Saturday, August 30, 2014

We Survived the First Week!!

We made it! 
We survived the 1st week!! 

I'm not sure how you are feeling, but I have a hunch I'm not the only one feeling a little bit like this guy: 
Teachers Be Like "I'm just gonna wait til it's quiet..." - Willy Wonka Arts Skeleton - quickmeme
Looping with your class is a WONDERFUL experience. For real- wouldn't change it for the world. BUT the talking. Oh, the talking. 

Moving on...

Because of the craziness with our first week schedule (full day Monday- followed by 3 half days for assessments- and another full day Friday), it was difficult to get to hardly any of the amazing lessons I was hoping to do with my kids. Oh well. 
We laughed, we played, we sang, we go-noodled, we read, we wrote... 
...and LOVED our first week!

We were so busy that this teacher forgot to take pictures of everything, but here are some highlights!

Our 3 Back to School Read Alouds: 

  I love all three of these books!! You're Finally Here is probably my #1! It's hilariously adorable and the kids CRACK UP. Of course we love Recess Queen to teach kids how to include everyone on the playground. And I'll talk more about First Grade Stinks a little later :) 

Our Favorite First Week Activities:
Because I looped with my class- 90% of them already know each other- REALLY WELL (hence all of the talking!) But we do have some newbies that joined our little family. We spent some time partnering up sharing our Summer adventures and later practiced our interviewing skills before we did a REAL interview with a new friend :) 
"Hello, Sir- what's your favorite color??" 
Our first experience with Interactive Notebooks- YEA!!

Babbling Abby's Fun With Firsties pack is one of the BEST!! Seriously. A must have.
Fun with Firsties! {Back to School for First Grade}
We were able to fit in 2 Find a Friend activities. Find a Friend, (or Find Someone Who) is a huge class favorite! We use it so much in our room, usually as a formative assessment. 
Read more about how we use it here

Also in Abby's pack is a fun activity to go with the book First Grade Stinks
I love this book so much. It's great for kids that are wondering if First Grade is going to be as fun as Kindergarten... or maybe they are thinking it will be TOTALLY different..?
We used Abby's double bubble idea to compare First Grade and Kindergarten. I particularly love this activity for my class since we looped together from Kinder. This visual helped us see that there are SOME things that will stay the same-(we will still read, write, and have fun in math) but in First Grade, my students are held to higher expectations than they were in Kinder. 

I loved seeing the
 "Oh yea! I'm going to ROCK First Grade, Mrs. Saxon
on their little faces. 
They are totally up for the challenge! #letsdothis

I am big on teaching my kids a classroom climate of respect. I loved the Magic Triads my firsties made when we discussed and reviewed the 3 things that help make up a great classroom community: Kind Touch, Kind Word, and a Smile. 

Let's talk a little about Writer's Workshop. It's my favorite. I mean...FAVORITE part of our day! My personal preference of a WW structure is Lucy Calkins. Her series SAVED me when I first taught Kindergarten 4 years ago. Her lessons clearly lay everything out for you, and we are usually able to hit the ground running DAY 1 of school if we wanted to.

This week for Writer's Workshop I had many plans to start my Lucy lessons, but time was simply just getting away from us. However , I was able to introduce Heart Maps.! I originally saw Heart Maps on Cara Carroll's blog and loved them! 
Am I the only one who dreams to have her artistic skills??...AND her adorable handwriting?? Totally unfair.
I knew that I wanted to have my kids create their own Heart Maps before we truly dive into Lucy Calkins next week. After showing them an example of my heart map, they were able to create their own with the template that I gave them! 
My little writers did SUCH a good job! I can't wait for them to use these adorable maps throughout the year! It will totally help with the...
"But I don't knoooow what I want to write aboooooout"
If you would like to have your kiddos create their own heart maps- click on the pic below to grab one from my store! :) 

Well I think that's everything in a quick little nutshell. I'm looking forward to a normal schedule next week with no half days. I've got some BIG plans :) For now, this teacher is ready to catch up on sleep and relax on her 3 day weekend. Hope everyone else had a wonderful first week back!  


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