I got a confirmation today that I am going to be keeping the first grade position as I requested. I knew that she wouldn't say no because this way she can wash her hands of the whole situation and not have to worry about placing me again.
I would be a liar if I said I wasn't nervous and scared. I am. I don't know what to do with little first graders. I have been scouring TpT for some good first day of first grade activities (thank you Lord for all of the fabulous people out there who create and share their goodness!).
One thing that I've been struggling with (well, there are a LOT of things, but this one sticks out the most)....I spent the summer reading Word Nerds and really thinking about how to incorporate these ideas into my classroom.
Now since I'm going to be teaching the unknown, in a grade I haven't worked with in 9 years, I feel lost and confused. I really, really want to incorporate this word study. I think it is important, even for little guys to know and understand words, their meanings and maybe even their synonyms and antonyms. Of course I do not expect first graders to walk in knowing all of this stuff or being able to complete a form like that.
Problem is, I shared this dilemma in another community of teachers and got COMPLETELY contradicting answers. One teacher (who works with kindergarten/1st graders) said the form was fine as is. The second said keep the format but put one word per page and add primary lines. A third said there was no way 1st graders could do anything like this form until May, even with the modifications.
I took the second person's advice and modified the form as so:
I also sent this to two very good teacher friends of mine who have taught 1st grade for years. One, who teaches in my district said that she would absolutely use this form with the first graders in our district from the end of September after routines/procedures were put into place. My thinking was to model this on chart paper and have my students copy it onto their paper. (The paper is a whole 8x11 sheet of paper.) If necessary I could put my chart into the writing center so the kids could finish it if they didn't while we were working on it together. The friend from my district said this was totally possible with the kids we serve.
The other friend, not from my area (she lives in Washington), said no way, this form was way too hard and kids wouldn't be able to do it until the END of first grade.
So I'm as confused as when I started. In everything I've read recently about the Common Core (I've been reading The Pathways to the Common Core--an excellent book, btw) says that we HAVE to push even our kinders toward rigor with reading and writing. Maybe I'm nuts, but that's what I think this practice with the vocabulary form would do. I wouldn't plan to start it on the first day, or even the first week, of school but this is something I really want to try to incorporate because I think it is valuable.
So weigh in first grade teachers. Am I in over my head and crazy or is this something that *is* doable with the small guys?