August 12, 2015

Back to School Bash: First Days of School Plans

I can't believe we are on our third week of the Back to School Bash!!
It has been a great way to see what others are doing in their classrooms for sure!
We had our winner of the TPT products drawn last week and she has been contacted, but the giveaway is not done yet! 
Keep scrolling to find out the new giveaway you can enter for the next 2 weeks!

This week we are talking about:


I usually was not a fan of planning the first day and week of school.
I dreaded it to be 100% honest with you.
However, a few years ago, our school decided to do 2 weeks of character education before we started anything else.  That was awesome!
It really made the difference in how I looked at and treated the first 2 weeks of school.
For 2 years we used the book The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon.
There is a book for adults and a book for kids.
This year we are using the book The Leader in Me and the 7 Habits.
With my kids being third graders, I have been able to keep the language of The Energy Bus even though we are moving on to something else.  It has really helped.

My pictures from the first day of school must be on my big camera, so I will add those later - Sorry.
However, this is what we do since our first day of school is only a half day of school.
When the kids arrive, they see their desk looking somewhat like this.

A Superhero rubber duck from me, a bag of Lucky Charms from my partner teacher, their folder for the year, a name tag, a packet of information for the parents to take home and fill out, as well as a Welcome to Third Grade note from me.  This note welcomes them to third grade and walks them through what I need them to do this morning while I meet the other parents and children.  It has worked very well.
This is an example of my note:
From there, we have DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time.
The first week I read to them.  This year, I chose to read Third Grade Angels and The Lemonade War to my class.  We finished The Third Grade Angels pretty quickly and I liked the message in the book.  The kids really liked it.  I tend to read our read aloud books MUCH faster than the other teachers on my team, so we started Lemonade Wars after they did.

After DEAR time, we spent the first of MANY moments learning procedures.
I spend many planned moments as well as spontaneous moments teaching, modeling and practicing procedures.  If these are not learned in the first week or two of school, you are in for a rough year.

The next item on our first day of school plans involved each third grade class visiting the other third grade classrooms.  We really embrace the idea that EACH third grade child is OUR child.  Our children are not just the ones in our homeroom each day.  We want all of the third graders to know the other teachers because they will have most of them as teachers at some point during the year due to our schedules.  In this 5 minute visit, we do "All About Me" bags.  The teachers each place 3-5 items that tell about them in the bag, so the kids can learn about them.  

What's in my bag?
- chocolate
- Harry Potter book
- Burts Bees chap stick
- picture of my family
-items that show my favorite sports teams - The Braves and Alabama football

We end with our own class because that is when we give them THEIR All About Me bags.
This is their homework for the night. They can fill the bag with all things about them and can decorate the bag to represent themselves.  

The last part of the day as we wait for closing announcements and calls for buses is spent making self-portraits. I will talk more about these in the next linky party next week.

That is the end of Day 1.

The next few days are spent continuing to read our read aloud books.
A favorite is also the sharing of the "All About Me" bags.  We usually choose 3-4 to share a day.
I love this because it gives me a chance to introduce speaking and listening skills from the very first day.  We also are able to talk about what are good questions to ask.
The kids LOVE this part of the day.


I always write each child a note telling them how much I enjoyed their bag and mention
something special about their bag.  They love getting these notes from me.

I mentioned how we spend the first 2 weeks teaching character education.
Third grade is the highest grade in our school and we are in charge of the first SOAR or SUPERHERO assembly of the year.
To help with all of this, we decided to have a Leadership Camp for the first 2 weeks.
We spend about 30-45 minutes each day talking to the third grade as a whole about what is expected of them.  We also work on songs we are going to sing for the assembly at the end of the second week of school.
We put each class in their school shirt for this part so we can tell the difference.
We also have name tags on each child for at least the first week of school.



After our singing part of Leadership Camp, each teacher takes a lesson to teach to each homeroom.
Our topics are:
What is a Superhero?
A Hero in Math Class
A Hero in Specials
A Hero in Reading Class
A Hero's Behavior
A Hero's Goals

My lesson was A Hero in Reading since I am the reading teacher leader for the school.
I plan on blogging about that lesson soon.


I feel like it is very important the first weeks of school to be real with the kids and to just sit back getting to know them.  This class of mine this year LOVES to color - anything. We enjoyed sitting around the desks coloring and talking with each other.


One procedure we are harping BIG time this year is hallway behavior. 
Due to our schedules, our classes will be walking in the hallway A LOT by themselves - without teacher supervision.  Each third grade teacher made a sign with the class name on the front.
On the back is the afternoon schedule so they will know where to go.
I have been emphasizing this procedure with the Brownie Point system.
I tweaked it to fit us a little bit.
Each time the class gets a compliment from another adult, they get to add a brownie to the cookie pan.  Additionally, the first 2 weeks of school we have a "Mystery Walker" every time we leave the room to go somewhere.  If the "Mystery Walker" does the right thing, a brownie is added to the pan.
When the pan is full of brownies, the class earns a brownie party!
I am proud to say, we earned a brownie party the first week of school!
Just look at that great line!


Another part of Leadership Camp is learning our Common Language of third grade.
Each teacher will teach a part of our common language:
whole brain teaching
12 Powerful Words
Line Up Chants
Celebrations
Attention Getters

Here is a group of my kiddos learning the 12 Powerful Words by Larry Bell.
We LOVE it!!!


The first weeks of school - 
EXHAUSTING, but oh so important!
What do you do?
Please link up with us to show your plans.



An InLinkz Link-up

On top of this, we are having ANOTHER giveaway!!!!


That's right!! You could win ONE of TWO $50 gift certificates to TPT!
Be sure to enter!


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1 comment:

  1. We are a Year 2 Leader In Me school...and LOVING it!!! Your All About Me bags are fantastic and I think we are going to try them! We are still working on plans because are sweeties don't start until next Thursday. Thanks SO much for sharing!☺♥♥♥

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