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Ready or not… here they come!
16 Aug, 2013. 21 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Back to School, First Grade, Free, Kindergarten, Preschool. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Tomorrow is our big day! The new students arrive for “meet the teacher” and then Monday we start a brand new school year. I am always excited for the first day. Excited… and nervous! I keep running through all of the things that I have to teach my new students during these first essential weeks. There are so many procedures that have to be taught and “trained into them.” 
I always start my year by introducing the Daily5. Just like the book says, I start with Read to Self. This is the anchor chart that we will fill out the first day of school! 
However, before we get there, my students will enter my classroom for the first time. They are normally a little bit nervous and excited… just like we {as teachers} are! For this reason, I have been using Legos as my morning work on the first day for years! My students are very familiar with Legos and it makes for a very easy transition into the classroom. Also, it does not take much direction on my part! 
Every student arrives to a bowl of Legos, a graph, and their labeled crayons. They then need to sort their Legos and color in the graph. {This buys me some time for all of the first day of school morning things that come up!} and then they can play with the Legos from their bowl. 
If you would like this worksheet, click HERE to get it for free! 
{I usually use smaller Legos; however, this year I have a few students with fine motor delays and I want all my students to feel successful!}
Also on the first day of school I introduce my pocket chart center. At this moment, my large pocket chart is set up with this alphabet displayed on it. Next to the pocket chart is our “I can statements” and our supplies. To do this, I just thumbtacked the “sign holder” and the paper sorter to the wall. It works like a charm!
The “I can” sign helps students remember what they can do at each center. 
The paper sorter currently is holding a few things: “task cards,” games, and nursery rhymes. 
Each game is in its own pencil pouch. {This helps keep all the pieces together.}
Students can then pick which game they want to play and use the pocket chart correctly. 
The game being displayed is matching beginning sounds! 
Another game that I introduce to my class on the first day is Bang. My students absolutely adore this game. To play bang you put popsicle sticks into a cup and sit your students in a circle. I always start the game and model how we play. I tell my students that I am going to randomly pick out a stick and then read it. If I can’t read it then I have to put the stick back in the cup. If I pull out the stick that says ‘bang’ then I have to put ALL my sticks back. I also show them how I don’t “freak out” when I pull bang and instead just shrug and say, that’s okay! 
For this game I bought some large popsicle sticks and I wrote two things on each popsicle stick. Because I want each student to feel successful at school I wrote the primer words in blue on one side of the popsicle stick and on the other side I wrote a letter in magenta. I show my students that if I can’t read the word then I get a second chance! I can look at the letter and say the letter name and sound! 
{I only wrote on one end of each popsicle stick so there is a blank side sticking up out of the cup.}
This is really great because when a student draws a popsicle stick out of the cup, they might not know how to read the sight word yet. However, they might know the letter and letter sound. 
Wish me luck tomorrow!! 

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21 Comments
  1. SO MANY FUN IDEAS!! Thank you so much, Kristen!! I am stealing a lot of this for the first day! :) You are awesome!

    xo

    • Your alphabet in the pocket chart is so stinkin’ cute! Do you sell that in the Making Literacy Centers Work Packet? If not where can I purchase them? They are ADORABLE!!

  2. Kim -

    Great idea to use the Legos. Thanks for some new ideas!

  3. Good luck! I love the title of this post! :) You are definitely ready for kiddos-lots of great ways to keep them engaged.

    NotJustChild’sPlay

  4. Luck!!!! So glad I found your blog! It’s my first year teaching and I’m in 1 st grade!!!

  5. Fantastic ideas. Keep us posted how your first day goes :)

  6. I LOVE all of your ideas! Thank you so much for sharing. I usually have the children color a picture the first day, but I like your lego idea so much more. I have also used Bang in the past, but the modification you added really makes it so much better. Thanks for sharing and good luck.

