Monday, July 25, 2011


Last night, my family had a surprise celebration for me, since it's taken me 4 years to finally secure a public school job.  Of course, everyone there was asking me millions of questions about my classroom.

"When do can you go decorate?"
"How many kids will you have?"
"What are they going to do the first day?"
"How in God's name to you teach a kid how to read?"
"What if one of them throw's up?"

and my personal favorite...

"You can't even keep your laundry organized, how are you going to manage 27 kids?"

Anxiety ensued.  Of course, in my head, I have the answers to these questions.  But not being able to physically go to the school, get in the classroom to see what is there so I can go get the stuff I want, and not knowing any of the children is really making me anxious!  Thus, I have officially had my first (of many, if my wedding was any indication of the sheer cruelty my mind is capable of when in deep REM) Back-to-School nightmares.

This is why I am reaching out to ya'll- Do any of you veteran teachers have any suggestions for me as a brand new teacher? What can I do to prepare for my classroom without ever having stepped foot in it?  I've already categorized my library by subject because I want to get used to the age group before I label them by difficulty.  I'm hoping that if I keep myself busy with 1st grade tasks, I wont drive myself CRAZY!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Favorite 1st day of school activity

First Day of School linky party!  I'm joining Jodi at Fun in First in sharing my favorite first day of school activity!! Since this is my first year in FIRST GRADE!, I'm hoping that these Pre-K lessons will transfer.

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse
So my FAVORITE first day of school activity (so far!) has been to do Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes.  Since I do Morning Meeting in my classroom, it really helps to introduce how to share properly, how to be polite when someone else is speaking, and most importantly how to respect everyone's objects and ideas!  We start off by reading the book, and I point out the elements of Morning Meeting that are in the story. Afterwards, I have each child decorate a paper bag with a variety of purple art supplies.  That night, the children take their bags home and return to school with an object that is special to them.  Throughout the first few days of school, we share these special objects at morning meeting. Not only do I get to know each child better, but the children learn to share, respect, speak publicly, and take turns!

I'm hoping that my first week will allow me to do a Kevin Henke's author study, because another activity that I do the first week of school is Chrysanthemum.  There are lots of great activities out there for this book, but one lesson that my students responded very well to was this lesson:
After reading the book, each child decorated a beautiful flower petal with bright colors, and an ugly, dead flower petal with brown paint.  We then made a chrysanthemum of compliments- on the pretty petals, we brainstormed and recorded nice things to say to friends.  On the brown petals, we wrote down things that we can do or say to friends that make them sad.  It was a good visual for the kids, and this lesson really stuck with them throughout the year!!

I'm really excited about my FIRST YEAR OF 1st GRADE!!!!   Any comments/suggestions are VERY welcome! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What have I gotten myself into!

It took FOUR years out of college for me to get a public school teaching job, and I am so excited!! I've been teaching Pre-K in a private school since I graduated college, and am so THRILLED to finally be in the elementary schools.  As I've been researching, I've come across some awesome blogs and decided that I should start one, too, because I'm sure I'll need all the help I can get!