Sunday, September 1, 2013

We Survived the First FULL Week of First Grade!

Whew!  What a week!  There really is no tired like back to school tired!  Aaaand I had a constant migraine from Monday through Friday, blahhh.  So, needless to say, with an ice pack covering my face, I passed out pretty early Friday night.  I'm feeling 110% better now, so let's do a lil recap of the first full week in first grade.  It was full of learning and practicing procedures, reviewing our classroom rules (which the lils helped me make), and reviewing our letters and their sounds and our numbers and number words.  Also, since my group of 22 were rockin' it, I decided to start Writer's Workshop already!  They LOVE it and are doing so well, for the most part.  There are always a few who need a little extra support at first, and that is a-okay!  We'll get there.  :)  I introduced centers as well.  About half of my group did center learning last year and were familiar with it, so that helped A LOT!  But I must say, for our first go at centers, it went pretty darn well!  They needed a lot of help and re-explanation of directions the first few rotations, but by the last two rotations, I was barely needed.  Unfortunately, we were so engrossed in center time (and our bell system wasn't working) that we (I) lost track of time.  Before I knew it our new music teacher was at the door ready for his class, and we hadn't even had our morning bathroom break or snack!! AHH!  Luckily, he was cool with us taking the first few minutes of his class to use the bathroom and eat a quick pretzel stick!  :)  So anyways, in all of the craziness of our first center time, I some how found a few moments to snap some pics to show you.

We began by reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and putting the letters on the coconut tree as we said their sounds.

Here is the Fishy Bubbles game where we matched the lowercase fish with their matching uppercase letters in the bubbles in the aquarium.  I linked the site where I got the game freebie, but no matter how hard I searched, I could not find the blog entry link where I got it from.  Maybe you will have better luck.  DeAnne is an amazing blogger (the second blog I ever found!) and she always has excellent freebies.  :)

Here is an ABC order center from the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activity pack.  Out of all five centers, this was the most difficult and required the majority of my attention.  However, once I did one or two examples with each small group of students, they were able to do it on their own (for the most part ;)).

Here is another Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activity.  The kids had to find the letter and circle its color, which made for a nice lil color word review as well!  Mwahaha so sneaky!  ;)

For this Chicka Chicka Boom Boom center, the kiddos picked a card out of the basket and had to record the letter that came after the letter shown on the card.

This Chicka Chicka Boom Boom center is very similar to the one above, but the cards are different.  The kids chose a letter card out of the basket and wrote the letter that comes after it on their worksheets.

Some groups finished their center work faster than others, so in the meantime, I had them spell words with magnetic letters....

 ... and Scrabble letter tiles.  I raid our school's flea market every year just to find Scrabble games so that I can use the letter tiles.  :)

This week we also did some writing activities.  The book on the left is from an idea found on Pinterest.  First, we read No, David! and discussed all of the things David was doing wrong.  Then, we reviewed our classroom rules and made a Yes, David! book where David followed our rules.  The book on the right (which I cannot find the link for at the moment, sorry!) helped us to get to know each other better.  The front side of the page had the students fill in clues about themselves and the back side of the page had the students write their names and draw a picture of themselves.  After everyone turned in their pages, we went through the book as a class to guess who was who.  Some they knew right away, and others were a bit more tricky.

On top of all this, we did some other projects (busy busy!).  To go along with Kerri B's Amazing Alphabet Activities pack, we decided to spell our names with pictures that began with the same letters as those in our names.  I was pretty impressed with their creativity.  For those who needed some inspiration, I put up the alphabet cards on my document camera, which showed up on the SmartBoard.  So blessed to have these tools to use, and trust me, I use them EVERY day.  Here are the products of our Name Mystery Codes...

My example... I'll have to make a new one for next year ;)

Can you guess whose name this spells?

Were you right?!

And last but not least, I had each student choose a letter tile from our magic hat.  They were given a large bubble letter of the letter they chose.  They were instructed to fill their letters with drawings, magazine pictures, and/or clip art of pictures that began with the letter they chose.  They also had to label everything that went on their letter.  These turned out awesome too!
Here are some up close and personal

Okay, so thanks for sticking with me all the way to the bottom of this long post!  I'm off to watch a movie with the fiancee and enjoy the fact that tomorrow is Labor Day!  Enjoy the day off all you fellow teachers and anyone else who has tomorrow off! :)  I will be spending it doing grad school homework, but at least I can sleep in (I love my sleep!).  Okay, goodnight!!

Samantha :)

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