Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fall Fun in First Grade

I love Fall!
With that being said, these past few weeks have been CRAZINESS!
But fun.
I'm very lucky that my school district gives us a 2 week fall break.  Otherwise I may not have survived all the things we crammed into the last two weeks of October.

Two days after we came back to school, it was pumpkin patch time.
We purposely went to a different pumpkin patch than the one we went to kindergarten.
And it was so much better!
They had more fun things to do, everything was organized and efficient, they had tons of workers, and there were lots of places for adults to sit while the kids played.
Although I didn't do very much sitting.  I was playing on everything with the kids.

Instead of one hillbilly slides, they had two!
Double the fun!
I even convinced several of the parents to go down the slide with me.
We had a blast!
I think I went down the slide maybe 10 different times with different kids.  I had a little trouble walking afterwards from climbing up all of those steps.

There were plenty of stations for us so we never felt like we were right on top of another class.
I loved the picture station, shown above.
I don't know if I've ever talked about our field trip shirts on here before, but this was something we started in kindergarten about 6 years ago.
We came up with a common design, took it to our neighborhood t-shirt shop, and each class chose a different color.
This helps us to know exactly where our kids are at all times and if someone is lost or separated from their group, we immediately know whom they belong to.
It had worked so well for us in kindergarten, that first grade decided to do the same.  And my parents were very happy because we had green shirts last year.  So most of my kids are wearing their shirt from last year and didn't have to purchase a new one.

The blob!

On the hayride to pick out our pumpkins.
The parents and I were cracking up because our tractor driver was dressed as a cow.
So instead of "don't let the pigeon drive the bus" we were cracking up over "don't let the cow drive the tractor."
We may have been a little delirious because we thought it was pretty funny.

And this little cutie and I just had to recreate our same selfie from last year.

As you can tell, the weather was much nicer and warmer this year.  And she's missing a lot more teeth.

Arguing with mom over finding the perfect pumpkin.
These two were so funny.

The sweetest part is when they all fall asleep on the way back to school.
She was napping so peacefully, until about 5 seconds after this photo was taken.  Our bus pulled into our circular bus loading zone and she fell over and onto the floor.
Poor thing :(
In addition to our visit to the pumpkin patch the first week back, I also had my first formal observation of the year. And the next day as well, because I didn't finish the first day.  So glad that's over with!
The last week of October we had our first grade musical "Squirm."
It was adorable.
The kids were dressed up like bats, worms, and spiders.

My festive door decorations.
All the first grade classes had matching doors with different adjectives.  I was surprised.  The others were happy, angry, sleepy, and I can't remember the last one.

We had to include student work.  So we had the kids write about our adjective.

"I am surprised when I have a birthday.
"I was surprised when there was lots of people at the beach."

I am surprised when my mom gets flowers.

"I am surprised when my cousin comes to town."
"I was surprised when my mom jumped in front of me."

"I am surprised that we're going to the pumpkin patch."

That evening, the same day as our musical, we had our Family Fun Night.
Talk about a busy day. 
I think I finally left school about 10:30pm.

Each cluster/grade level was responsible for fun family activities to raise money.
I taught kindergarten for 9 years and we always hosted a cake walk.  It was always a big success.  So I wanted to find something that would be successful in first grade too.
So first grade did "Pick a Pop."  Students pick a sucker and look at the color painted on the bottom of the stick.  Then they get to pick a piece of candy out of the color coordinating bucket.  We thought this would be great for little siblings because they'd win something every time.

We also had photo booth set up where families could get pictures with the props.

But our biggest hit of the night was our Superhero face painting.

I made little menus with pictures I found from Pinterest so that the kids knew what their choices were.
The menus worked well, I think we had only one parent ask one of us to draw something different, and they asked for whiskers so it wasn't that big of a deal.
The menus also helped us so that we could use them as a guide.

Here I am painting a Wonder Woman headband onto one of my own students. 
We originally only planned for two of us to paint faces, but it ended up being such a hit that we had to have two more helpers.
Every time I looked up there was a line out the door.  We painted faces for 2.5 straight hours. and had a blast doing it!
Notes for next years face painting:
- Get more liquid paint
- Get more paint brushes
- Buy mirrors so that we can show our finished results to the kids (we used a powder compact that one of our teachers let us borrow)
- Make a sign that says kids only (there is a very weird story behind that one)
- Make a sign that says "Please remember that we are first grade teachers not face painting professionals."
- Have a line monitor so that kids aren't jumping line
It was a long fun day, but I was very glad to get home afterwards.
And my cats were very glad to see me when I walked in the door because they wanted their dinner, which was 3 hours late.

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