Believe it or not, the first week of school is just around the corner. Do you have your lesson plans ready? There are so many things that need to be done that it’s easy to leave lesson planning until the last minute. Several years ago, I created a set of go-to plans that are easy to rearrange (because every first week is always different!). Take a look…
First Week of School: Beginning of the Day
As you can see, we start the day off with Morning Work, Morning Meeting, and Read Aloud. Check out my Planning for the First Week post to find out the details of these activities.
During the first week school, we spend a lot of time reviewing our class rules and expectations. I like to have them color or draw a page for each rule.
Sometimes, I will use the booklet form of these rules. It depends on how many other papers need to be sent home.
First Week: Midday
During what will eventually be my writing block, I use this time for “Getting to Know Us” activities. These worksheets are also part of my Back to School Activities and Assessments packet. Here are a few…
I always start my Rotations in the first week. However, I keep it very simple. It’s more about learning the procedures than practicing new concepts. I will explain my Rotation time in another post coming soon!
After Rotation practice, we jump into Lunch and Recess. I usually try to read a chapter before and after as this makes for a smoother transition. Here are some of my favorite chapter books…
- Any Junie B. Jones book by Barbara Park (I always start the year with Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus HOWEVER…I change the “stupid” to “silly” because I am trying to stop my students from saying “stupid”)
- Any Magic Tree House book by Mary Pope Osbourne book
- The Dragon Masters by Tracey West. I’ll let you in on a secret…these book are my secret weapon. Every class I have taught has been fascinated by this series, both girls and boys.
After lunch and recess, we will do some fine motor practice from my Back to School Activities and Assessments packet. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the kiddos will have an added step when they put the shapes in size order. I have them glue the shapes on a sentence strip or strip of construction paper.
First Week: End of Day
After Specials, we concentrate on Math-related topics. For the first week, we will have Calendar & Weather first. For the first week, I have them sing a days of the week song as well as months of the year. We talk about the month and how to write and say the date, including year. We then discuss the weather and what it’s like at this time of the year. We might introduce Seasons as well. Each week we will add new activities such as the hundreds chart, tally marks, weather graphing, etc. until we have a 15 to 20 minute unit.
When we complete Calendar & Weather, we begin learning and practicing counting strategies. I give each student a white board and different counters (the whiteboard acts as a specific space to “corral” the counters. Otherwise, they wind up all over the place). In my classroom, we use mini-erasers that I have collected over the years. I find them at the Target dollar spot at different times of the years so I have ones for Christmas, Halloween, Back to School as well as other holidays. Together, we practice one of the strategies. I begin by modeling on the Promethean Board, then have them practice on their own whiteboards.
On Wednesday, I reveal the Number of the Week. Near my Calendar & Weather station, I display the number as well as different ways to subitize it. Here is an example:
(The numbers and labels come from my Number Posters & More packet available at my TPT store)
Finally, the students will work on number recognition and counting worksheets. Here are examples to give you an idea:
Well, that’s it. All these activities are flexible. To tell you the truth, I probably will not get through every activity this week but that is the greatness of this plan…I can rearrange, edit, or postpone any activity to suit the needs of this particular year and class. I hope you find some inspiration here to help you with your first week of school.