First Day Jitters

Hi all


I am trying to figure out how I can encourage the kids to talk about their feelings, worries, concerns, excitement, happiness, wonderings and all sorts from day one. 

I found these two snippets on Youtube that showcase the nerves and excitement of the first day.


and I really love this one…

I’m thinking of using these snippets to start a conversation about their feelings about being back at school. 

What do you do to ease nerves on the first day?


Photos of my classroom

So I got into the classroom last week to get things organised and arrange some stuff. 

I got about 15 minutes into it and I wanted to cry! I had to make LOTS more mess before I could make it look any better. 

The room still had lots of things in it that didn’t belong to me, or resources that could have been mine but I wasn’t sure. Turns out that the resources were all for me to use, but needed a bit of tidying up.

There was also no one that I could hear around the school. It felt very eerie and strange. I tried a bit of music for background noise but it was still far too quiet for me to feel comfortable and ‘at home’, so truth be told I left much earlier than what I should have in order to achieve everything. 

These are the photos of the room before my final tidy up this week, but I am pretty happy with it all. There are still a few things on my to-do list that need to be done to be put up in the room also. 

ImageThese are where I am asking the children to keep rubbers, glue, scissors and pencils. Image


Desk organisation, credited to

I like the idea of organising the ‘horse shoe’ groups so that I can physically ‘reach’ each child if need be. My classroom also doesn’t have any ‘jellybean’ or ‘kidney’ tables for guided reading so this ensures I can take guided reading groups also. ImageImageImage


I love this, as even at a young age, my students will take responsibility of their learning and discuss their learning. 


I am ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage



The move is done

I have officially moved into my new apartment on the Gold Coast. I’ve been here one week and am loving it. A bit homesick today but still trucking along. Have been to the gym in the complex for my happy hormone fix and it’s worked very nicely. Enjoying an iced coffee now as I plan the phonics outline for the first term.

I have set up most of my room and I’m mostly happy with it.

Will be posting photos soon.

Talk soon!

Classroom organisation

So my focus has shifted a little to the organisation of our classroom. This did arise from thoughts about the first day of school. To be truthful I didn’t get too far, as I stumbled across the school supplies list that will be at each child’s desk. Once I saw that, I started to consider how the supplies and resources will be organised. 


I stumbled across this blog, which has great ideas about classroom organisation. The colour coded baskets this teacher has are a great idea and I love them. It also fits quite well with the fact that the children are coming from Prep, and will not have had much experience in having their own resources to be responsible for. If I can ease the children into this slowly, by giving them a group basket to be responsible for, it should work quite nicely. 


I am considering making  one child each week responsible for counting all materials so that they are kept track of and that the ‘responsibility’ aspect of having personal items is established fairly quickly. I am thinking of linking the leaders into the weekly job chart.

I apologise if it seems I am ‘thinking out aloud’ a little too much, but this is the beginning of my journey at I’ve not had to do any of this for myself before! I’ve never been in a Year One Classroom! If you have any suggestions or tips please let me know! 

Jemma 🙂


The school where I am teaching at next year has provided a fair few things for me already. One thing that can be quite expensive (or if you make your own, very time consuming), are placemats or name places for each child’s desk.

The school where I am teaching at has made them, specific to my requirements. All that I am required to do is to write the children’s names on and send them back to the school to be laminated.

While I am battling the heat and a head cold, I am bunkered in the air conditioning writing the children’s names on the placemats. I am working so slowly and carefully to get the hand writing correct for my Year Ones next year!

How are you preparing for your classroom next year?


Behaviour Management Brainstorming

So I have been thinking/brainstorming/researching ideas that would work best for Year One.

Some of the ideas I have are all based on what I have used while on field experience throughout uni. Other ideas are from Pinterest. You can see my boards via this link .

One idea I do like this pictured

Behaviour Management Picture

I like this, and would ideally have each child take their peg off at the end of each day and repin it on ‘Ready to Learn’. I like the idea because

  • It forces children to reflect and think about their choices and behaviour at the beginning of each day. Additionally, it also expects that each child can and should have a great day at school.
  • The school I am going to teach at doesn’t have a School Wide Behaviour Plan, unlike many of the schools where I have worked. I think this approach will ensure that the approach I use is consistent, but still allows for the child to have a fresh start each day regardless of the day before (this is why I think it is important that each child takes their name off at the end of the day so it’s not there as a reminder for the next day).
  • I can ask the children to draw their pictures of themselves for easy identification of their pegs. It gives them ownership of the process too.

In my mind, I would have the following tiers for the poster

Parent contact

Outstanding job

Great job

Good job

Ready to learn

Warning one

Warning two

Sit at the door

Visit another class

Parent contact

I think these tiers in the ‘negative area’ give children a chance to really stop and think about their actions and reconsider the choices they are making. In addition to this, I also think that having parent contact at either end of the tiers recognises that I will not only contact parents for a negative reason. Parents should be contacted for good reasons as well as areas where the child needs to improve.

I have read Harry K Wong’s The First Days of School: How to be an effective teacher which outlines the approaches that are, in his opinion, the best way to approach behaviour management is through procedures in the classroom. His ideology is basically, that if students are aware of procedures and the associated expectations, behaviour management is obsolete. The idea is that when students know procedures, should they choose not to follow it, all a teacher should have to say is, “What is the procedure?”

In addition to Harry K Wong’s procedure approach, ideally, ‘rules’ shouldn’t be required. If children do not follow procedures, they are turned into a rule, which has consequences if they are not followed. I like this idea, however, as a new teacher, this worries me and I think I will work between outlining procedures and maintaining class rules.

I am planning on, at this stage, outling class rules, that will be minimal. They might include

  • Hand up to speak
  • Be safe
  • Be kind
  • Be ready to learn

While these may be perceived as vague, I feel my outlining of procedures with children in my class will cover the rest.

At a conference held by my university, it was suggested to me that we discuss procedures with children and make a looks like/sounds like poster for each procedure. These posters can be clipped onto coat hangers that have the clips on them, and carried wherever the procedure takes place. I loved that idea and intend on carrying that out.

Please, tell me what you are thinking of these ideas, I’d love your input!



Photos of my room-to-be

Today I visited the school where I will be teaching next year. I had access to the classroom where I’ll be in. It is MY classroom! The teacher who has used it this year has cleaned every inch of the room (gumption smell everywhere!) and carpets get steamed soon.

At the moment, all tables are pushed to the back of the room as my room will have new desks for next year! The children this year have had group tables, but next year children will have individual desks with ‘tidy trays’ underneath.

The staff in the school were so generous with EVERYTHING that I could have possibly needed today, so I am even more excited for next year!

Pictures are as follows, from different angles.

IMG_3532 IMG_3535 IMG_3534 IMG_3533 IMG_3531 IMG_3530 IMG_3529

I have lots of space to use, but I am finding it a bit tricky at the moment to get my thoughts organised, as I do not know what the desks will look like! All in good time!

I’ve found Pinterest a great help to get my thoughts organised!

Jemma 🙂