Week Three: First Week of School Activities

Hey y'all.  I'm busily preparing for my first day with students on Monday and getting some of my favorite first week of school activities ready.  Luckily, that is the topic for this week's Building Blocks of B2S linky.  I can't wait to share two activities that I do with my second graders each year.

It's never too early to build up your classroom community with your students.  I have my students work collaboratively as much as possible.  It helps me see who works well together and who needs a little nudge to work well with others.

One of the first collaborative activities that we do as a second grade class is to write our classroom contract.  We spend lots of time consuming different read alouds that discuss working together.  Here are two of our favorites.

 The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon

David Goes to School by David Shannon

After we finish reading these and a few others aloud, the students work in groups collaboratively to write down how they think our class should run.  They write down their thoughts and then they share them out to the rest of the class.  We pick our favorites and then we write our class contract together.  We use positive language and sign it to say that we agree to follow our contract.

Another important activity that I start during the first week of school is building my independent reading routine with my students.  Independent reading time is crucial in second grade and it's important that I teach them to find "just right" books and help them build up their reading stamina.

We create reading anchor charts together and then we hang them in our class library.  You can see our reading stamina anchor chart and "just right" books anchor chart.  After we create an anchor chart, we find our "just right" book and a quiet spot to read to work on our reading stamina.  We practice our independent reading routine every day.  It really helps to work on the routine as early as possible!

We also use this set of reading passages from my Back to School comprehension pack.  They are great because the stories are differentiated and are great practice during our independent reading time.

I really love building community and routines during the first few weeks of school.  I know it helps my students tremendously and helps us throughout the entire school year.

What are some things that you do during the first few weeks of school?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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