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First Week Down…and I am EXHAUSTED!

The first week of school is just soooo exhausting!  The teachers officially started last Friday.  Our school corporation always has a Back to School Teacher Rally.  Every employee of the school corporation meets at one of the high school gyms for our rally.  This year, I had the honor of giving a speech, and let me tell you….I have never been so nervous in my life!  We’re talking can’t eat, heartbeat in my stomach kind of nervous.
Thankfully, it went well and now that it’s over, I can say it was actually kind of fun.
It was my mom’s last back to school teacher rally.  She will be retiring at the end of this school year after teaching for 42 years.
If you’re bored and want to watch the video of the speech, you can click here.  My husband recorded it with his IPhone so it really isn’t the best quality.
This Monday, was our first day of school with students.  It was also my daughter’s 1st day of 1st grade!
She was so excited to start back to school!
We have been busy, busy, busy this week!  The number 1 priority for the first week of school is to teach every single procedure and to practice, practice, practice!  We practice how to line up, how to sit on the carpet, etc.

 On the first day, I put 5 items in a bag to tell about myself.  I share these items with my students, then I send home a bag with each student.  They absolutely LOVE sharing their “All About Me” bags during the week.

You can download these by clicking on the picture below.
We also read Crysanthemum this week and talked about how the other girls made her feel.  Every time a classmate said something mean to her, I crumbled up the red paper heart.  At the end, when the girls were nice to Chrysanthemum again, I uncrumbled the heart.  We talked about how her heart was straight again, but it still had marks because she will always remember how the girls hurt her feelings.  We decided as a class that we wouldn’t say things that would hurt other student’s hearts.  The students signed the crumbly heart. {Well…all but one.}
We also started Daily 5 this week with “Read to Self.”  My students LOVE it and are doing great.  We are working hard to build our stamina and read a little more each day. 
I added their pictures and names to their book tubs so they are a little more personalized.
My students loved making these buses {from A Cupcake for the Teacher} and writing about what will make their school year great.

 At the end of the week, I typed up a quick note about each child’s week to send home. {Click on the picture below to download.}
 Overall, it was a good start to the school year.  I do have some challenges this year (remember the crumbly heart from above), but I found this quote on Pinterest this morning and thought it was ABSOLUTELY perfect.

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    1. My students loved making the buses Teri. Even my challenging "I'm not signing that heart" kiddo said, "These are fun!" while making the buses 🙂

    1. I was a little shocked at first, but I knew going in to the school year that he would be a challenge. I talked to him later about it and he still didn't want to sign the heart. I let it go for now. Some battles aren't worth fighting. Hopefully, he'll come around 🙂

  1. Thank you for sharing that inspiring speech! It brought me great encouragement and lifted my spirit and brought some real truths back to my mind of things I need to remember when I get discouraged. I loved your idea about sharing items from home to describe yourself and the crumpled heart for the story Chrysanthemum. I teach K4 but hope to modify some of these ideas for my kiddos.

  2. I absolutely loved this post because it was so REAL! Thank you for your honestly and openness about kiddos and 1st grade! I was so impressed and loved your speech! Big kuddos to you! Excellent job! How true, how true, how true! ;0)
    Please also extend blessing and congrats from an "unknown" to your Momma! 42 years in a Middle School deserves a doozy of a retirement! WOW!
    I just adore your blog! I'm in my 22nd year….2 years in 5th grade, 18 years in 3rd, and then took a leap down to 1st grade last year and FELL IN LOVE! HA! So happy! So fun! Loving my year already and appreciate all your "stuff" and helpful hints! I check on your regularly!
    Have an awesome Monday and once again…..great job!
    Big hug,

  3. I loved your speech! It actually inspired me…I will need to play it over and over again all year and I hope to share it with my colleagues (as long as I can find it again! ) Thanks for your motivation! Thanks for all of your inspiration! Have a great year! Amy

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