Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School! 2014

Oh man, was today a whirlwind!

First off, the bells didn't work at school today (and wont be fixed until Friday!)   Not only did that confuse me in the morning when I had parents and students walking into my classroom ubber early to put stuff away, but it really threw off recess/lunch, not to mention the end of the day!  Oh, and we have no lockers!  We ripped out old metal lockers to put in nice wood/plastic cubbies but the materials were back-ordered and then sitting on a train in the middle of nowhere.  So, they are starting to get installed, but starting with the younger grades, naturally, and so students have to line the halls with their backpacks.  I tell you, when it rains, it pours....

But, in spite of the bells, lockers, copies not coming on time, etc.  My students and I made it through!  Here's a peek at our day...

I have such a great class; I am so excited for this year!  We started out by working on a getting to know your teacher/you worksheet FREE from Mandy Lopez at a 4th Grade Journey. 

The students had fun guessing the answers--many which I had put into my intro letter which i handed out at assessments or open house :o)  (Showed me who read it AND paid attention!)

While students went to specialists I tried to wrap my head around the day, to no avail!

They came back and we moved into homeroom/math!  I spent the time introducing some of the classroom expectations and "How To"s of the classroom.  I told students I have three expectations.  Not rules, because that implies 'bad things," but what I expect them to do on a daily basis: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be a Role Model.  I got these FREE posters, and am in love with the simplicity of these 3 rules.

For math, I am a meanie and gave them a 3 minute (each operation) timed test on multiplication and division :o)  We expect our students to be able to recall facts quickly, our goal is 100 in 3 minutes.  I have heard some negativity towards timed tests, but I don't punish students who don't reach that goal--any improvement is what I look for.  Some students simply move from finger counting to skip counting in their head---I call that a win!

We then started working on Runde's Math About Me Pennant {get it here.}  The students LOVED figuring out how many days old I am  (11,213.)  We only started our rough draft today and are going to finish it tomorrow and work on a final copy.
From Runde's Room Blog Post.

For Language and Reading, which started 20+minutes late due to the backed up lunchroom....I gave students a reading interest survey from the Science Penguin, as I read our first Read Aloud, Shedderman.  I found this book through another blog and thought I'd give it a try this year!

A colleague then needed to leave for a family matter, so she sent me about 8 of her kids.  They joined forces in my room to "Save Fred."  A fun team work/science activity that the students loved.  Students have to save Fred, the gummy worm, after his boat, a cup, capsizes and his life jacket, a gummy life saver, is stuck under the boat.  Their only tools?  4 paperclips.

I really enjoyed the discussion we had at the end about what worked and didn't and ideas they had to make the challenge harder.  --Sorry, no action shots, it was just that kind of a day!--

After that, it was time to go.  A pretty chaotic, awesome, fun filled day!

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