Well, we made it! Week one is officially in the books and I am thrilled with how things are going so far. There were a few moments of panic before school started up again on Tuesday. Mostly it was a lot of wondering if I remember how to get 20 six year olds excited about school and interested in coming back the next day. My panic slowly settled as the week went on and we are finally starting to get the ball running in first grade. I have a great group of kids and I’m excited to see how this year goes!
Because there’s no tired like teacher tired at the beginning of the year I’m just now getting my thoughts together to join Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I know, it’s Sunday but let’s call it Five for Friday on Sunday Funday?! I think that it’s acceptable after the first week of first grade, don’t you?! Here’s a quick snapshot of my week.
But first, let me take a selfie…
First day of first grade! Year 5 let’s do this. Have I mentioned how terrible of a selfie taker I am?! I have lots to learn!
VISUAL SCHEDULES ARE OUR FRIENDS
Teaching in an inclusion class has taught me so much over the past two years. I now realize how important it is for my students to have a clear game plan for the day and an understanding of what’s ahead for them. One of the first things we discussed this week was our visual schedule and how we can use it throughout the day. My firsties quickly picked up on how to follow along with the day’s activities and when they could expect lunch, recess, specials, and snack. Can I get an amen?! No more “Mrs. Yannuzzi, when are we going home?????” All I have to say is, check the schedule sweetie! Phew!
If you’re interested in implementing schedules in your classroom, you can check these out in my TpT store by clicking on the picture below.
WORD STUDY INTRODUCTION, SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
This year, my grade level is implementing a huge change to our phonics instruction. Instead of teaching one phonics pattern a week whole group, we are implementing a word study program based on Words Their Way. I am beyond thrilled to be able to use this kind of instruction to meet the needs of all my learners. This week we started to implement our word study schedules sloooowww and steady!
We started by introducing the word sort as a whole group on Tuesday (meet with the teacher). Then, on Wednesday we cut and sorted our beginning consonant cards as a whole group (cut and sort). On Thursday, we sorted our cards again three times each, learned how to have a partner check our sort, and then glued it on the paper (sort and paste). On Friday, we did our first word hunt for beginning consonant b and m words with baskets of books at our tables. My kids did an awesome job! We gave them their word study folders, schedules, and notebooks and they were stoked. I’ll share pictures in action as we continue with it.
This week, we’ll be giving the spelling inventory while continuing beginning consonant sorts as a whole class. Once we analyze the data, we can group them based on their phonics needs. I can’t wait!
Each first grade class is using my student schedules from my word study packet to get us started. We’re all using the first schedule on the top that begins with Meet With Teacher to get us started until we’re ready to split up into different groups.
GO NOODLE, OF COURSE!
It wouldn’t be a successful first week of first grade without multiple viewings from Go Noodle. We hit the ground running with this awesome classroom management tool on the very first day by sharing my personal favorite, Pop See Ko. A big hats off to our kindergarten teachers because my kids are already Go Noodle extraordinares.
KIM SUTTON TO THE RESCUE
I have to give a big shoutout to the always inspiring Kelley Dolling from Teacher Idea Factory for this one. She has talked about Kim Sutton’s Math Drills That Thrill for a while now and I knew it would be a great fit for my kiddos. I ordered her book and cd at the end of August and couldn’t wait to use it with my firsties. We used her random number CD and matching printables to write numbers that we hear in the songs and played another game to color in balloons of numbers that we’ve heard. If you’re looking for a fun way to review number skills and other mathematical concepts to music, check out Kim Sutton’s website here!
LAUNCHING WRITING WORKSHOP-EVERYONE IS A WRITER!
We didn’t waste anytime this week with launching writing workshop. Our first few days were spent as an introduction into the procedures and language that they will hear throughout the year. We read Rocket Writes A Story and Ralph Tells A Story to get us in the mindset that everyone can write something true that has happened to them. I shared some of my own writing after they promised to not make fun of me! And we started sketching and writing about our own stories. It was a lot of praising the students, “Wow Gabriella I’m so proud of how you sketched a picture of your dad dropping you off at school! Way to go!” “Writers! Watch Gio, he’s going to our writing center to get more paper because he knows that once you’re done you’ve just begun!”
Next week we’ll really launch into our first unit of writing workshop, small moments, and I can’t wait to share the work we do. My writers are already excited about all of the different stories they can share, even if we have a lot of work ahead of us!
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading about our first week in first grade. It was definitely exhausting by exciting all the same!
I hope you all had a great week!
We use the Words Their Way program as well. You'll love it. It's such a great way to differentiate your Spelling/Phonics instruction. I love your visual schedules – so friendly for your non-readers! Thank you for sharing your week with us!
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Love your schedule cards! Thanks for sharing!