Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting to Know You

There are two days until the first day of school. My how the summer has flown by! But I am so ready. Not quite ready for the big reveal of my completely redone, revamped, and refurbished room...maybe tomorrow.

Seeing as I have 2 days, I thought I might need to start planning my first day of school:) I, of course, spend time teaching the rules, going over rituals and routines, and modeling procedures. We act out appropriate and inappropriate behavior. We practice coming in to the classroom correctly and leaving properly. We will even have a mock fire and tornado drill.

All of these things are important. However, I also like to have a little fun and provide some inspiration. Therefore, there are 2 activities that I always do on the first day of school:

1. I play the M&M game.

Each child gets a pack of M&M's. They separate out their favorite color from the bunch. They are allowed to eat the other M&M's but not the ones that are their favorite color. For instance, if they choose blue, they eat everything but the blue ones. Then we go around the room and for each M&M they have that is their favorite color they have to tell that many things about themselves. For example: If they have 4 blue, they tell 4 things. This is a great way to learn some basic information, find out what kinds of things are important to each student, and you will get extra points for letting them eat candy!

2. I always read Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

This is the last activity of each of my classes on the first day of school, and it is so inspirational. As I read we talk about the meanings of choices and plans, and how there will be times when things are great and times when they are so low that you feel you will never get up. I still get chills every time I read it. I want my students to leave my room feeling inspired about their new year, and feeling like they can accomplish anything. It is also the last thing we do for the school year. We perform it as a reader's theater at our end of the year program.

What are your first day of school traditions? Have you found any new things on blogs or Pinterest that you plan on adding in this year? Do share!!

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