Magic Play-Doh

On the first day of school, I love to give my first graders some "Magic Play-Doh".  It is a large ball (between the size of a golf ball and baseball) of Play-doh.  From the outside, it looks to be just one color--but there is a secret on the inside!  I flattened the Play-Doh last night and hid a small amount of an opposite color on the inside!  I tell the students that if they hold it and repeat the magic words after me, something amazing will happen!
The magic words are:
Magic Play-Doh, oh so bright,
I make this wish with all my might.
If another color should appear,
We're sure to have a great school year!
We then start to play with the Play-Doh.  I never get tired of all the excitement and the "Ooo's and Ahhh's" that come when they see the 2nd color of Play-Doh appear.  I encourage the students to spell their name and other words with the Play-Doh, and to just play!  This gives me about 15 minutes of independent time while the students play to get some school supplies put away on the 1st day of school!

Do you have any good first day activities that are independent to give yourself a little time to unpack supplies?


Back to School Nesting

If you've ever been pregnant, you know how intense that "nesting" feeling can be the last few weeks before the baby is due.  You will find yourself in your pantry, convinced that you won't be ready for baby to arrive unless all the canned food is organized by expiration date, then color.  I go through a similar "nesting" feeling at the beginning of each school year.  Does anyone else love organizing their classroom and making everyone super cute as much as I do?  I saw this eCard on Pinterest and I thought it described me perfectly...

Well, I finally feel (mostly) ready for my new batch of first graders to arrive tomorrow!  I decided to go with a new theme this year--chevron!  It makes me so happy to look at--and a happy teacher=happy students!! :)

My new 0-20 number line!  I love that each number is also represented by 10 frames.  I bought this from The Printable Princess.

I have been debating about taking the plunge and getting rid of my large teacher desk!  I always felt like it was such a waste of space and just collected junk.  I finally did it!  I still have a little "corner" of the room for my computer, filing cabinet, etc, but without the large table space.  I am hoping this forces me to take charge of all the paperwork!  (Also, don't you love that beautiful chevron lesson plan binder??  I found it at Target!)

My new alphabet.  I liked how the alphabet had the handwriting lines, as well as both sounds for all the vowels, as well as c and g!  I bought this from First Class Teacher Resources.

My class meeting area.  There will be plenty of room for my 19 students!

Classroom jobs display.  I use clothespins with student names to determine which student does each job for the week.  (I am working on getting these on TPT...I made them several years ago and don't remember where I saved them!)

The first day of school for me is tomorrow!  Good luck!

Getting to Know You Activities

The first few days of school need to be about setting routines and getting to know each other.  This packet includes three different "Getting to Know You" activities for those first few days.  The actual academics involved are very minimal, so even Kindergarteners could do these activities!  Click on the pictures to get your own copy!

What are some activities you do to get to know your students?