Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School

Today was the first (and most important) day of the school year.  I reviewed my Harry Wong book, The First Days of School, over the weekend and was ready to greet my students at 8 a.m. 
I made a welcome bag for each of them with the following poem: (click HERE for free printable)
And, each desk was ready with work for them to complete.  There is very little downtime in my classroom; students get to work immediately each day--even on the first day of school!
I soon found a treat on my desk!  My favorite--Jolly Ranchers!  My sweet co-worker surprised me with these and a Thank You note.  Aww!
 Later, a mom brought in the cutest cake for the students to enjoy at snack time:
After teaching lots of procedures (and rehearsing them), helping the students put together their binders, and taking a few Brain Breaks, I was able to teach a geography lesson on map projections and why a globe is more accurate than a map.  The kids loved the activity for this lesson.
In order to show that it is impossible to take something round and make it flat without there being any distortion, I use an orange with a slit in it.  We carefully peel the orange, trying to keep the peel intact.  Finally, we flatten it out and the students can see the rips and tears in the peel. 
This helps us understand the difficulty cartographers have in creating an accurate representation of the earth.  At the end of the lesson, the students realize that there are many map projections of the earth and each is distorted in some way.  This hands-on activity was such a hit!

And the flowers that were delivered to my classroom towards the end of the day were a huge hit with me!  My husband, who's out of town right now, had them sent (with no hinting from me!).  It was so thoughtful and I was so surprised!   
I believe we all had a wonderful first day of school!

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