1st Grade Day 1 Outline

My grade level partner and I sat down this week and hashed out our first few weeks of school. It was a little difficult because we do not know what our exact schedule will be; we do not know our lunch schedule, prep  schedule, or bathroom times. So we did what we could with what we know.

We used basically the same “First 2 Week” structure that we had used when teaching kindergarten. Since we already know our kids this time around, we will not need to focus as much time building our classroom culture and climate. We will still have daily Guided Discoveries and review of classroom rules, but we can also incorporate things like Choice Time into our First 2 Weeks because our students have had previous exposure to it.

This year we will be starting the Daily 5 on day 1, and we will spend about the first month building stamina through our Daily 5 routines. We had found an article online titled  The Daily 5 For Dummies, and we will be using a lot of what we found in that article to help us with specific “Daily 5” language when we are going through the process of introducing it. You will see this below in my plans. Things that I want to make sure I say are in italics.

First Grade First Two Weeks of School

  • All day routines being learned- Habits of discussion –complete sentence training

 Day 1

  • Send in 4 at a time, hang up backpack, find name and sit down and eat – no talking
  • coloring name tag or picture with a few crayons out
  • remind/ teach attention clap, position 1, move to carpet – several students model – direct students to square
  • Review listening position – who can show me listening position?
  • Morning Meeting: Message on chart paper, Greeting game, abc’s/ Heggerty, poem ( School Chant), active movement game  (later add spelling practice w/ words for week) (25 min.)
  • Writing – Launching workshop (30 min) – LEVEL 0
    • Before turning students off to write- tell them we will always have the first 10 minutes of writing be silent and on our own.  After the “Quiet Ten” you may share with a table partner or raise your hand to talk to the teacher
    • Model writing and drawing a story- label picture by stretching out sounds and recording the letters that represent sounds
    • Model thinking of sentence, counting words, and writing
  • Read aloud- Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss or beginning of year book
  • How to line up- HALL chart (Hands at side All eyes forward Lips zipped Legs walking safely)
  • Launch Read to Self (20 min.)
    • 3 Ways to read a book (1st 2- read words, read pictures)
    • Model 2 ways and discuss- use a King Street book
    • I Chart for Read to Self
    • Model- Practice- Check-in- Practice (3 Minutes per practice)

“Today we are going to begin our very first day of the Daily Five.  We know that the most important thing we can do to become better readers who love to read is to spend lots of time practicing reading.  Let’s begin by making an I-chart, with our ideas of why it is so important that we read to ourselves.”

                        Top of chart – Read to Self, Independence

                        Under heading write – Why:  to become a better reader

“That is why we will begin Daily Five with Read to Self.  Why else do we read to ourselves?”

Write responses on chart  – Add an I, we stands for Independence.  Write “students” on the top left and “teacher” on the top right.  Brainstorm appropriate Read-to-self behaviors.

“If our class were to do Read to Self independently, which means all by yourselves, what do you think it might look, sound, or feel like?”  

(Record response.  Be sure “reading the whole time” is included.

“These are all such good ideas.  You already know a lot about how Read to Self looks, feels, and sounds.  What about the teacher?  What would the teacher be doing?”

Add “teacher” to the I-chart and add:  read with groups of children, read with children one at a time, listen to children read, and help them with their reading strategies.


 “Now that we have talked about what Read to Self might look like, sound like, and feel like, is there anyone who would like to model, or show the class?” 

choose student to model

“Let’s look at Patrick as he models for us.  Wow, he is certainly staying in one spot.” 

                        Point to I-chart while observing each behavior.  Applause

“Who can tell us what you saw Patrick doing as he was practicing Read to Self?”

                        Choose a few other models.

Incorrect Model

 “Is there anyone who would like to model Read to Self the inappropriate way?”

 Choose student

Okay, let’s watch Benjamin as he models Read to Self the inappropriate way.” 

“Oh my, let’s look at our chart.”

