Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day Fun!

Okay, so today was not actually the first day of school.  It was last week, when my blog was still in creation mode.  However, I did write this post on that day, when all those crazy awesome first-day thoughts were still fresh in my mind.  Here goes…

Year 3, Day 1 of first grade today, and I was the usual mess of first-day emotions this morning: excited, anxious, nervous, and really, really sleepy.  Thank goodness for my vanilla coffee with sweet cream creamer. J  (Yes, I have a serious sweet tooth.)  I always manage to forget how tiring brand-new firsties are!  PHEW, what a whirlwind!  Thankfully, I had no criers, no pukers, and no lost children.  What I had was 20 kiddos - 12 girls and 8 boys - who were super excited to be at school, and I know this because they talked about it ALL day, non-stop. :)  I love this lively bunch, but my goodness, do we need to work on listening when others are speaking!  I had fully intended on taking pictures all throughout the day to capture our special activities, but realized at 2:00 that I had yet to take a single one … Anyhow, here are the highlights of our special “first day agenda"…

After the wild hustle-bustle of arrival, introductions, and all that fun stuff, we read First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg.  This one's about a teacher who feels nervous about coming to school on the first day.  Very cute!  (And my kids just could not believe that a teacher would be nervous, lol.)  After the story, I shared Babbling Abby’s Jitter Juice poem and drink with the class.  I just mixed Sprite and Hawaiian Punch, but my teacher friend across the hall put lemonade in one of those large beverage dispensers beforehand and showed the kids how she added food coloring – the “special ingredient” - to make their jitters disappear.  Brilliant!  But, I guess my way was sufficient, because afterward, I only had one little boy share that he still had "a bit of jitters!" ;)


The other piece of Abby’s Fun with Firsties packet that we did together was the “First Graders” tree map about what first graders can, have, and are.  We did it together on the Smart Board, and then I printed out copies for the kids to take home and share with their families.  This activity was fun, engaging, and short & sweet. J  Here is what my kiddos added to the map:

Next, I taught the class our first few Brain Breaks and Attention Grabbers.  Those were a hit, as I expected!  The brain breaks are totally necessary, for the kids (AND me) every 20 - 30 minutes.  Our favorite attention grabber so far is "Macaroni and Cheese...Everybody Freeze!"  Thanks, 3rd Grade Thoughts and Miss Nelson!

In the afternoon, the class and I spent way too much time discussing classroom and school procedures, of course.  This always feels a little tiresome to me (are they even going to remember any of it?), but it must be done!  One of the most important discussions we had was the creation of our our Classroom Pledge and the introduction to Reminder Cards.  The kids signed this poster, pledging to follow our rules.

               The Reminder Card set can be purchased from my TpT store here. 

We ended the day with a few ice breakers and a check-in about how the kids felt about first grade so far.  One little guy exclaimed, "First grade is not at all like I thought it would be!  I just thought I'd be sitting here doing boring work all day!!"  I was glad to squash those thoughts.  First grade is anything but boring!

I must say, I’m glad Day 1 is over… and I hope they remember at least a bit of it on Day 2. J I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little overwhelmed (and wish for my lazy summer days) at some point today, BUT, as I was driving home reflecting on our day, I caught myself constantly smiling … and that’s all I can hope for.  We’re going to have a good year. J



  1. This is a great post and I know it only captures some of the business that happens in EVERY 1st grade class! My kiddos love the Attention Grabber Tootsie Roll, Lollipop, We are talking-Now we'll stop. =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. If you get the chance, I would love for you to hop over and visit me. =)

    Heather's Heart

  2. Hi Heather! I absolutely love that attention grabber - I'm definitely adding it to my list! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I will be sure to check your's out!