The First Week of School

We made it!!!  For my teacher friends who, like me, survived the first week of school: YAY YAY YAY for us!!  Thank you, Jesus, for the weekend to relax with my family–I haven’t been able to do that in a few weekends!

I had a fantastic first week with kids.  Exhausting.  But so great.  I love my class already.  Every year just gets better it seems like!

As I’m sure most of you know, the first 2 weeks of school are spent doing procedures and testing every single kiddo individually on reading levels and in math.  A week later, I have a little over half of my crew tested….phew!  So, here’s a little “mash up” of the highlights from our week when I wasn’t neck high in DRA papers!

On the first day of school we read David Goes to School and wrote rules for our classroom {Read about it HERE.}  Because the first day of school is always sooooo cRaZy busy, we waited to do our David craftivity until Friday.  And they turned out. so. cute.  I just love the individuality that comes out in the “Here’s my model, you do it and make it your own” crafts!  You can seriously see each of their little personalities in their Davids!

This David is from a co-teacher’s room.  How hilarious is this??  Spiky hair, don’t care…

You can find the lesson plans, craft instructions and writing master in my Responsibilities Unit.

In writing, we did a time capsule activity with a little *FROZEN* twist.  When we came back from lunch, we had a special visitor sitting on an ice chest awaiting our arrival!

The picture is after the fact, but I taped a note to the front of the ice chest straight from OLAF!

We opened up the ice chest and found our time capsule pages to fill out.  I had left the ice chest in the freezer at our school with the papers and OLAF in there and the kids thought it was so amazing that their papers were frozen!  The papers were still pretty cold when they got to their desk with them!  And while we were working, I had one kid say, “So THAT’S why it’s so cold in here!  OLAF made it cold in our classroom!”  I. Love. Firsties.

So, we wrote our first week memories down.  Then, my intern stamped handprints and I measured our heights with a string while the kids colored their pictures and finished up their writing.

Then, we placed our time capsules  back into the ice chest and sent OLAF back to the freezer to *freeze* our memories until the last week of school.  We will, of course, get our first week memories back out and write the last week of school memories! {Edit…read about how we used this at the end of the year HERE.}  Hands down, this is one of my favorite and most engaging activities yet!

This was so easy to do and doesn’t have to be done on the first day of school…in fact, we had too much to do on day one so we didn’t even do this until our 3rd day of school.  So, it’s not too late!  You can find my FROZEN in time packet HERE.

In math this week, we have been exploring our manipulatives.  3 out of 5 days a week are dedicated to math word problem solving {Read about it HERE} which means my babies use our math manipulatives a LOT!  So, they have to know Math Practice #5 really well….

You can find posters and I Can charts for all 8 Standards for Math Practices HERE!  Using these practices to set goals for my kids each week has changed my teaching life!  Seriously.  I don’t know why I was so scared to use them before last year!

We spent one day exploring our tools by rotating through 3 different stations of tools.  Then, we talked about the “don’ts” with our math tools.

The next day, we talked about using tools to learn math.  We brainstormed a list of things we could do with our tools for math {counting, patterns, sorting, composing and decomposing numbers…} and then we practiced using our tools for math.  Then we added a try new tools and they were to try a new tool for math.  Then we practiced using a tool of their choice to model a problem and show their thinking.

Now they will be ready when we start our math mysteries next week!

A lil’ bit of this and a lil’ bit of that this week!  But plenty of fun and engaging learning amidst the piles of assessments!

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