We’re back to school next Monday but we’ll be in on Friday for a Croke Park Day. I’m not entirely sure how that will work this year as our staff is quite large so it’s likely to be a very different set up to previous years. In this blogpost I’m going to share some of my ideas for the first day – hopefully you’ll find some of these useful and you can make changes/adaptations to them for your own class too. I’ll have 6th class this year. I’ve worked in 5th for the last three years so it’ll be a bit of a change but not too big of a jump either. I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to meet my new class.
My focus for September will be on the core subjects (English, Irish and Maths) and then wellbeing will be a huge focus too.
I start every year with the ‘Our First Day’ powerpoint. This has everything that the children need to know for the first day of school. You can download the editable version below and change it to suit your own class.
This is something I really spend a lot of time on during the first day. I set myself little challenges to know all the children’s names asap. I generally can learn them all by small break and the children love this. I think it’s so important to learn the children’s names and make sure you’re saying them correctly. It really contributes to a positive classroom culture and creating that community within your classroom from day 1.
Organisation of books and copies
This will be a bit different than other years. Usually a lot of time would be spent handing out books and copies and organising materials. We have a book rental scheme and the children also purchase copies etc. through the school.
This year we’ll be using boxes so when the children arrive into school on Monday morning – all of their books, and copies will be already there for them.
I will be adding coloured masking tape to the copies (this makes them easy to find and organise for the children) – even though this year we’ll only have two copies – one for Maths and the second for classwork.
We will work on ‘The Perfect Page’ however – this is a routine that I always teach at the beginning of each school year to show the children how to rule their copies. The ‘perfect page’ is left at the beginning of each copy as a template for the year.
Games and Activities
Some of my favourites include
Two truths and a lie
Stop the bus
Good Teacher and Good Student
This is a great way to develop classroom rules/expectations. The children work in pairs or small groups to create brainstorms on the topics of good teacher and good student. You’ll quickly be able to see what the children like/dislike and make a plan for your classroom management then too!