  7. I LOVE the Popsicle stick idea! I will be doing this for sure!

  8. That little lego sort is so cute! Thanks!

    Megan
    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  9. Thank you for all the great ideas and freebie. Where did you get the alphabet that has tge picture in the letter? The g is grass background, b bubblegum. I would LOVE to buy one. Is it available in your teach store? What is it called I cant find it. Thanks. twirlypeach@hotmail.con

  10. I am starting Daily 5 and I was reading your old posts about how you organize it and I saw you had the neatest Daily 5 cards where the kids are organized by using their number. I tried to download them but I don’t have that program. Is there anyway you could put it on TPT as a freebie or google docs?? It would be super helpful. I love your ideas!!! I am super excited about implementing Daily 5, but also very nervous. ashleyp77@yahoo.com

  11. You are such a super special teacher! I hope your first day was all that and more!
    Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter
    luvyorkies@gmail.com

  12. Jack -

    I would love that alphabet as well! So cute :) Please share the link. katiedolan1975@aol.com

  13. Thank’s for your share in the post here, i like your information your info is bery nice ^___^
    Do you might also like obat herbal sakit tenggorokan, obat herbal kanker payudara

  14. Thanks for your information Obat Kanker Payudara

  15. Hello! I loved the alphabet chart, please can you send a link to download it? It would be awesome for my first graders! sybil.eleven@gmail.com

  16. Where did you get your alphabet letters?

  17. Amy -

    I, too, love the alphabet letters featured in your pocket chart! Did you make it?!? Is this alphabet available in your setting up literacy centers packet? or did you purchase it? If so, from where? I LOVE it!!! Please let me know! amygonz@gmail.com

    • Amy, unfortunately, I did not make it. I bought this set YEARS ago. I don’t even remember what state I lived in when I bought it. :( I’m sorry!!

21 Comments

  • SO MANY FUN IDEAS!! Thank you so much, Kristen!! I am stealing a lot of this for the first day! :) You are awesome!

    xo

    • Your alphabet in the pocket chart is so stinkin’ cute! Do you sell that in the Making Literacy Centers Work Packet? If not where can I purchase them? They are ADORABLE!!

  • Kim -

    Great idea to use the Legos. Thanks for some new ideas!

  • Good luck! I love the title of this post! :) You are definitely ready for kiddos-lots of great ways to keep them engaged.

    NotJustChild’sPlay

  • Luck!!!! So glad I found your blog! It’s my first year teaching and I’m in 1 st grade!!!

  • Fantastic ideas. Keep us posted how your first day goes :)

  • I LOVE all of your ideas! Thank you so much for sharing. I usually have the children color a picture the first day, but I like your lego idea so much more. I have also used Bang in the past, but the modification you added really makes it so much better. Thanks for sharing and good luck.

  • I LOVE the Popsicle stick idea! I will be doing this for sure!

  • That little lego sort is so cute! Thanks!

    Megan
    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  • Thank you for all the great ideas and freebie. Where did you get the alphabet that has tge picture in the letter? The g is grass background, b bubblegum. I would LOVE to buy one. Is it available in your teach store? What is it called I cant find it. Thanks. twirlypeach@hotmail.con

  • I am starting Daily 5 and I was reading your old posts about how you organize it and I saw you had the neatest Daily 5 cards where the kids are organized by using their number. I tried to download them but I don’t have that program. Is there anyway you could put it on TPT as a freebie or google docs?? It would be super helpful. I love your ideas!!! I am super excited about implementing Daily 5, but also very nervous. ashleyp77@yahoo.com

  • You are such a super special teacher! I hope your first day was all that and more!
    Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter
    luvyorkies@gmail.com

  • Jack -

    I would love that alphabet as well! So cute :) Please share the link. katiedolan1975@aol.com

  • Thank’s for your share in the post here, i like your information your info is bery nice ^___^
    Do you might also like obat herbal sakit tenggorokan, obat herbal kanker payudara

  • Thanks for your information Obat Kanker Payudara

  • Hello! I loved the alphabet chart, please can you send a link to download it? It would be awesome for my first graders! sybil.eleven@gmail.com

  • Where did you get your alphabet letters?

  • Amy -

    I, too, love the alphabet letters featured in your pocket chart! Did you make it?!? Is this alphabet available in your setting up literacy centers packet? or did you purchase it? If so, from where? I LOVE it!!! Please let me know! amygonz@gmail.com

    • Amy, unfortunately, I did not make it. I bought this set YEARS ago. I don’t even remember what state I lived in when I bought it. :( I’m sorry!!

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