Sunday, August 11, 2013

1st Day of School Tips Linky Party!

Fun in First is having a Linky Party!

Jodi shared how this is her 12th year teaching and she still gets nervous...I'm glad to hear that because this is my 6th year teaching and I am a nervous wreck (not to mention going to be nine months pregnant, due any moment)!

The first days of school are where the most hard work comes in.  Routines and rituals are critical to teach; without them your classroom may be hard to manage.  One of the first things I do in the school day is teach my students how to unpack for the school day, sign in on our flipchart and then proceed to their desk for morning work.  This will be key to start each day off on the right track!

The next thing I do is go through the classroom for a mini-field trip.  I explain each bulletin board, each item around the room and let my students know that this is their classroom too.  I talk about how they should be taking care of things around the room and then segue into introducing their...


What student doesn't love a job in their classroom?!?!  It makes them feel important, special and purposeful.  Jobs are rotated once a week in my classroom (I do this Friday afternoons after the last student has left for the day).  I have my students in alphabetical order and just move them one place to the right.  The person at the end goes back to the beginning of the job order.  Monday mornings, during our Morning Meeting, students say "good morning" to their neighbor during our greeting and share, "My job for this week is _____."

I call my classroom job bulletin board "The Job Spot."  I used to have a Frog theme and that was called "Let's Hop to It!"  It really doesn't matter what the board is called just so long as you are able to display the job and the student names.

I don't know if you can see it...the yellow board was my job leap pad "Let's Hop To It" job board.  I'm also thrilled that my classroom looks completely different now!!!!

I redid my job board last summer when I found out I was moving back to first grade.  I realized that my students in second grade sometimes struggled with reading their job and I definitely remember that happening when I taught first grade my first year teaching.  Rather than having to get up and down a million times during our Monday morning meeting, I decided that it would be best to recreate my board to include a pictorial representation of the job.  This worked beautifully this past school year!  I will be keeping my job board the same this school year and I am excited to share with my new first graders!  You can find the job bulletin board pieces in my TpT store.  I looked through all of my photo albums and files and I guess I did not take a picture of it on my wall last year.  That's definitely on my to-do list this year!

Something else that I do with my students is go over how to sit in their desks the correct way and how to transition to the carpet or to a line.  I have also always done a class pact (class rules) with my students during the first day where they sign their names...this year we are starting PBIS and while they won't be creating a new pact with me, we will be going over the school-wide expectations.  I am on the PBIS committee and am very excited to introduce this to the class!

The first day is exhilarating and exhausting.  I want to start my students off on the right foot and I think that by doing some of the above, we can accomplish ANYTHING this school year!


  1. I just started a blog today, but have no idea how to add all of the fun fonts and clip arts. A friend of mine has been doing it for about a year and loves it. Good luck to you!

  2. Also, where do you get your fonts from? Love it!

  3. Mrs. Simon,

    Good luck with your new blog! I just used the fonts available in Blogger for now. That's where they are from, under the layout and advanced tabs. Good luck!