Digging Into The Beginning of the School Year

Happy 4th of July weekend!  I am hoping that you all are having better weather than we are on the New England coast – what’s left of Hurricane Arthur is moving its way through and putting a cramp in my beach weekend.  Don’t feel too bad for me though, my parents are here all summer, so I will be back for more sun soon! ;)

This week I will be chatting with you about the beginning of the year.  My first two weeks of school is all about getting to know each other and teaching routines.  I will share with you a product that I am working on (getting to know you activities for the whole year) and I have some favorites that are from some BIG TIME sellers. 

So what is working…

I always start off the year with some guided discoveries of pencils, markers, crayons, glue sticks, colored pencils, etc – basically everything the kids will be using all year.  Each material gets its own chunk of time. 

To start we talk about what the material is (pencil), where it lives (10 pencils per table bucket), how to take care of it(don’t put it in your mouth, don’t play with the erasers), and really anything else that I think they need to know (I sharpen pencils, not kiddos).  Then we talk about what we can do with it (write letters, draw pictures, scribble, shade).  Then I give the kids this paper and they try it out.

Finally, I use a getting to know you activity to have the kids practice using the material in a classroom sense.  This is the one we did together this year…

This is from one of my FAVORITE packs for back to school by Babbling Abby – check out the links below!

I also started using READY CONFETTI – which was some of my firsties FAVORITE thing about this year (and the parents LOVED it too!).  Read my blog post about it HERE!
What do I want to change…

I do LOVE the guided discovery of each material, but I want to find a way to review the rules of each material.  I find sometimes there is too much talking and kids lose some of what I am saying.  Then I end up repeating directions 4001 times!

OK- SO I was NOT a seller at the beginning of the year last year!  (I know GASP!)  However, I was a TPT shopper and I have some favorite back to school packs.

Check them out:

Fun with Firsties by Babbling Abby

Back to School Math and Literacy Fun by Deanna Jump

Thanks for stopping by as always – I hope this has given you some great ideas of how you may want to start off your year.  Keep hopping through the other blogs up this week – There are so many great ideas in this week’s blogs.  And of course don’t forget to join us next week when we talk about writing!

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