Whether you are a brand new teacher or a veteran educator, the beginning of the school year can be overwhelming and stressful. It can be hard to figure out where to start. You want to start teaching routines and expectations on day 1 but how? Enter The First 10 Days! I’ll show you how to use The First 10 Days to get your year started on the right foot!
The first place you’re going to want to start in The First 10 Days are the planning guides. There are printable, digital, editable, and ready to go plans. The beauty of this resource is that you can choose how you want to implement it. Personally, I like using the Monday-Friday ready to go plans. It is easiest for me to look at the day by day plans one week at a time, and I love that I don’t have to much thought into it. I just print the resources I need for each day that week, and I am ready to go.
The planning guides make it simple for you to have your plans and materials ready so you can focus on teaching the routines. We all know the first few weeks of school are all about routines and reinforcement. The First 10 Days resource takes a lot of the planning off your plate so you can focus on what’s important!
Another great component of The First Ten Days are the product videos. When you start looking through all the activities within the resource, it may feel overwhelming if you aren’t sure what to do for each activity. Alyssa has your back! She has a quick tutorial video for the components of The First 10 Days where she shows what the activity is and how to complete it with your students. These videos are a game changer!
Social Stories and Comprehension
Now that we’ve gone over the planning elements of The First 10 Days, let’s dig in to the activities within the bundle. Each day has a social story and comprehension questions. These social stories cover all the back to school and routine topics you need to cover with your students the first weeks of school. Some topics include saying hello to friends, classroom rules, riding the bus, and so much more! I like to make a copy of each story for school and another for all my students to send home with them so their families can read the stories with them at home as well. Social stories are everything for our kids!
All About Me Book
Another activity included in The First 10 Days is the All About Me book. This book includes a page for each day with a different prompts. Some of the pages include my eye color, my favorite food, my favorite place, when I grow up I want to be, and much more! These books are such great keepsakes for the start of a new school year. I send the original copy home, and I make a copy of the completed book as a keepsake for my students each year. It is such a sweet memory!
School and Vocabulary Activities
There are TONS of school-related and vocabulary activities included in The First 10 Days! Some examples include school words, school sentences, visual recipes, classroom scavenger hunt, and more. I like to use these activities during my large group, small group, and 1:1/independent time blocks of my schedule. By doing this, I get to work on the routine and structure of our schedule and school vocabulary and topics with my students for the first few weeks. This is a great time to figure out what groupings you need to make, where you need staff, and how long to make activities. All these activities reinforce getting into the routine and structure of school!
Routine of the Day
I saved my favorite component of The First 10 Days for last! As a Structured Teaching Unit teacher, I’m big on structure and routines. I am an advocate for starting routine and structure the first day. I truly believe it is what’s best for our students! The First 10 Days breaks down teaching routines to our students into bite sized, easy to teach, easy to learn lessons. You’ll work on one routine each day, with visuals provided, then at the end of the first two weeks you’ll have a book of routine visuals for your students to use throughout the year.
I like to use the visuals whole group first at the area where that routine will be completed. Then we practice the routine in real time in the natural environment of the routine. We’ll also practice putting the steps of the routine in order. There are data sheets included for each routine so you can track baseline and progress data on your students.
Back to school doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. You can make it simple by using The First 10 Days plans and activities. We all know our students thrive on structure and routine, and that is exactly what The First 10 Days helps you achieve with your students. If you want more ways to simplify your classroom, check out my Classroom Hacks blog post! Do you use The First 10 Days in your classroom? Do you plan to use it this fall? Let me know in the comments!