At the beginning of 1st grade we do a lot of work with the kid’s names. One of the projects I did with all the 1st graders when I was the tech specialist and what I did with my own class this year is done in Kidspiration. I love using Kidspiration with 1st graders. I’ve already used it for 2 projects this year. In the sample I have above you can see that the kids put the letters of their names and then search the huge library of graphics in Kidspiration for words that begin like the letters of their names. They had a good time and were practicing letter sounds as well. I’ve taken 3 different name projects that we did and put them together in a slide show on our web page for them to share with their families. if you’d like to take a look you can go to this LINK.
Little by little I’m getting used to being back in a classroom after 3 years of teaching my tech classes to K-5. But it’s taking a bit longer to get used to a classroom of 1st graders. I had forgotten how busy they can be for a whole day since it’s been about 12 years or so since I was at this grade. I’ve found that putting a story up on the SmartBoard at the end of the day lets us have a very relaxing last 10 minutes. I’m able to remind individual kids of things they forgot to do to get ready to go home, I can pick up the bits and pieces that have been left around and the kids walk out with me in a much calmer state. One site I like to use is this KOL site, in particular the Arthur stories. 1st graders love these stories and they sit enthralled as the story unfolds showing the actual illustrations of the book and highlighting the text as it’s read aloud. There are other story categories listed on the left side of the web site but Arthur is the favorite.