Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Day of School Tips With a Freebie to Help Implement!

There is so  much to explain and go over the first few days of school, you NEED to be able to get your students' attention quickly and this is the best way I've found how to do just that....its kind of like a NO FAIL management technique because the students LOVE to do it as much as I love the results. 
You have to show them how to do a monkey face:
  • they need to pull their ears out (not off like my boy above seems to be doing!)
  • and blow their cheeks out like a "quiet" monkey (I know it's hard to believe, but these little monkeys WILL, without a doubt, try to make monkey sounds with their lips closed tight)The "Monkey Face" makes them stop touching anything AND makes them stop talking, so it is a must-do for any primary grade teacher, especially in the first few days.  I also use it to walk down the halls for the first few weeks, until it is engrained in their brain that we walk down the hall quietly and without rubbing the walls (uh, gross).

One of my other favorite tips to begin the year is the use of stop signs for stopping points in the hallways.  My school is really big, so all of our specials are quite a walking distance, so I put stop signs at different points along the way.  The line leader needs to stop there so we can regroup, make sure everyone is with us and prepare to embark to the next stop sign.  I shared my stop signs a long time ago, but I am relinking them just in case you'd like to give this management technique a whirl as school gets back in session!  It really helps with getaway lines, gaps in the lines, and any other malfunction that could possibly go wrong in a line (ha ha--now that could be an endless list!)
My last tip for the day is to OVER PLAN your first few days.  You can never have enough stuff for them to do and will probably never get to all of it..but, not knowing your incoming students, you are making plans that may not work for this particular group and you need to be sure to have a back up plan ready to go at all times.
Going back to school can be overwhelming for even the most experienced teacher.  Every year, I fret over making the first day memorable, successful, as well as exciting for the children.  I have found what works perfectly for me and put them neatly into a kit for new first grade teachers whose plates are overfull or for veteran teachers who want to get out of the rut of doing the same thing over and over each year right here.  EVERYTHING you need is packed neatly into this kit of lesson plans that will allow you to put your energy elsewhere and RELAX because your first day is planned!  It includes individual work, whole group lessons, hands on activities AND simple, baseline assessments all related to first day of school books I recommend(but can certainly be done without these particular books!).  I want to give this gift to exasperated teachers who deserve to spend time focussing on jsetting up their classrooms, getting familiar with their curriculum and getting to know their new students rather than planning meaningful, academic activities...Relax and consider it done! And, honestly, you will find that by thte time you add your must dos and setting up your expectations, these plans will get you through WAY more than your first day.  It includes:
*reading lesson and follow up activities
*writing lesson and follow up activities
*math lesson and follow up activities
*art activity
*extension activities
*beginning AND end of year SIMPLE baseline assessments
*Brain break ideas and activities
*bulletin board letters to create headings to display work completed from this kit
*MORE directions than you will ever need
*video links to recommended first day literature
and MORE!
This purchase will buy you more than lesson will buy you peace of mind AND time as well.  You can relax knowing that you are ready to roll with extensive first day (week!) plans all READY to GO!  I also have a set like this for kindergarten:



  1. LOVE THIS IDEA!! I can't wait to see their little monkey faces!

  2. Thanks for sharing! My classroom entrance is monkey themed, so this would be a perfect fit!

    Miss Peluso's Kindergarten

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