Sunday, September 6, 2015

First Week Snapshots

There is something magical about the first week of school. Even after all of these years, the excitement still feels the same. The smell of new books. The fresh boxes of crayons. The shiny new glue sticks. I love it all. 

Click image for BLOOM Bulletin Board FREEBIE!

Setting the stage for a new school year is so much fun to me. Every single item in my classroom is carefully placed and has a very specific purpose. Structure is the name of the game, but it is all wrapped up in a colorful package. 


Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it is all a reality. I really have a career as a teacher. I really manage this classroom. I really have the opportunity to shape lives and make an impact on my community and the world. Truly, it is an honor and a privilege to walk in these shoes. 


My new crop arrived with much gusto this year. Each one so unique and special in his or her own little way. Each one filled with the kind of spirit that comes with eight years of experience at life. Each one ready to teach me some kind of lesson. 

Click image for a link to FREEBIE by Doris Young

Well, the paper bag books are underway.

Click image for link to paper bag books

The "getting to know you" games have been played.


And the buckets are already starting to fill.

Click image for link to book by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer

Important lessons about fairness and equality have been taught. My students learned that "fair" is not always "equal" and that everyone gets what they need in my class, even if it is different. I'm going to need a lot of those blocks this school year.

Click image for a link to picture

We wrote name poems. Everyone learned about the meaning of their name. We shared our needs and fears and loves. We celebrated the things that make us individuals.


We also spent some time preparing for parent night. This paper is folded and the back has a quiz for parents to take as they wait for my parent night presentation to get started. I wonder how many parents will be able to resist the temptation to flip the quiz over while they make guesses about their child's favorites. They always get a good chuckle out of this parent night quiz.

Click image for link to FREEBIE by Rachel Lynette

One of my favorite team-building activities for the first week of school is this cooperative group craft. With very little direction (intentionally), I lay out the materials and show my students a sample. They must work together to problem solve and assemble the parts. I learn volumes about my students while observing their approach to this activity. I discover my leaders and my thinkers. I find out about learning styles and motor skills. I get a taste of personalities and cooperative abilities.


The finished "icosahedrons" also look fabulous hanging from the ceiling in my classroom. The Astrobrights paper sure does give my classroom an added pop of color! Kudos to you if you can pronounce the name of a polyhedron with 20 faces. :-)


I am a little bit sad to say goodbye to the first week of school. I enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes with this first week. Now I am off to plan for the second week of school, when curriculum comes into play and freedom slowly dissipates.

I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend! Whether you are farther into your school year or just getting ready to jump in next week, treat yourself to something special today. You deserve it. :-)

2 comments:

  1. Your paper bag books are adorable. I just added them to my wish list.

    Kim

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  2. I love making the icosahedrons as a group activity!

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