I hope you have all had a lovely summer. I have enjoyed mine very much, and though I am sad for it to come to an end, I am also ready to get back into a routine, and to start being able to sit down for my lunch break, a luxury I don’t always have at home! I am returning to mainstream this year, to first class!
I taught a 1st and 2nd split for two years before so that will help me prepare for the upcoming year. It will be amazing having just a single stream class for the first time ever, not having to plan for two classes will be so straightforward, so I am looking forward to that!
1st is a lovely age group to have, they are so young and innocent, yet more independent than junior and senior infants.
The most important thing for me to get right from the start is the structure and routine of the classroom, and to communicate my expectations to the class for behaviour etc. I think getting this right from day one makes all the difference.
Some routines I will be teaching include;
What do the children do when they come in in the morning? I will have a morning work folder for each child, so when they come in and hang up their coats, they will start their morning work. This morning work will be taught explicitly before they begin. The worksheets will have the same layout etc for each day and will for September at least, be all revision work from senior infants. Once the morning work is complete, I will call the rolla and will start the day with maths, we will then have a transition activity, before moving on to Gaeilge. English will be taught after break. I will integrate my English lesson with either drama or SPHE. After break then will be SESE and the arts subjects. That is just a rough overview. The first day will be spent doing ice breaker activities, getting to know the children, going through the classroom layout, where they put their books, where the work stations are etc. My theme for the first month will be on Friendship and I have a rough outline of everything this will include, I’ll share it here for other first class teachers when I get a chance. Friendship is such a lovely theme and I have lots of lovely ideas to share. I will be planning thematically this year, with two themes per month.
September- Myself , Friendship
October- Harvest, Halloween
November- Winter, Zog (Story book),
December- Family and The Importance of Giving
January- The North and South Poles, Tom Crean
February- Valentine’s Day, The Rainforest
March- Signs of Spring, The Farm
I haven’t planned for the rest of the year yet.
- Hang up coat
- Morning work
- Signal for needing to sue the bathroom ( make a T)
- If the teacher is helping someone and I also need help , what do I do? Ask a friend first,put up your hand and wait)
- How do we line up to go out to yard?
- What do we do when we come in from yard?
- What do we do with finished work? ( leave it open on desk to be collected by the teacher)
- Taking down homework ( I remember first class finding this so hard in the past, used to take ages)
- Classroom rules- we will make these together as a class during SPHE
- Classroom jobs- we will go through these together. I think it is important at this young age that everyone has a job , so I’ll need to come up with plenty!