Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Week in Review and Keepin' it Balanced

The first week back is over and done and this week my kiddos are workin' it like they have been in second grade for months.  I am loving it (really, I am), but here it is Tuesday night and I am finally doing a post about last week.  How do you all do it?  I love, love blogging, but...I love naps.  Sweet naps.  Then there is the idea that I said I wasn't going to bring work home and what did I do on my three-day weekend?  Lesson plans.  Sigh.  I really hope I can find a sweet balance this year and be the teacher who can do it all!!!  Any advice is appreciated!

So back to the topic at hand:  the first week of school!  I can't believe how easily I forget where these babies begin each year - these big first graders held their own this week, but at the same time I can't wait until October when they just know what to do without question (routines, etc.).  Just look at their cute faces...

We started off making our foam pieces to hang in the classroom.  I love having the students making them and creating the sense of community once they are hung.  I told the kiddos that when we hang them someone could walk into our classroom and see, wow, this is Alexandra's classroom or this is Omar's classroom...They say who belongs in this classroom!

We jumped into reading workshop right away.  Reading workshop in my classroom is a mixture of Debbie Miller and The Sisters.  Until all the routines are introduced the students are restricted to browsing baskets for the first few days.  These baskets have school-themed books and the kiddos bring one basket to their desks and they read for however amount of time.  I introduced the idea of stamina the first day and we have been working at it. Truthfully, we made it to 7 minutes, 14 seconds the first day and I totally credit their first grade teachers for it!  We made it to 11 minutes, 11 seconds by the end of the week...I am a super-proud mama-teacher!

In math we explored our math tools so that we could be ready to jump into our math series the second week of school.  I got this idea from Amy Lemons, but I needed to adapt it for my second grader needs and of course make it in Spanish.  My students didn't do too badly on it -- some of them needed help understanding what each tool was used for, but I can say for the first day of school, I was impressed!  You can grab this page in Spanish for FREE, here!

We ended the first day back by doing some Jitter Juice fun from Abby Mullin's Super in Second Grade pack!  All of the second grade classes got together to 'sing' the poem (yeah, I made a tune to it), but my kiddos got to make the actual Jitter Juice!  My students had to guess what kind of ingredients went into making the juice and then finally got to try it.  The majority of the students loved it...but surprisingly enough some didn't.

Phew!  That was our first week in a nutshell.  It was exhausting and I was falling asleep on the couch every night, but week two is going well so far.  I love jumping into the curriculum and starting the meaty stuff and I think the kiddos do too.  I have been taking a lot of pictures so I will try to be back later in the week so share more of the happenings in our second grade classroom!

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