The First Days of First Grade

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Y’all…. I survived the first three days of school!!! It went something like this…
4:00 AM… I’m wide awake? WHY? Who knows… I would like to blame it on my huge pregnant belly… BUT, I always do this on the first day!!! So… around 6:00 I made a trip to Kroger. You know… The important things for the first day of school…  Popsicles, Hawaiian Punch & Sprite for “jitter juice,” pretzels, COFFEE. A very SMALL coffee because caffeine and pregnancy apparently don’t go together. I’m not sure who made up that rule, but I DON’T LIKE IT!!!
However, it was nice to enjoy my TINY coffee in the dark! Especially because I have these awesome new lamps and a completely NEW classroom!  I went a little crazy with decor and organization this year!  You can take a tour of my room HERE.
Then… 7:15 came and I was welcoming 24 new first graders with a hug and a big smile. This sheet was sitting on their desks…
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After a quick snack, we learned about Mean Jean by reading The Recess Queen.  I seriously love that book!!!
Then, we took a quick tour of the cafeteria to learn the procedures and find our tables.  We also went outside to learn the playground rules.  And, of course, we had to have a little extra recess!!!
The afternoon was spent getting to know one another.  
We completed a fun scavenger hunt

Then, we paired up to learn about a new friend!
And that was it… The end of day one! I always have so much more planned and we never get to it!! You would think I would know this after 10 years of teaching! But, the truth is… It’s probably better to over plan than under plan. With a new group of kiddos, you never know how long it will take them to complete assignments.  And… my BIG goal for the first few days of school is to get to know my kiddos… Engage them in conversations, learn about them, help them learn about each other, and MOST OF ALL… Show them that I LOVE them!  The teaching can come later… They need to know they are cared for! That’s probably why we don’t get a ton of things done… We do a lot of talking, and dancing, and laughing……

Oh yes…This wasn’t planned, BUT… I LOVED this activity!  I gave my kiddos a piece of drawing paper and had them draw pictures of things that they LOVE.  I learned so much about each one of them!! 

Day 2 began by teaching my kiddos some more things about me…
I love these pictures

These Venn Diagrams crack me right up…. I am “old” and I “drink coffee.” Gotta love it…
Amy Lemons has an amazing back to school math unit. We completed this toys vs. math tools sort together and then I let them explore some different math tools.  I always love doing this activity on the second day of school because it gets my kiddos moving, talking, and meeting new friends while exploring math. 
We reviewed our classroom rules and made these cute glue crafts

Day 3 began with a summer memory and a fun story…
Then we learned all about Mathematicians and completed this adorable activity that came from Amy Lemons.
Of course, we had to read another book!!!
To end our Friday, we completed “The Highlight of our week..” 

And there you have it… My first three days of First Grade!  Our district does an AMAZING job of getting us into the swing of things. We go three days the first week and four the second. I have to say… I have definitely been exhausted, but I am LOVING my new group of firsties!!!
Next week is all about Kevin Henkes and Howard B. Wigglebottom… Stay tuned!
All of the activities listed came from my back to school pack. You can find them HERE….
Amy’s math activities came from HERE
Have a great weekend!!!


  1. Reshma

    Amazing!!! Ideas to impress the kiddos,and bring them closer and open up.

    • Hollie

      Thanks. Happy Back to School!

  2. Nikki

    Omg I clicked on your pin because I wanted the idea of the jitter juice but this blog post is a LIFESAVER!!! I’m a first year teacher teaching first grade in the fall and now I feel like I have an arsenal of ideas! Thank you!

    • Hollie

      Awesome! Good luck this year.


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I’m a mom, wife, first grade teacher, and curriculum designer. I love teaching and I also enjoy creating resources that engage and inspire our little learners. My goal is to save you time while providing researched based, high quality, engaging lessons and activities that can be adapted to meet the needs of ALL students. I hope you’ll stay for a while. I’m so glad you’re here.