“Okay, Benjamin, now please show us the appropriate way to Read to Self.”



 “The reason we are practicing for just three minutes is that we are working to help you build your stamina and to train your bodies and brains to do Read to Self the appropriate way, the ways we brainstormed on the chart and the way you saw some of your friends model.  Building your stamina each day will help you all year long as we work toward becoming better readers who love to read.”


  • Handwriting (Introduce pencils, grip, practice strokes, using caddies, what to do when you need a sharp pencil)
    • Guided Discovery of caddies with only pencils in them
  • Rules- Read How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? Or David Goes to School – Make chart of ideas for rules, teach behavior stick
    • Have kids brainstorm rule ideas, write on chart paper, circle ones we like best and add those to Rule Chart
  • Introduce behavior stick
  • Draw yourself following the rules
  • Math- Calendar
  • Guided Discovery of Pattern Blocks and play time
  • Guided Discovery of folders – How to take care of them, put them in backpack, etc.
  • Closing Circle/ End of day meeting – sing chant from the morning, talk about day – what went well, what will you work on tomorrow, etc.

An Eye For Bargains

I would by no means call myself a frugal person. I have no problem shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a good pair of jeans, or a dress that I’m only going to wear once. I have a closet full of clothes with the tags still on. But one thing I am great at – finding bargains for my classroom.

Some of my great bargain hunting, I’m sure, comes from my mom 🙂 who is also a teacher. She is as responsible with money as I am careful not to walk through spider webs. She’s always got her eyes on the sale ads for me. So when we heard there were some great teacher items in the $1 section at Target, we were on out way.

It took us 2 different trips to 2 separate Targets, and a few bags of Pretzel M&Ms, to find what we are working for. Here is what we found…

My first purchase – mini desk caddies! I purchased enough for each student to have their own, hopefully alleviating some of that “urge” to steal crayons from one another. I think it will also be a great way to move from kindergarten, where everyone shared caddies, to first grade, where we are older and smarter and therefore deserve our own personal supplies.

1 individual desk caddy – $1 @ Target

Here is an idea of what the mini caddies will look like when filled. This scissors is larger than one my students will actually use in school but it was all I had. I am also using an UHU stick which claims to be a large glue stick but I don’t believe it. You are not fooling anyone, UHU stick.

Next, I splurged on the good plastic folders. Only the best for my kiddies.

1 plastic folder – $0.50 @ Target

This is more than I’d normally spend on a folder but my very generous mom wanted to do her part. Now I have a stack of nice, new, shiny plastic folders just waiting to get destroyed in my kid’s backpacks.

If you don’t have as generous a mom as myself, you can also get…

1 cardboard folder – $0.15 @ Target

1 cardboard folder – $0.01 @ Walgreens ( limit 16 so bring a friend with to help you stock up!)

Last, I purchased 30 cardboard magazine holders. They seem pretty sturdy, and I’m hoping they will last at least half the year once I bandage them up with packaging tape. I plan to use these during the Daily 5 for “Read to Self”. Each student will get their own, and they will be filled with about 8 books. The only problem with these magazine holders – the ridiculous patterns. The one you are seeing is my favorite of the bunch.

1 cardboard magazine(book) holder – $1 @ Target

or, if you want something much simpler…

5 cardboard magazine holders – $1.99 @ IKEA

A 24 pack of Crayola Crayons was $0.40, and Composition notebooks were $0.50 each. I didn’t buy either because I know that these prices will continue to go down. Last year, I got the 24 packs of Crayola Crayons for $0.25 each, and I got a pack of 3 composition notebooks for $0.25 at Target.

I did buy a few squishy balls because who doesn’t want a squishy ball with eyes and tenticles? I got some new parts for my Calendar – days of the week, months, weather, etc. I purchased a few new pointers, name plates, notecards, and labels. DON’T FORGET TO BUY LABELS…you need them for anything, and everything, whether you think so or not.

And then I went to Nordstrom and got a really great shirt…ON SALE 🙂