Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day Happenings in Room 5 {and a mini giveaway}

Phew! I am exhausted after my first full day of school!  I forget how much I have to talk, and talk, and talk and by lunch, I think I was ready to go home!  I was tired!  I tried my best to keep it lighthearted and fun with lots of ice breakers to mix it up!  Here's a run down of my first day activities with my new batch of 5th graders:

8:50-9:00 Students come in, get settled, meet some of the parents, greet 19 nervous and giddy 10 year olds

9:00-9:20 lunch count, attendance, pledge to the flag, and a big "hello!" to my new kiddos.  I shared my Me Bag with my kids.  In my Me Bag, I shared a Red Sox Hat, a Patriots notepad, a picture of my husband and 2 nieces, a piece of Dove chocolate, a K-cup, a book, and a doggie treat.  It's a cute way for them to get to know me a little and realize I'm human too!  They will bring in their Me Bags later this week and have their turn!  To find out what Me Bags are all about, visit here.

9:20-9:30 PBIS re-teaching about the bathroom... booooring but necessary.

9:30-12:00 Get to know you activities.

I started with a back to school bingo activity that I made up.  It is a 4 x 5 table that they have to get people to sign if the box relates to them.  A couple boxes had "brown eyes" or "Duck Dynasty is their favorite show" or even "someone who knows what a doe is."  It was a quick break for me to let them interact with each other and see how they do on their own!  If you'd like a copy feel free to email me and I'll send it on over!  

Next, I do a project called Shades of Summer.  I have the kids brainstorm for 5-7 minutes on a circle map about all the things they did this summer.  Then, we share out and the main assignment is for them to write a "really good paragraph" about their summer.  This is great because I get to see a writing sample and they get to re-live their summer activities!  They get a pair of blank sunglasses to illustrate their summer based on their paragraph. Usually it's a 2 day project and it makes a great display.  


The last activity I did with the kids was stolen borrowed from Stephanie in Teaching in Room 6.  She talks about it here.  The students trace their arm on an 11x7 piece of paper and fill in their arm with "what makes me me".  Stephanie does a great job explaining it so head over to her amazing blog to check it out.  I will write more on this project tomorrow!

12:00-12:45 lunch/recess.  YAY!  I scarfed down my chobani peach and a granola bar and put my feet up for a minute.  My feet are NOT in shape for heels so there was some band-aid application to some strategic places on my feet too :)

12:45-2:15 Classroom rules/math intro

I started this year with making a chart with the students about what they want out of their classroom this year.  I explained that this included rules and expectations, and how they want their classroom to run all year.  We spent several minutes discussing and adding to the web, until it was all filled up.  Next, we grouped some ideas together (like, no bullying and be kind) and color coded the web.  Lastly, the kids had to work in partners to come up with the basic rules for the class.  Here's what they came up with for this year:
1. Turn the volume down (5th grade substitute for indoor voices)
2.  Be neat
3. Don't interrupt
4.  Be safe
5. Try your best.
6.  Treat others as you want to be treated.

Now, of course, I guided them to tweak it a little, but they came up with these all on their own!  I was pretty impressed!  We also spent a couple minutes talking about consequences (no recess, etc) so they were in agreement of their consequences.

Next, to break up the afternoon, we played a quick game of 2 Truths and a Lie.  Essentially, they write down 3 facts about themselves, 1 of which is false.  We go around the room and have to guess which fact is false.  They LOVED it and I got to learn more about them.

To start math, we busted out the multiplication timed tests (insert groaning, complaining, whining).  This gave me a little reprieve to catch my breath (and chug some water) while they worked away.  We corrected this and dove right into Calendar Math.  Like I said before, if you don't know Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6, she is a fanatic about Calendar math and has tons of informative posts about it here.  So I started with August 28th and went through a couple basic routines with them.  I was impressed that they did really well and seemed to like the challenge!

2:15- 2:55 Special/catch my breath

2:55-3:25 Wrap up the day
I like to go around the room at the end of the day and tell what we are thankful for.  Of course, mine was, "I'm so thankful that I have such a nice group of new fifth graders!" It's nice to let them reflect on the day and many times they have really insightful things to say!

Even re-living my day makes me tired all over again! Haha!  Such is the life of a teacher.. my co-worker came in during our special, and jokingly sits down and says, "So, really?  We have to come in AGAIN tomorrow and do this all over again?!" hahah and she's on her 23rd year!  

So I'm off to plant myself on the couch with a nice glass of tea and catch up on my DVR.. and think about tomorrow!!

****The first 2 people to comment will get my Me Bag activity from my TpT store!  Here's to a new exciting school year my friends!


  1. You do PBIS! My school is a pilot, this is their 2nd year. I find myself saying "level 1" a lot! :)

    Sounds like you had a great first day!

    The Journey of a Beginning Teacher

  2. That first day flies by, doesn't it?! Looks like you did a lot of neat things:)

    Fifth in the Middle


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