Here are my first day of school lesson plans for my first and second grade combination (split grade) class! I have written everything out that I plan to do, minute by minute, (yikes!) and I have listed it all out below, just in case anyone would like to use my lesson plans as a reference. Much of the activities will be the same for both grade levels, but some of them will be a little bit different for each grade.
First, let me tell you a little background information, if you are just joining me here for the first time!
- I taught Kindergarten from 1993-2012. Before that, I taught a K/1 combination class for a year, and before that, I taught first grade in a different district from 1985-1990.
- I’ve been on a leave of absence from teaching for the last two years, so that I could take advantage of numerous speaking engagements at conferences. I also have done a lot of staff development at school districts nationwide.
- I miss the classroom and the kids, though, and since I’m tired of traveling, I decided to go back and try out a new grade level- and have some new adventures! In any case, I was placed in a first and second grade combination class, and so here I am!
- I’m at a brand new school, too! (I’m excited about that, as well! My whole world feels completely different, although I don’t mind admitting that it’s all a bit unnerving!)
And let me just say that I had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN how scary it is to try to make lesson plans for a grade level that you are really unfamiliar with! Just throwing those second graders into the mix makes it feel like someone just pulled the rug right out from under me. YIKES! And the combination? OMGoodness! So this is why I decided to go ahead and do a blog post on what I am planning to do. This is for all of you teachers out there that might also like to compare notes!
And so here is my most “educated guess” at what my first day will look like, since I haven’t actually taught a first/second combo class before. I am totally sure that I have OVER-planned my day, and that’s fine with me! Whatever we don’t get to, we’ll catch up on later. I have decided to forgive myself if I make a few mistakes along the way. Because as Pete the Cat says, “Do we cry? GOODNESS NO! It’s all good!”
And I truly believe that God has placed me here for a reason, and I am embracing my placement with all of my heart, as much as I am able. So I am praying, and hanging on to three of my favorite Bible verses:
8:00-8:10: Greet parents, meet children, take roll.
8:15: Read: Wiggles Learns the Rules at School with the puppet.
Discuss: What should our class rules be? Make a list.
8:30: Explain about homework binders.
Color & decorate binder front covers with Wiggles on them. You can download this sheet here if you would like to use it also!
8:45- Sing “Follow the Rules” song and “When the Bell Rings, FREEZE!” song from my Classroom Management CD/DVD.
8:55- Introduce Sounds Fun Phonics cards
Introduce oo Monkey Song from my Sounds Fun Phonics CD/DVD!
9:05- Brainstorm and write: Getting to know you: What do you like?
First graders- write one or two sentences.
Second graders- write three or more sentences.
All- draw a picture.
9:30- Tour of the school and potty break
10:00- Kids outside to learn recess rules
10:15 – 10:30- Recess
10:30 – 10:40- Explain how to do a short rotation. Break into groups. Here are the 2 centers:
10:40 – 11:00- 1. Horse Race Dice Tray Game from BoxCars and One Eyed Jacks– (small group with me). The video below shows how to play it the way I’ll have my second graders do it- by adding up the dice, and the child with the greater sum gets to put his dice in the tray. My firsties will just roll one die and decide which number is greater, and that person will put that die in the tray. The first person to run out of dice is the winner.
11:00 – 11:20- 2. Sight Word Surprise- Art Table (There’s a free download and more info at this link!)
11:20 – 11:30- Go over cafeteria procedures
12:15- Storytime: The Night Before First Grade
Discuss: How did you feel last night? Were you nervous? How would this book be different if we rewrote it for second grade?
12:25- Wiggles Art Project. Discuss how to use supplies and where to put them when done.
When finished, kids get a book to read.
12:55- Clean up.
1:00-1:15 PE- Rocket Balloon Chase! I’ll pump up the balloons, let them fly, and the kids have a blast chasing them! You can buy the balloons and the pumps on Amazon, but really, any LONG balloons should work! Here’s a little video I found on YouTube to give you a visual!
1:15-1:30- Meet Dobby the Box Turtle. I’m borrowing a class pet from my good friend that teaches a high school biology class! She has LOTS of pets! We’ll keep it for a while and then send it back for something else.
Read about turtles. Discuss.
1:30- Get binders ready for dismissal. Teach what goes in each pocket. Get all packed up, talk about dismissal procedures.
1:40- 15 Minutes of Fun (if time.) This is a reward “play time” for everyone who has been good all day! If not, they lose part of it in five minute increments. If we don’t have time for this, we’ll have silent reading time.
2:00- Dismissal. (Here’s a blog post on some ideas for controlling classroom dismissal time!)