Sunday, September 14, 2014

Welcome to the School Year! Building a Classroom Community

The theme for the first week of school was "Building a Classroom Community". I wanted to really get to know my class and let them get used to the room and to our daily routine, so we focused on becoming friends and some fun activities.

This week we read: Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anne Dewdney
                                        Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
                                        Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard
                                        A Book of Friends by Dave Ross

Our question of the week was "What was your favorite thing about the summer?"

For our song this week we sang "The Wheels on the Bus". It was fun to let the children pick what parts of the song to sing each time.

The activities that we did this week really helped us to become a tight classroom community! Everyday we went over class rules that the children helped make. We sat in a group and I asked the children what they thought some rules to keep us safe and happy in the classroom might be. I fit in my own too! We also took tours of the classroom so that the children get used to where the centers are.

We played "Just Like Me" to help get everyone comfortable with each other. I start by modeling with a few statements, i.e, I like vanilla ice cream. If a child also like vanilla ice cream, they stand up and yell, "just like me!" After I model a few statements like that, each child has a chance to be the leader. It's so cool to see them thinking about what they want to say!

The kids drew "first day of school" pictures. These are fantastic to throw in their portfolios! I have mostly blank piece of paper that on the bottom says, "I drew this on the first day of school!" and the children can draw anything that they want. It's an easy project for them to complete, and it also lets me see how the kids draw, and how they hold the crayons.

To help get the children playing with each other we used puzzles and treasure boxes to partner play with. They get to take turns choosing what they play with and work/play with new friends. To learn more about my treasure boxes and other ways they can be used, check out this post from last year!

We walked on our school's nature trail in the woods. All of the new children to the school LOVED it! Since our school is so connected to the outdoors and we are always looking at and talking about the seasonal changes that we see, I started us off by asking the children to look for different color flowers as we walked down. They were so excited when they saw purple, white, pink and yellow.

At morning meeting one morning we played body drumming, another game that helps the children become comfortable leading the group. I model 3 or 4 different motions, like patting the knees, clapping, snapping, and stomping while the group follows the change of the motions. Then any child that would like a turn (I do not force children to do something like this if they really don't want to) leading the group.

The children made paper plate snakes. Such an easy and fun activity. Either the teacher or the child draws a spiral on the plate, and then they color it however they choose. When they are finished coloring, they cut along the spiral that they drew, and voila! A snake!

I traced the children's hands and they colored them in. Again, a simple project to help the children get used to coming to the table to do projects and following directions.

We played "I Have, Who Has" with colors. We played a few times because the kids loved it. I have these games on hand that I made simply out of index cards. I have a shape and alphabet version as well.

The children made lions out of paper plates. They drew faces and the manes, and then growled for me!

We also played Simon Says.

We had a great first week of school, how was yours? Leave a comment below and let me know that you stopped by!

No comments:

Post a Comment