This week the most PRECIOUS babies walked into my room! They just melt my heart. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've been in Florida. We skated into North Carolina on Sunday and I was at work on Monday. No down time. I have just a few things that I pull out at the beginning of the year to get the ball rolling and help me manage some of the building stress.
New Book Nook!
We were only out of school for three weeks and I didn't do much rearranging in my room.
I did, however, create a cozier book nook area. Now all I need are some giant bean bags. But my husband checked my account and I am in trouble for the next few months so I'll have to wait and see if I can sneak some bean bags in later. You can read about my original room arrangement HERE.
I went to IKEA and got these pink and green magazine boxes to hold all my themed books for the year. The labels came from Maria Monore of Kinder Craze. I've said it once before and I'll say it again. These were SO worth the money. They just make my life so much easier!
Open house was a good turnout. I made sure I had treats for kids and adults alike!
I like to make sure I give parents a treat. It's just to let them know right off the bat that I appreciate them so I put a little bag of popcorn into their envelopes of information. "Popping in"....see what I did there???
And what first grader doesn't like goldfish? I made little tags and taped them to the front of the bags...
And then put them in these little bags I found at Target. Aren't they precious? I also included a few tiny erasers and a pencil.
I also make sure all parent information is put into a basket right at the sign-in table. After they took an information pack, they checked their name off. That way, if parents weren't able to come in, I could see who needed a pack sent home on Monday.
While parents are signing in and reviewing information, I let the new friends do a little craft. This year they made a bus. I got the template from Keeping Life Creative.
I put all the pieces in a bag so they can grab one and go!
Didn't they turn out so darn cute??? These will go in their memory bags that will be sent home at the end of the year.
Centers for Daily 5 will go SLOW and STEADY at the beginning of the year. I like to keep things as simple as possible.
I created new word wall words with a back to school theme. I think I have word wall words for every month! You can get these for free HERE.
I created a little book of back to school words. It's very simple. They pic a word from the wall, draw a picture and put it in a sentence. You can get this book for free HERE.
At writing center I also include "community notebooks." The topic is on the front and the students just write inside them. I usually do these for about a month and then put them away. I use the same ones for a few years so the students this year can read last year's work! I just print the labels out on stickers (the ones that are 10 to a page). You can get those free HERE.
For my students to practice sight words, I use this pack.
It's super easy and all you do is add play dough and markers. Then to add interest, you switch out the mats for the new season!
I only use a few sight words at the beginning of the year and I add more and more as we learn them. I have to say that this center is a no brainer, but I need them entertained and quiet while I do beginning of the year assessments!
I also have a cute little bucket where I'll put all the pieces to Nicole's Short Vowel Puzzles. Once again, I like to keep it EASY PEASY at the beginning of the year and these little puzzles do just the trick!
I hate to say it, but the first few weeks of school I can't be bothered with morning work. Mornings are crazy with trying to explain procedures: unpack, get new daily five books, check in, yada yada.
This pack made it really easy for me because they just pulled it out of their chair pockets and started working.
The activities are simple. A lot of coloring...
BUT, the great thing is that this IS a memory book. I plan on putting this in my students memory pouches to take home at the end of the year.
Okay teacher friends, hopefully you found a few pieces that might be able to help you this year! Good luck with Back to School!