Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy First Day!

I love the first day of school!  New faces, new smiles, new energy....  That said, though this was my 12th first day as a teacher, I still get nervous!  When you count up all the "first days" I've had, you'd think I'd be old hat by now.  Not the case.  I'm up way too early, can't eat breakfast (so I drink it, thank you protein shakes!) and my energy comes from a mix of giddiness, delirium, and excitement.

This was a big first day, with 24 smiling 4th graders making their way into the classroom that is now their home away from home for the next almost ten months.  When they came in, a short writing activity and word search was waiting on their desks.  The kids were so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.  A few of the parents looked rather surprised, likely because it was the quietest they've seen their kid all summer!

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Alas, the quiet never lasts long enough, and within 40 minutes, the class was eagerly (and quite loudly, I might add) exploring the classroom and getting to know each other, and their teacher!
Learning the new bus loop.

My favorite getting to know you activity for the first week of school is usually a big hit, and this year was no different.  It's a simple activity, really, requiring nothing but a plain piece of paper (scrap paper works, as long as they're all the same size scraps!) and a writing utensil.

Unpacking supplies!
The kids write down two or three things about themselves.  Then, while they wait for their peers to finish, they get to doodle on their paper.  This is the one time of year I tell them to NOT put their names on their papers, which is puzzling, considering this activity usually comes after I teach them the name song:

"The first thing I do is always the same, I get my paper and write my name!"

What do we do with those scraps of paper, you might be wondering?  Well, we crumple them up into balls.  Considering I tend to use white paper..... and we live in Michigan, where an over abundance of white fluffy stuff usually descends from the skies for a few months every year....

Yep.  It's a snowball fight.  Indoors.  In a classroom.  Complete with throwing paper snowballs!

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Anyway, the balls get tossed around for about a minute, then at my signal, everyone scrambles to find a snowball, un-crumples it, and tries to find who it belongs to.  We have three or four of these snowball fights each day the first week, which makes for a memorable way of getting to know each other!

And hey, you know the saying about snow in July?  Might not be July, but I love making it snow in September!


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