I have to be honest with you here...first days scare me! As in super nervous all night long/no sleep! You'd think I was a student! I'm bad! I like a nice low-key type of day, so I do my best to keep it fun and easy, while still offering my kids a little glimpse into my personality.
I made sure to have a seat ready to go for every student with their name tag visible. That way the students can come right in and feel welcomed. On their desk, I had a letter that I typed which gives explicit step-by-step instructions on what to do as soon as they sit down (this helps me to see right away who my direction followers are!), and I also had my supply checklist found here in my store! In case students finish early, I always create a word search puzzle with the students' names.
Part of the letter on their desk asks them to decorate/color their name tags. Despite the fact that they're big kids, they love doing stuff like this. It works perfect to get them started and settled while I am greeting 30 students and sometimes 30 sets of parents!
After students were settled and feeling a bit more comfortable, I pulled them to the carpet and introduce myself a bit. We then turned our conversation into our hopes and dreams for the year. This great conversation lead perfectly into the read aloud of Oh The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss.
This lovely book has got so much wear and tear because I love it SO much! Side note: You can also see my very favorite read a loud Where the Red Fern Grows. I read this book every single year and each year my students' reactions get better and better. It's a fabulous book to get your kids addicted to reading.
After reading this book, we did a simple craft with the theme: Our Future's So Bright, We Have to Wear Shades. I made sunglass trace-ables with card-stock, and students had to draw pictures inside the sunglasses to show their hopes for the future or this school year.
I so wish I would have taken more pictures because they turned out SO cute!
After this, we spent a big chunk of time modeling and practicing our classroom procedures from my Classroom Procedures to Teach pack found in my store.
We also squeezed in some fun team building/get to know you games from my Beginning of the Year Team Building/Ice Breaker Activities.
Last, we did these SUPER cute all about me self portraits! Because no first day is complete without self portraits!
These were inspired by this fabulous idea from Ms. Barbaro here. She even gives step-by-step directions for the non-artists like myself! Didn't they turn out SO cute?! They look even cuter lining the halls!
I also wanted to share two more quick pictures of my classroom decor. You can see a few more pics here. Here's a picture of my little area:
and this is a picture of my FAVORITE spot, our reading/mini-lesson area!
Pfew! I'm exhausted! I hope everyone's first days were FABULOUS and you are off to a good start with your new group of eager students!
P.S. I just posted these bad boys below! I will be back in my next blog post to show you how I use them!
I'm SO excited!!!