As soon as the kids step into our classroom, the very first thing that we have to deal with on our First Day of Fifth Grade is SUPPLIES. Every summer, I send out a supply list for students. It changes every year. For example, I really don't need a new 4ft high stack of construction paper every year so I don't need to ask for each kid to bring us a pack. However, a Kindergarten class probably does. So when I make these lists each year, I think about what I don't need as well as what I might not have asked enough of the prior year. Like tissues. I learned that asking for one box per student is nowhere near enough for the entire school year.
When my students enter the classroom on that First Day, they are trekking in with a giant backpack full of brand new school supplies. Pencils, markers, binders, tissues, glue, etc. Sooo....
This is the plan:
1. Students will enter the classroom and go to their assigned desk with their backpacks.
2. They will notice the checklist of supplies, a funky, cool note and glow bracelet (thank you, Pinterest!), and a brown grocery bag.
3. Students will check off each supply that they have and place some in the brown bag and others they will leave on their desk.
4. They will then place the list (with their name on it) in the bag and bring to our back table.
5. Next, they will open one of their composition books and start to journal by answering the prompt: "What was the best thing you did all summer?"
I am hoping that this Plan of Attack will eliminate confusion, chaos and nervousness on both our parts. By giving them explicit directions for their supplies as well as a very simple and independent assignment as soon as they walk in, I will be able to give my attention to other things that are bound to come up first thing.
How do you prepare your students for the first hour of school on the FIRST DAY?