The first few days of grade 1


I hope you're all having a wonderful first week getting to know your new classes :) It's been so fun meeting all of my new students and their families. 

I can't believe how much rain we've had over the past two days! This is the third year in a row that we've had rain on the first day of school here! 

One of the hardest things about a new set of students is predicting how long activities will take with them. A few things that I had planned were finished very quickly, while others took much longer than I expected. 

I've shifted some of my plans throughout the day, and added in some new games to keep things fun and interesting! 

Here are some of the activities that I've been doing with my new little ones... 

- I've been reading "Mon ecole" with them. This introduces "je vois" and a few basic French words (e.g. une fille, un crayon, un pupitre, etc). I read it yesterday as well, and today I explained to them why we read the same books and sing the same songs over and over again. We talked about how your brain starts to say "Oh! I know that word!" When I read it today (their second time hearing it) we played a game where they put their hand up when their brain recognized a word. They were really excited that words were sounding familiar! 

I also have them repeat each page after me. I read the sentence once alone, and then we read it once together. 

- We played "SMACK"! They love this game (no big surprise!) and were happy playing it for quite a while. The picture is a bit hard to see, but I taped a picture of an eraser, a boy, a girl, and a pencil to a piece of chart paper. These are the pictures from my "Mon ecole" pack. I'm adding a few from the book each day to the chart paper, so we will gradually build up our bank of words AND know the whole book. 

I split them up into teams, and they sat in lines in front of the chart stand. I say (and they repeat) each word while I point to it. Then I count down from 3 (so they're learning some numbers) and say a word. Whoever smacks it first with the fly swatter keeps their place, and the other person passes their fly swatter on to the next person in their team. I have them say each word while watching me point to each picture EVERY time - so by the end of the 5-10 minute game they'd said each word in French a LOT of times. We ended up chanting the words and clapping while we said them, so that made it more engaging too!

- I also started setting up their poem duotangs, as I'm sending them home on Friday for the first time. The red folder on the left keeps all my upcoming poems. I stapled the schedule on the front, so that I can quickly bring it along to our team planning meetings. Then it's also easy to find when I need to copy the poems for the next week. 

Each of the duotangs have a note to parents to explain the duotang, and some tracking pages. I'm hoping that having tracking pages will encourage parents to practice more regularly over the weekend while they have their duotangs :) 

Hope you're all having fun with your classes this week! 

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