It was our first week in school! It was brand new experience for many and a familiar experience for a few. We had new students that were excited and ready to make new friends and students who were not comfortable with the idea of being away at school.
Our teachers did such a great job creating a welcoming and interactive environment, many of the students got comfortable with our manipulative and building toys. One student approached the teacher proudly with a tall tower that he built. The teacher wowed by the creation asked a question, “Wow that’s tall, I wonder how tall it can get?” The students gathered and started building as a group by the end of the first day. By the end of the week, with a LOT of clean up, the students began creating “bridges” and “tunnels” for the cars to roll on without any further consultation by the teacher.
We will use the pictures of the creation for a counting lesson next week!
Questions to pose: “How many cars were on the bridge?” / “How many blocks were used to create the tunnel?” / “How many Blocks were used to create the bridge?”
Ideas to add: Creating a classroom building manual with steps to re-create the invention – – Name the invention, Count the numbers toy materials used, take a picture
During our first week at school there is a lot to learn about how school works; the more the children know, the more comfortable they are in the learning environment. We talked about our Daily Schedule, so each student will know what to expect as the day progresses.
Our routine starts by: the students receiving a name tag, finding their name and binder in it’s familiar spot, choosing their seat, practice writing in their binders, erase the page with tissue, put all materials back, choose a toy to play, and when you hear the timer; It’s Breakfast Time!
Our classroom focuses on getting the work out of the way so there can be more time to play!
After Breakfast, we dance and transition into our morning meeting. After a short bathroom break we come back for our small group time where our teachers focus on a select group of students to challenge and teach them.
During the first week of school, we are academically gauging the students to see where they can be challenged to make their period of learning the most effective. So all week our groups focused on, counting, letters, and names.
First we started by counting the letters in our names, this was great practice for 1 to 1 correspondence counting. This also introduced students to the difference between a Number and a Letter. the emphasis is that we read letters and we count numbers. We practiced reading the name on the board and counting the numbers above it. Where the number stops is how many letters are in the name.
We used magnets to practice counting, using the number of letters in the child’s name as the goal number, Ex. “Ezekiel – 8”
Later in the week, we used magnet letters to create the names on the board. For the older students, it was an easy breeze, for the younger students that still don’t recognize their letters, it was a fun way to recite the letters in their name when their teacher gave them a boost up to the board.
For educational art we created Fruit Smoothies. For the older students that can spell their name, they received ice cube letters to unscramble and paste at the top. The students colored their smoothie their favorite color and added strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Materials that were used were only paper and glue. Students were encouraged to count how many of each fruit that they have, we will talk about what goes in each students recipe next week as well!
Then it’s time to play again until we transition to recess.
After Recess is lunch, followed by reading, large group / story time, art, bathroom, and quiet time.
It’s been a busy first week, and although some came in uncomfortable, There were no tears on Friday, so I believe that our students our becoming comfortable with our classroom in great speed this year!