They’re finally here! My brand new class of second graders! I’ve been waiting…. and waiting…and WAITING for them to arrive! And they finally did! Here’s a little recap of all of our first day of school activities and how you can use the book You’re Finally Here! for best first week of school ever!
We read the MOST precious and perfect first day book, You’re Finally Here! by Melanie Watt, author of the lovable little Scaredy Squirrel. This little bunny of a book character is waiting and waiting for his readers to arrive. I convinced my class that, I too, I’ve been waiting… and waiting…. and WAITING for them to arrive!
We’ll use this book all week for my shiny new students to explain what took them so long to get to my class, to get to know each other, to get up and get moving, play games, give opinions, do some writing, and of course, have fun!
On meet the teacher night, as my new 2nd graders approached our classroom, they were greeted with this….
plus a little welcome note on their desk after a big hug from me!
Our first day of school finally arrived! We read our book the very first thing, before anything else…. Then I asked, “What took you so long?”
I made a big fuss over how LONG I’d been waiting and how happy I was that they were finally here! I have to admit they had some pretty good reasons to keep me waiting!
As a getting to know you activity after reading the book my new friends turned to a neighbor and explained what took them so long to get to my class! Then we made these little books for them to write about all the things they had to do before they could come to second grade.
Later that day we played The Bored Game so my class could connect, share stories, laugh and roll their eyes together, and find things they had in common.
Their responses were priceless!
Before dismissal we wrote about our day.
I wanted to check on everybody and give them an outlet to express their relief or concerns, and to generally get a sense of how my students were doing. I make a copy of these to save as a beginning of the year writing sample. Doing so gives me a writing baseline I can use to determine growth.
The next day, we talked about all the things my students wanted to learn and do now that they were in second grade.
We made this character craft and wrote some of our goals for the new school year.
Oh, the allure of the Staples easy button!
My class had a lot of fun with those eyebrows! We had a whole conversation about placing the eyebrows to show different emotions.
I used our bulletin board as a backdrop to take first day pictures then later in the week to display our writing.
On Wednesday, we got out our brand new writing journals! Our new friend the book character bunny scolded us and said how unfair it was for his readers to keep him waiting. “As unfair as having to go to bed when you’re not tired!” So to introduce our journal routine I gave them this prompt.
On Thursday, we got up and got moving with a How Long? hop. I love all of the references to time and the idioms in this book and make sure to capitalize on that each year. I designed a lot of our activities to reference time and transition which is one of the themes of the book.
Students worked with partners to roam the room and answer some time related questions on task cards.
How long does it take to find a needle in a haystack?
How long does it take paint to dry?
On Friday, after a fun-filled first week, I hung our book character bunnies and sent everyone home with these keepsake cards!
You can see last year’s You’re Finally Here! fun with even more activities and additional bulletin board ideas!
Find all of these first week of school classroom activities, as well as the book, You’re Finally Here!, by clicking on the pictures below.
Don’t have time to find the book? Read it online! You’re Finally Here! is available on YouTube.
If you haven’t already, you’ll completely fall in love with this book after watching this adorable book trailer by Jennifer Johnson!
As you can see, this little gem of a book is the MOST perfect first week book ever! Get set for your first week of school and find these first week activities in my shop!