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August 14, 2012

My 1st Day of School (Lesson Plan)

So, yesterday was my first day of school and it was overall a good day.  I guess the big thing is remembering their names - I'm not good with names and it bugs me how long it takes me.  Do you have a method that you do that helps you?  I'm open to advice!

So, here's what I did on my first day.  Just my simple plan.  I always write out my first day as a checklist - too many details to try to fit inside the little boxes in my plan book.

1. Opening - Who am I? worksheet - they did this when I was doing the paperwork type thing.  I collected it and will add to their student info area.

2. Introduce myself - started off with what do they know about me, what do they want to know about me... (basically a K,W, L type thing)

3. Showed them my Snapfish book about 4th grade - pictures from the past year of activities we completed.

4. Tour of the classroom - where things are, what the different areas of the room mean.

5. P.E. prep/Welcome back assembly/Recess time (took 90 minutes of the day)

6. Find Someone Who game and share time about the different things.

7.  Practice Whole Brain Teaching of "Class? Yes!" - That was fun!!!

8.  Over 3/4 of my class brought all their supplies, so we unloaded their backpacks and organized as much as we could.  I love the fact their families looked it up on the class website and knew what to expect.

9. Read Aloud - Did you fill a bucket today?  Brainstorm about our classroom, discussion about behavior, behavior chart, etc.  Talked about how our bulletin board buckets work, then students took an index card and wrote a note to someone in the class to fill their bucket - they turned them into me for me to pass out after I read them.  

10.  Team work Puzzle Challenge - took the idea straight from Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies.  We only had a 1/2 hour to do this activity due to lunch, so it was more to see how much they could accomplish in that amount of time.  Out of the 6 groups, only 2 got far enough along to see a puzzle really forming.  It was a good discussion with those 2 groups sharing what worked to work as a team, and the other groups mentioning what they could have done differently.  As they were working on the puzzles I was wandering around listening, putting office papers on their desks, and taking their first day pictures.

11.  Lunchtime!!!  

12. I had every intention of having a brainstorm of what Read to Self would look like, but that didn't happen... we had to organize the huge pile of office paperwork into 2 piles - the stuff they needed their parents to fill out and the stuff their parents just needed to see.  So we tackled that task, then I had to explain how the Classroom Library was set up.  Then it was just the basic write down your homework (Read 20+ min, Office Paperwork, Agenda $), clean up your area, and head out the door end of school moments.  Mondays we are dismissed at 1:30 - so it's a pretty early day. 

Some things that I realized or remembered about myself... I love having a routine, a real routine, and starting over having to tell them every little thing bugs me.  I don't like talking up a storm but I know it's necessary on the first day.  I loved being a part of the action with playing Find Someone Who... and I loved having my students tell me something they enjoyed about the day as they exited the classroom.  It might be a challenging year, but then again it could be the most wonderful year ever.  We'll see how today goes...


  1. Glad your first day back was a success! I also have trouble getting everything done that I want to those first few days! I guess it's better to be prepared with too many things, rather than not enough activities and idle time!

    Teaching Special Kids

  2. I am a new follower...of not only your blog but education blogs in general. You may have explained it already, but can you explain #7 a little bit? All of my grad school professors talk about whole brain teaching so I'd love an activity idea. Thanks!

    1. If you google whole brain teaching you can get a lot of videos about it, there is also this video on you tube that shows how to teach it. The link is

      I'm pretty new at it, so I'm learning as I go. I love the student responses that help me to know they are paying attention and are actively listening. The first day I did Class? Yes! and yesterday I went over Teach! Okay! That one is like a pair/share kind of thing. Hope this helps!


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