Wow! I haven't blogged since right before the first day of school (that's four weeks ago!). Time flies when you're teaching! I love my first graders. We have 23 now (just received a new one on Monday). It's fun to be able to get to know each student. In past labs, I felt that I never fully learned each student's personality, background, and how they were doing because I was only there two days a week at most. Now I know what each student's needs are. One girl is smart and gets in trouble when she's bored. One boy has Autism and is afraid to go into the bathroom, thinking that the fire alarm will go off. Another girl seems a little immature and unfocused, but she really is smart and learning. Another boy is the sweetest little gentleman and takes a long time finishing his morning work because he wants to do it perfectly. It's so neat to see where they are all at! After being able to get to know each one, I could not imagine not differentiating my lessons. The students are all so different and special!
Anyways, back to the first couple of weeks. One fun activity we did was a skittles get to know you game. Every student was given five skittles (really if I did this with first grade again, I would give less). Each color had a different question to answer (What is your favorite color? Tell us something about your family. What is your favorite part of school?). Then, we went around the circle, listening to everyone answer the five questions. It was fun, but a little long for first grade.
Another neat thing my teacher did during the first week was give the students a Super Duper 20x 100+ Invisible Thinking Cap. They were so excited. We tied them on tight. Turned the knob on and made sure that we could see their lightbulbs were on. My teacher explained that this cap never came off and eventually was absorbed into their brain. It really helped them focus during the next class! One boy started to cry, and when asked what was wrong, he explained that he did not catch a thinking cap when they were thrown out, so the whole class threw him one.
The first few weeks have been spent mainly establishing our routines and procedures. We are doing the Daily 5, and this week I am going to start meeting with small groups. I have been working hard establishing Writers' Workshop this past week, but that's a whole different post.
How have your first weeks been? I will try to post more regularly, because I really do like sharing. Also, note that these pictures were taken from a google search and aren't my own (Isn't the thinking cap cool though?). Have a good week! Feel free to leave comments. I love reading each one.