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First Day... Hooray?

Weeeeellll.... not quite. I mean, yes and no. Don't get me wrong, I DO love teaching... but I love my summer breaks, too. :) Today was the first day of school and I realized that the first day of school is always the hardest for me. Not only is it the longest day until summer break (lol) but it's the newness of it all in the tiring sense. Yes, I love decorating my room, I love meeting new students, I LOVE seeing my coworkers that I've missed all summer long BUT I don't like starting ALLLLL over again. Teachers, you know what I'm talking about here. Going over procedures and school/class rules, and sit down, no.. raise your hand BEFORE you speak, and this is how we line up, and no, you can't just walk up to me when I'm giving instructions, and don't forget to put your name on your paper, and this is how you pass out papers, and wait, who's picking you up today? ... wow! I'm tired!

Although it was a full day of me talking and creating guidelines for our class, there were some fun things that we did throughout our day. I had students work on their time capsule activity that can be found here or here. It's from my end of the school year Memory Book unit. There are activities in the beginning of the memory book that are to be done in the beginning of the year to show growth. Our little friends drew and answered questions about themselves as I measured each of them with a piece of yarn.  Here are some shots from today:

This is the "Favorites" page that they will revisit at the end of the year. They are always amazed after a full year has gone by, saying, "I liked THAT song??" or "Oh yeah... I remember when I used to like....."  So neat to reflect!

 Love the lashes here!

Cute button nose....

AHHH!!!! This one concerns me a bit. At first I thought it looked like those monster school girl dolls ( I don't know the actual name), then I thought it was a black eye.. THEN I realized maybe it was her bangs?? I don't know, but those teeth look scary. I did commend her for her details though. :)

This is one that I added to my unit at the end of last year. Kids trace or stamp their hands with a black crayon/ink at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year we trace the hand over the smaller hand with a red crayon. My kids loved doing this last year. They were amazed at how much bigger their hands had grown.

This is me going around to each table and measuring them with black yarn. THEY will do this again at the end of the year (since they will know how to measure by then) with a different color yarn.

I then put their yarn in a ziplock with their names and number on it and stick it in a large manila envelope and tuck it away until that one glorious day that tells me the end is near. (Isn't that sad?? I'm already thinking about next summer. Ha!) Kids don't do the bottom part of the page until the end of the year (on the next picture). I don't have them measure their yarn simply because... well.... I haven't taught them how to measure yet. 

At the end of the year after THEY finish measuring each other, then take their new piece of yarn and lay them side by side and measure them. Then they will go back and fill in how many inches tall they were in the beginning of the year and how tall they are now. **Important note: make sure that you measure them correctly at the beginning of the year or you may have kids thinking that they did not grow at all or worse.....that they are shrinking (dum-dum- dummmmmm). This *may* have happened to me.  Poor kid. It's ok. He's fine ... now that he got some counseling. :)    

Here are some pictures of my students doing it from LAST year's class. Oh,  how I LOVE them! 

Miss his sweet face!

LOVE that they were working together, even comparing their beginning of the year yarn with each other. sweet but rowdy boys. :)

Last year I had them stamp their hands on construction paper in the beginning of the year and I tucked it away. Now I've added a page for this in my unit.

This is the new added page with the handprints...

This really is a neat and fun activity for the kids. I'm always so happy when I pull these out at the end of the year and the kids look through their time capsules, laughing and comparing. We are the same way. We all love reflecting! We do it while we look through old pictures or find things from years past. It causes us to sit, slow down, and enjoy the times we have since they go by too quickly.

I love having my kiddos look back and reflect about their school year and then show what they know.

If you are interested in my time capsule activity in my Remembering the School Year Memory Book you can check it out in my TPT store. If you get the End of the Year Bundle, it comes with the memory book (Cover is editable) and A to Z learning. Annnnd if you purchase the bundle that includes the two units together you are saving almost half the cost of just the A-Z Learning packet alone! The A-Z  unit is good for grades 1-3. I include different grade level covers with the ability to edit the school year.

Thanks for stopping by, friends! Hope you are squuueeeezing out the last of your summer vacation days if you haven't started yet. And for those who have started back at school, hope that your school year runs smoothly and that you join me in counting down to the glorious days of summer again. :)



  1. Wow! I love the idea of a time capsule. Will definitely have to check it out. I know what you mean about starting all over! UGH! Im like you I love teaching and I love my sweeties but why cant we just skip the first month or two. Glad you had a great day.
    First Grade A to Z

    1. Yes Cindy!!! Thank you for relating! It's hard to think where you left off the year before with students being totally independent to getting a new bunch of students who don't know any of your procedures yet. I know that putting in the time is well worth it though. Have a great year!

  2. So glad you had a great first day! I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! Come to my blog to find out how to accept! :)

    1. YAY!!! Thanks!! I will check it out on your blog! :)You've made my day!!!