I still have a month before our first day - but I'm linking up with Psyched to be in 2nd for a First Day of School Linky
OK, first day of school is a half day in my district. I sort of hate it because here come all these kiddos, totally loaded down with school supplies. And all they want to do is explore their supplies and all I want to do is get to know them. I usually try to do something to get us all started, and then I go around and look at their supplies - what needs a name, what's community property and (my not-really-a-mentor, but super-next-door teacher/friend told me to do this) I take the extra supplies they bring and put them in a ziploc with their name on it. I put them away until after Christmas and Surprise! they have a whole new set of crayons, pencils, glue, whatever. So thrilling :)
I've taught the first day of 2nd grade for 4 years, and I think I've done something different every year :) But I usually include the book First Day Jitters - I love it because my name is the same as the main character in the book - and we can talk about having jitters.
I also have a big piece of construction paper and I have the kids draw their family. I explain that some of them might have divorced parents - mine were - and whatever, but I ask them to draw their family and then write about it. (We don't get this all done on the first day!) My not-really-a-mentor, but super-next-door teacher/friend gave me this idea, and it Really gives you an idea of where the kids are. And it's a good thing to have hanging on Open House night which is usually sometime during that first week.
I also try to do a theme thing for the start of school - something to get us all excited about school. I did plants one year, and I can't remember what else. Last year I did oceans and I'm going to continue that this year. Last year, I was sort of guided by Scholastic's Ocean Life. This year, I've also purchased Deanna Jump's Ocean Animals - Math & Literacy Fun. I know she teaches K, but for me, she gives me lots of good ideas to get going, and then I spin off from there and add my own things.
So linky up - and enjoying my Sunday. My husband was watching an old movie on TCM and I about fell asleep - that just never happens!