I'm sure a lot of you know that no matter what you plan for those first few days of Kindergarten NOTHING seems to go the way you expect! That's pretty much what happened to me. First off one of the wonderful Paras in our building wasn't assigned a "home" yet so she joined my class and what a HUGE help she was... but since I had the extra set of hands I decided I had to revamp my plans for the first half day. Usually I do a lot of activities at the tables so I can collect and organize supplies... WELL with my wonderful helper I was able to teach and do fun things all day and she amazed me by collecting, labeling AND putting away ALL of the kids supplies! Every paper towel, baby wipe, baggie, folder, notebook, etc. was either placed in their spots in the closet or into the bins for the next day! It was AMAZING!!
I broke a few of my rules that first day and didn't teach my class rules or use any real behavior management system. I haven't done anything like that since my first year of teaching, BUT the difference this time was I did it intentionally and had a plan for the next day. My first year I didn't teach any of those things because I was very overwhelmed and didn't have a good plan. Instead on the first day of school I read Miss. Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten. I LOVE this book, and so did the kids. This year they really seemed to get that I had to set up the room just like Miss. Bindergarten did in the book. We did the name tag game I mentioned a few posts back - I don't think they came out that great and I ended up using traditional name tags the second day again. While the children worked on their name tags I began to work on their portfolios that I will be trying this year. I'm super excited about them. I purchased them on Teachers Pay Teachers at the end of last year from Katie Mense... you HAVE to check them out! (Click the title of the picture below to go to her store and see what I'm talking about!)
I decided against doing a full tour of the school on the first day. Instead I just took the kids in the hallway to see where the boys bathroom was. They did a great job learning where it was and the boys were able to go by themselves to the bathroom without myself or my lovely helper having to take them. I didn't have to show the girls where the bathroom is because the girls bathroom is in our room. At the back of my room is a bathroom that joins with the class next to me. It has 3 stalls and a sink... since it has three stalls and is shared with another room we couldn't have the boys and girls share the bathroom, that could have caused some major trouble!
We also did a mini math lesson... I introduced the calendar routine, our weather routine and counting the number of days in school. We added 1 straw to our ones, tens, hundreds pocket chart and the number 1 to our 100s chart. This year I am going to build the hundreds chart by adding one number each day until we get to 100. I like this because the children will be practicing counting different ways every day. With the hundreds chart we will be counting by ones every single day until we get to the 100th day of school. With the ones, tens, hundreds pocket chart we will be counting by tens and ones (after the 10th day of school of course!).
Towards the end of the day I had my wonderful helper read First Day Jitters and I took their first day pictures. I always take a picture on the first day of school, but this year I made a really cute bulletin board AND I had the kids write their names on small white boards. The pictures came out really cute.
I have a bunch of apples that I will be writing my kids names on this weekend and adding magnets to, YUP, this board is magnetic!!! I will probably take another picture of each kid without the board in front of them to use for my attendance cards. I am hoping to get some leaves, snowflakes, flowers and who knows what else to use to decorate this tree each month. I may and that's a BIG may put the number of days in school up there once a month and take a picture of each kid... its a good thought, but who knows if I'll remember to do it each month. I'm going to try really hard though!
By the time we finished the book and taking pictures it was time to go home. The kids had a GREAT day and so did I!!! Now the only problem is how tired I am.... I have to get used to these crazy hours again!
Before I go for the night I wanted to share the winner from my Clipboard giveaway!
Congratulations Kerri! Let me know what theme/style clipboard you want!!