the blogosphere regarding this (from Facebook "page" bulletin boards to Twitter bulletin boards), and then Amy came up with this sweet little craftivity. Probably more suited for younger kids but I think it is adorable and a great way to teach my kids to be concise and descriptive. So we're going to do it!

2:30-3:00 MEAP Prep Science
Boring but we have to begin prep for the MEAP...and since my 5th grade friends will be taking the science MEAP this year, I figured I'd turn something boring into something a little more fun. I'm going to give them a Scientific Method puzzle and have them work in pairs to figure out the order of the scientific method as well as matching the definition to each part. For whatever reason, our students just DO.NOT. remember the steps in the Scientific Method and it's something pretty darn vital so my hope is that by making this a bit more fun and turning it into a game, they will remember it better AND enjoy the activity :)

3:00-3:09 Clean up and Prep for Dismissal
Probably the only exciting thing happening during this part of our day will be using Find it & Fix it courtesy of the Clutter-free Classroom. I'm SUPER crazy about my room being CLEAN when we leave so this "game" is perfect for that.


And then at 3:20 I am sure I will have a staff meeting (ew!) and then I will go home exhausted but content from their fabulousness as well as my own (hey, nothing like the power of positive thinking, right??).

Link on up, I'd love to see what you have planned!




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