The First Week of 3rd Grade: Day by Day Plans

Last year, I blogged about my first week of third grade. That's still a good resource for you if you're looking for ideas, but I did change things up just a little this year, so I thought I'd provide some more details for you.

  • Students come in with the option to read a book or draw a picture. 
  • Read aloud Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and complete activity to make inferences about the teacher, then inferences about other students. 

  • Discuss class mantra (Be kind. Work Hard. Have Fun.) What does it mean to you?

  • Discuss team jobs (blog) - How do we take care of our classroom?
  • Teach call and response. 
  • Team building activity: cup towers. 

  • Read aloud The Crayon Box that Talked. Make chart for "Accountable Talk" to discuss how our words and tones matter. 

  • Another team building activity: tangrams (free). Afterwards, discuss. Did your team work together better this time? Were you more successful? Why? (Accountable talk!)

  • Practice drills: evacuation, shelter, & intruder - Talk about the WHY behind safety drills. 
  • Read aloud The Important Book. Students write on a sticky note what is important about them, then they do a gallery walk to see everyone else's. Start mentor sentence for the week on an anchor chart. (Students will start in their notebooks next week!) 
  • Discuss hallway procedures before walking to specials.
  • Discuss lunch procedures before heading to cafeteria. 
  • Complete "I AM" poem (free) and draw a self-portrait. (I am having my students record themselves reading these! More on this later.)
  • Start our first read aloud: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade
  • FIRST DAY task cards / SCOOT - Afterwards, go through the questions about things they are still wondering!
  • Pack up / prepare for dismissal / reflect on the day. "When your parents ask you what you did today, what are you going to say?"

  • Organize and label all binders and notebooks.

  • Read aloud: Recess Queen.  Discuss recess expectations before heading out to recess. 
  • Teach turn and talk. 
  • Read My Mouth is a Volcano. Discuss how to be respectful (by not interrupting). Talk about how to be problem solvers instead of interrupting a lesson. Students generate "What If" questions that they are still wondering about, such as: What if I need a bandaid? What if my device doesn't work?
  • Introduce Class Dojo and behavior economy.
  • Have a snowball fight! (This is always a huge hit!) Students write 3 facts about themselves on a piece of paper but do not write their names. Then they make "snowballs" by crumpling up the papers. I usually give students the length of one song to have their snowball "fight." When the song ends, they unroll and read their snowballs aloud one at a time and we try to guess who wrote it. 
  • Read Giraffes Can't Dance.
  • Watch Class Dojo "Big Ideas" video: Growth Mindset Chapter 1
  • Compare and contrast book and video. 

  • Review hallway procedures before walking to specials.
  • Quick class meeting.
  • Review cafeteria expectations then head to lunch. 

  • Pack up and review dismissal expectations. 
  • Read aloud: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade

  • First math class: 
    • Get supplies organized. 

  • Read Chocolate Milk Por Favor. Make predictions. 
  • Discuss independent reading expectations. 

  • Students practice independent reading. Teacher begins pulling students to record themselves reading their "I AM" poem. 
  • Set up writing notebooks. Make a T-chart about what 3rd grade writers DO and DO NOT do. Students brainstorm together. 

  • specials / class meeting / lunch / mentor sentence
  • Read What If Everybody Did That? and discuss implications. 
  • Review IPICK/ "just right book" procedures. Some students begin book shopping while others work on ME/WE book. 
  • Bandaid lesson: Fair isn't equal! Discuss our meaning of the word FAIR. 

  • Pack up and review dismissal expectations. 
  • Read aloud: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade

  • Math class:
    • Tour math supplies like dice, cards, cubes, flash cards, etc.
    • Give first timed test.
    • Students take pretest for unit (district mandated) while teacher grades timed tests and calls one student at a time to tell them results. On the back of the pretest, students write to tell me their favorite thing about math and their least favorite thing about math. 
  • Make predictions before and while reading Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind. Review IPICK and book shopping expectations. Students practice independent reading while some book shop. Teacher pulls students to listen to them read aloud (for about 30 seconds) and to complete the interest inventory

  • Give students a few more minutes to work on writing T-chart, then discuss as a class what 3rd grade writers do and do not do. 
  • Students look at their lists of what 3rd grade writers do and use it to make writing goals.
  • specials / class meeting / lunch / mentor sentence

  • Introduce STEM bins and create class norms for usage.
  • Introduce technology and access instructions. 
  • Girls practice STEM bins while boys practice accessing online resources (for 10 minutes), then swap. 
  • Discuss expectations for buddy reading, then practice for a few minutes.

  • Pack up and review dismissal expectations. 
  • Read aloud: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade

  • Math class:
    • Read aloud The Math Curse
    • Brain dump: Students list everything they learned in 2nd grade. 
    • Teach students how to play Battle (multiplication card game). 
    • Students choose: Play Battle or make a poster about something they learned last year.  Teacher pulls students for timed tests.
  • BrainPop: Predictions video and activity. Students glue predictions anchor chart (free) in reading notebook and use it to make predictions as we read The Juice Box Bully
  • Students practice Daily 5 rotations: independent reading, buddy reading, and Epic! 
  • Discuss what it means to be an expert. Students make a list of things they are experts at. (We will begin informational writing next week.)
  • specials / class meeting / lunch / mentor sentence
  • BrainPop: Bullying and quiz

  • Read aloud: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade
  • Pack up and review dismissal expectations. Students complete their team jobs.
    • highs & lows of the week

    Whew! We did it! 

    Here are a few things you need to know before you go to start planning your first week:

    • All of the books mentioned in this blog post are linked on my Amazon page. (Look for the list titled "Back to School Books and More." Know that when you buy something through my Amazon influencer page, I receive a small portion as commission. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but the extra funds help me keep this blog up and running! 

    • Expectations are so important to starting off a successful school year. I wanted my students' first week to be a mixture of fun and academics, but don't be fooled. We intertwined expectations into every activity. How to come to the carpet, how to transition, how to line up, and so on were all addressed each day as we worked through activities. It's imperative to start point out that expected behavior that some students demonstrate to help others get on track. (For example, "Oh my goodness, I love how John came to the carpet for our reading time! He walked calmly, he sat in a smart spot, and now he is sitting down with his hands in his lap ready to listen with his whole body. He didn't even need any reminders! Wow! Can you look like John when you get to the carpet?" ALL. DAY. LONG.)

    • Have any questions? Need any clarifications? Leave a comment on this post, and I'll get back to you ASAP!

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