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Our First Week of School

We just finished our first week of school.  To say I’m exhausted would be an understatement, but it was, seriously, a GREAT week!  I have the sweetest group of 1st graders! 
I wanted to share some of the things that we worked on this week, but I will warn you that this post may be a little random.  I think my brain is a little fried right now 😉
Here are my girls and I before heading off to school on Tuesday morning. 
I LOVE that I teach in the same school that my own children attend.  It’s been really easy having just my oldest with me after school, but having two every afternoon definitely has its challenges.  I’m hoping that they were just really tired this week, and they won’t get on each other’s nerves so quickly next week.
My middle started Kindergarten this year 🙁  Time just flies by, and I cannot believe she is old enough for school already!  I use this frame with my 1st graders, but I made a “cover-up” with Kindergarten on it back when my oldest started kindergarten.
I use this to take pictures of each of my students on the first day of school.  I print these off at Walmart, and then send them in the mail to the parents with a personalized letter. 
#1 Teaching Tip: Always make the first contact a positive one!
One the first day, I share a bag with 5 items that tell about me.  Then, I send home a bag with each student for them to share the next day.
This is always a popular activity, and the students love sharing about themselves.
I loved this idea from Sunny Days in Second Grade to give each child a tub of Play Doh.  The students have to make something with the Play Doh to tell about themselves.  Such a simple, but fun idea!
She likes lollipops, and her favorite movie character is Olaf.
The one above loves cinnamon rolls.
Another really fun, and easy icebreaker activity is Name Snowball Fight.  I had each of the students write their own names on a strip of paper.
 Then, they crumbled their paper into a snowball.
 We stood in a circle, and threw our snowballs onto the ground in the middle.  Then, students each grabbed a snowball, opened up the paper, and tried to read the name.  I went around the circle and had the students read the name, and then point to that child.
They LOVED this!!!
We also worked on a craft for our bulletin board in the hallway.  Our school mascot is a lion, so I printed off my students pictures, and cut out their faces.  I glued the faces onto yellow or orange construction paper circles.  I gave each student strips of yellow and orange paper, and had them wrap the strips around a pencil to curl them.
Then, the students glued the strips onto their circles all the way around their faces to make themselves look like lions.
I drew lion noses and whiskers on their pictures with a black marker.  They turned out really cute!
We also completed our Back to School Flip Books and our First Day of School booklets.
 Of course, we also made time for some GoNoodle Brain Breaks!
Like I said…RANDOM POST!  Let’s add to the randomness and throw in a Nut Allergy sign.  It seems like I have a student with a tree nut or peanut allergy almost every year, so I always like to post something to let others know that we are a nut free room.  You can download this sign (along with other choices) by clicking on the picture below.
Thanks for sticking with me through that crazy post 😉 

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  1. I am loving having my baby at school with me, too! And this is the first year I've had any kind of nut allergies in my room. I have one peanut and one tree nut allergy, so I appreciate the signs!! Glad you had a great first week!

    First Grade STARS

    1. You are too sweet! I have a Nikon. I bought it 8 years ago when I had my first child, but really didn't learn how to use it until this past year. My biggest tip is to invest in a good lens if you get a good camera. These were shot using a 50 mm lens.

  2. What a great first week! I plan on taking photos of my students the first day too and I really like idea of giving a photo to each family. May I ask what your letter says? Also what does the attached note on the about me bag say? I hope you don't mind me asking.

    1. I just write a personalized letter that may say something like, "Johnny had a great first week of school. He has been working really hard, and is always doing what is asked of him. I am really excited to work with Johnny this year, and I can't wait to see all of his progress. I know we will have a great year!" For the bags, I shared the FREE download on a post from two years ago: http://fun-in-first.blogspot.com/2013/08/first-week-downand-i-am-exhausted.html

  3. I don't mean to be rude but Peanuts aren't a nut they are a legume and even if they are being called a nut they grow on the ground not on a tree. The sign should be fixed to reflect that.

    1. I do know that peanuts are not technically "nuts" and that they grow in the ground. The sign was simply meant to be a "cute" way to let people know that there is a food allergy in the classroom. It is a free item, and does not have to be used by anyone 🙂 Thanks.

  4. Hello! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for videos that your firsties have loved on GoNoodle! I'm just starting out the year and have first grade this year and would love any recommendations!

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