Sunday, May 20, 2012

Touring First Grade...Kindergarten Map Makers

Each year I have a tradition of taking my Kindergartners on a first grade tour. This usually helps relieve some of the jitters of going to first least for now! My class this year has LOVED Junie B. Jones books. So for them I began our "transition" by reading  the book about Junie B. going to first grade. We spent time discussing how Junie B. described first grade and how it seemed different than the kindergarten in the other Junie B. books.  We also discussed how June B. was having a hard time at first but in the end everything worked out just fine.  So before we actually went on our tour of first grade classrooms we brainstormed a list of things that we thought we may see in the rooms. The kids listed many of the things that we have in our room now (block center, house center, reading center and art center.) The did get VERY excited about the possibility of having their own desk! I told them they would just have to wait and see when we got there!  
Finally the day came and we went on our tour! While touring they were as silent as could be and were taking everything in! Once we got back to our room we discussed what we saw and compared it to the prediction list we had made earlier.  Most were okay with not having a block or house center ...still others were very disappointed about this.   Some noticed the math tubs and reading centers in the rooms. However, what seemed to catch their attention the most were the desks (of course) , the larger calendar walls and the HUGE lockers-cubbies! Also, one kiddo noticed that one of the rooms did have a "car rug" for driving toy cars on. Yay! 

While it was still fresh in their minds I asked the kids to draw a map of their favorite first grade room.   I was amazed at how intent they were while working on these! They discussed with their table mates which room they were going to draw and what they were going to include on their maps.  I also found it very interesting that they each focused on different things from the rooms. Some were amazed with the huge popcorn word walls..while others were happy that the desks were squished together! Here's a peek at a few of my favorites!
I love how he labeled labeled everything! You can see that for the word wall he listed a few of the words he noted. He also has "our books", carpet, lockers and the much larger calendar wall.
I love the details in this one! She has the desks that are "squished" together, the extra center tables and of course the math problems.
This map maker included the squished desks, a bookshelf, the calendar wall and the HUGE lockers.

Now a project in my class is not complete unless we write about something of course! So, for this project the kids listed" What I know about First Grade!"  They again discussed with their table mates what they know and even what they still had questions about. Many seemed to be on the same track. They discussed the desks, lockers and that the centers were different. 
"Their lockers are big. They have desks. They have a reading center. The desks are squished together. They didn't have much centers."
"Their lockers are big. They have desks. They have a reading center. The desks are together. They don't have much centers. They have something on their desks."

Now I must admit having my kids complete this tour and project is as much for me as it is for them. As I'm holding back tears and sniffles on our walk back to our room I am reassured that they will all be just fine by their excitement and eagerness to discuss all that they saw.  Even those experiencing some disappointment for the lack of a block and house center seem very excited about other things they saw in the rooms. I assure each and everyone of them that first grade will be amazing and they will LOVE it!  So how do you help your little ones transition to first grade? I'd love it if you would share!  Have a great week!
                                                           Mrs. M


  1. My students loooooooooove Junie B. this year too!! We started with #1 and we are now all the way to Cheater Pants.... They can't wait to hear her each day!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog
    My TpT Store

    1. I love her books too. =) I've somehow never managed to read them in order. We always seem to skip around. My favorite will always be the first one...I always check my supply closet now during the first week of school!

  2. I love this idea! I teach first grade, but could easily adapt it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great idea to make the transition a little easier. I just love Junie B.!

  4. I love the maps! The little one who wrote "they have dex" cracks me up for some reason. I love kinder writing. :)


    1. I agree! It makes me smile everyday when I read their writing!

  5. This is a great idea. It will great with what we are doing as well. Thanks for sharing.


  6. I love the idea of going on a tour of all the classroom. I bet the students LOVED that.


    1. Yes they did love it! =) It really helped to calm some of their nerves about going to first.

  7. Hi! Thanks for checking out my blog! I'm also your newest follower!

    I love love love this idea for transitioning to first grade! Immadding this to my plans for next year!


    1. Welcome...and I'm so glad you can use this idea!


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