First Week of School Ideas
Whoa! Our first week of third grade is finished. I wanted to share with you a few little things I did to help our first week of school. I do these activities each year to start my kiddos off with their routines! We started school on a Friday, so I started this routine Monday morning.
We start our reading block off with a read aloud every single day.
Here are three of my FAVORITE read alouds to use in the first week of school.
Read Alouds for the First Week of School
In the book SORRY! , the author does a great job of showcasing a character that doesn’t really understand the meaning of an apology. It’s perfect for the first week of school because it gets students thinking about their behavior and how it’s important to follow the rules. If you make a mistake, we should make a sincere apology. The kids really relate to this story and I think it helps set the tone for a great year of school. This read aloud is perfect to add to your first week of school lesson plans for third gade!
Read Alouds for Trying New Things
Another favorite is Parachute by Danny Parker. This book is about trying new things and facing your fears. I tie it to school by mentioning how we might all be scared at the beginning of the school year about our new class, teacher and friends. Seriously, this book is a student favorite. They reread this story on their own EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!
I also like to read Word Collector during the first week of third grade to teach my students to think about using different words than the normal words they use. We also discuss how students should choose their words carefully.
You can find writing and readers response activities for these books HERE.
A few other favorite read alouds
Read Alouds are SO important because they teach important reading strategies.
The Other Side is a sweet book about friendship and overcoming difficult times. The story is perfect for teaching children to love each other and respect each other. I also introduce theme when I read this interactive read aloud.
Use Literacy Centers the First Week
During literacy centers, I start by letting my students stay in their groups they already sit in. We start with four centers: Library Center, Word Work Center, Puzzle Center and Skill Based Center.
Students to work for about ten minutes the first day. I teach them to use their words in a sentence and work the entire time until the timer goes off. At this time, I let them sit in their normal seats (my class is set up into four tables). During this time, only the baskets rotate and not the students for the first week.
At the Word Work center, I start with just ten words to arrange in ABC Order. Furthermore, I want to see if they take the entire ten minutes. This helps me gauge the abilities of my students. In addition, I use vocabulary words that are back to school themed to the kids are familiar with the words. Additionally, make sure to give students ideas for what to do if they finish before the timer goes off and I hold them to those expectations even the first day we do this. For example, print three copies of this center so the kids can work in partners.
Each day, I add in more words and add a little more time for the centers. Throughout the week, we move from back to school themed words to sight words. Next, we practice parts of speech and syllable counting. In conclusion, these activities build so each day you can expect your students to work a little longer.
Literacy Center Ideas for The First Week of School
For the library center, I pick about 6-8 books for my kids to read. Likewise, I put them in the center basket. For example, the goal is for students to practice reading to themselves as I have modeled. We review the classroom expectations for this center and how we treat our books. In order to keep a smooth running classroom, it is essential to spend a great deal amount of time on classroom management strategies and lessons. This will help your entire school year run smoothly.
At the puzzle center, I am just using the Lakeshore Match Up puzzles. I pick skills that line up to the stories I am reading or are review skills. I just want them to practice working together as a group. I teach my students that when we do puzzles, we read the words and discuss what they mean with our partner. For instance, every puzzle I give them ALWAYS has a word.
Next, students who visit the skill based center, I am using activities from my reading intervention binder from the grade above. At this point, we’ve discussed theme a lot, so we used activities from my Fourth Grade Binder. Finally, this is because I have a higher group of kids this year, so it worked out well.
Another great way to setting up our literacy centers, is using something simple.
My literacy centers run like clock work. Furthermore, each and every day starting ASAP, we practice our centers while using academic material. I set a timer and each day we build up to working longer and longer in each literacy center.
I hope this helps you with your first week of school!