My second day teaching first grade went even better than yesterday. We were able to remember some of our routines from yesterday and build on them, as well as spend less time on free choice activities and more time working productively. Here are my "two stars and a wish" for today:

My first star is the writing we did in our writers' notebooks. I started with a mini-lesson in which I demonstrated how I thought about my ideas, sounded out my words, put spaces between words, and used a period at the end of my sentence. From there, the students went to their tables with their notebooks and began writing. They drew a picture at the top of the page and wrote a sentence to go with it. Some were only able to draw a picture and write their names, while others were able to write complete sentences that included all of the things I demonstrated in my mini-lesson. At the end, some of our friends shared their writing with the class, then we had some free time.

After school, I briefly assessed their work, making note of "praise points" and "teaching points." From here, I'll be able to formulate small groups to focus on specific skills, such as adding detail, using capitals correctly, putting spaces between words, or working on letters and sounds.

Another star today was avoiding the need for free time entirely during the middle block of the day. We started math with some sorting bellwork. Afterward, I brought the class to the carpet to introduce them to a Venn diagram. We practiced sorting wooden letters a few different ways using the Venn diagram. Afterward, I sent them back to their tables to sort some words as a group using a rule I gave them (starts with T, ends with T, or both). After spending some time on that activity, I could tell they were getting antsy, so I brought them to the carpet for QDPA, before going back to tables to finish our activity and discuss our results.

My wish for tomorrow is to be more diligent in moving kids on the stop light, our behaviour management system. I have been giving out lots of warnings, since they are still learning the expectations and routines, but I need to be more firm now that they know what is expected. I need to give a clear warning that relates back to our class promise, then move them to yellow if they continue with the unacceptable behaviour. They get along well with each other, but sometimes they don't like when I am choosing the activities they are doing; they are still adjusting from Kindergarten.


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