Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Week!

Isn't the first week always the longest? It's so fun to meet my adorable batch of new firsties, but oh. my. goodness. It is a long week! Just a few short months ago I was rolling with my students, routines and procedures second nature, reading and writing like crazy... I have to remind myself to put on the breaks and slow it down big time this week. I always think of the first week as super exciting but also a little dull. Anyone out there agree? There are so many routines, procedures, rules, and little bits and bobs here and there to teach your new group. I don't know about you, but I just want to jump in and start teaching! We do mix in some fun for the kiddos so they don't get too overloaded.

Here are a few of the activities we do during the first week to shake it up a bit:
  • Friend Search: click on the picture to download
clip art by melonheadz, scrappindoodles, graphic factory, and KPM doodles. Font by Miss Tina; frame by sweetpickles
  • Morning message: I write a short morning message with a few letters left out. The kids love to help me add in the correct letters. The names are glued on after we read the message. I have them color their names for morning work. It's nice to have an easy thing for them to do for morning work that requires little to no explanation. 
  • Skittles math: using skittles to introduce math in "real life" (sorting skittles, adding skittles, greatest, least, problem solving). I go really slow with this one! I sort out the skittles ahead of time and put in little snack pack ziplock bags. 


click on the picture to download. 
  • Birthday Graph: The kids put their name and date of their birthday on their cake and then put it on the correct month.


clip art by scrappindoodles, thistlegirldesigns, and melonheadz

You can get the month cards and graph HERE if you want to make your own birthday graph.

  • Wemberly Worried: Classic, right? There are so many fabulous first day books out there, but this will always be a favorite. (Plus it's a great introduction to our author study on Kevin Henkes.) After reading this story, we make our first text to self connection by talking about how we feel on the first day. They all drew pictures of their adorable little faces to add to this graph. I can't for the life of me remember where I saw this idea. If you know, please tell me so I can link to that blog.
Sorry it's so fuzzy. Want to help me convince my husband I NEED a new camera? :)

I'll be doing Kevin Henkes for the next week so check back for some more freebies!

Here is a post about read-alouds for back to school week:

Click HERE for this post.

If you're looking for printables and reading passages for the beginning of the year, click HERE.


  1. cute stuff! Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to do the birthday graph with my kids! I may add this in to my plans for this week!


  3. Kevin Henkes rocks! We like to use Wemberly with our illustration techniques study, well anything Henkes, really. Looking forward to seeing what you do!

    Growing Firsties

  4. Super cute. I love the find a friend activity.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  5. Sounds like you had a great week...I agree with all the routine and dullness..our mornings were passing so slow until we finally started guided reading this week. Now everything is in place and we can teach! :)


  6. Thanks for sharing! These freebies are great! I totally agree.... the first week is so boring with all the procedures and routines that you don't actually get to teach anything yet! Soon we will get into the meat of things, though! :)

    First Grade Garden

  7. Thanks for sharing! I'm going to definitely use these. I love the birthday graph.

    Papers, Pencils and Books, Oh My!

  8. Love you ideas. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm your newest follower & would love for you to stop by sometime :)

    First Grade Fairytales

  9. I love all your ideas Sarah! I'm pinning and printing them all.
    Also love the sweet family pic in your last post:)

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

  10. Thank you! These are wonderful! I really appreciate you sharing.

  11. I try downloading the birthday calendar but the webpage is causing the internet to stop working and reload the tab! Any advice?

  12. What website can you create the bubble letter names? I've looked everywhere!!

  13. Thanks for the Wemberly Worried bar graph idea! That book is great and is out on display for our first day on Friday! I also want to use your very simple "Find A Friend" worksheet!

  14. Thank you for sharing!