1-2-3 Come Make Some Back To School Things With Me
As I stated before, I know we all just got out of school, and the summer has barely begun, but somehow, June as usual, has simply flown by. For a lack of anything better to write about throughout the summer, I decided to design some more back to school items.
Hopefully when you've recovered from the past year, and are starting to get excited about school stuff, you'll find this blog article featuring a few goodies to make for your new students.
If you're looking for something easy and inexpensive and an alternative to candy, I think you'll enjoy the Pencil Packet.
Since large office supply stores and retailers will be decorated to the hilt in the middle of July, with back to school stuff; offering wonderful loss leaders, you can usually find a pack of 20 to 40 pencils for only a dollar.
Choose either a pencil tag in color or the black and white tag and run off on yellow construction paper. Punch a hole in the top and tie to a pencil and you're done!
If you want a bit more, inlclude a few goofy erasers that you can buy packages of at The Dollar Store, or attach to a notebook that Target and others sell for just 15 cents at this time.
You can also print off the cute bookmarks and place both on your students' desks for a special "Welcome to school" surprise.
To keep the theme going, print the large pencil on card stock and hang on your doorknob. I've included two on a page so you can hang them on the front and back of your door, or put one up above your pencil sharpener.
For a sweet back to school bulletin board, print off the pencil template, make an extra copy of your students' 1st day of school photos; trim and glue to the center of the pencil and write their name on the top.
Scatter them on your b. board with a school-themed boarder. Using a piece of cloth or burlap as your background, adds a nice touch. Your caption: Mr(s). _______________'s sharp new bunch of students.
Finally, there are 2 student roster posters. You can fill in your students' names, or pass the other one around, for everyone to sign.
Click on the link to view/download the Back To School Pencil Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Here's hoping this coming year is filled with your sharpest students ever!
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"An education is not received, it is achieved." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do A Back-To-School Icebreaker With Me.
My Y5's LOVED playing games as icebreakers for the first week of school. They are a quick, easy and fun way for students to learn about each other.
With a wave of my "magic magnifying glass" I'd often turn my kiddo's into ABC-De-tectives. They especially enjoyed running around with a clipboard interviewing their classmates. With that in mind, I designed this "Find A Friend" icebreaker.
Here's What To Do:
Teacher runs off “rap sheets.” (A list of 5 simple questions.) Older students can fill them out in class; you may want to send the questionnaire home with younger students, to have parents help them out.
Remind students NOT to put their name on their paper. Pass out a rap sheet to each student. Make sure that no one has their own.
Inform your students that they are all detectives and that their mission is to find their new friend.
Explain to your students, that by interviewing their classmates, they will eliminate suspects, until they find their new friend.
When everyone has found their friend, detectives will introduce them to the class, using their rap sheet to tell about them.
For added fun, I've included detective badges, a congratulations certificate of praise, that students earn when they find their new friend, a rap sheet, as well as an interview form.
Click on the link to view/download the Find A Friend Icebreaker Activity.
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"Education is not received. It's achieved." -Unknown
"They may not be easy to see, but these are 5 things I want you to know about me!"
That's what the sentence says at the top of the paper.
It's a quick and easy icebreaker for the first day or first week of school, that’s also a terrific writing prompt for September, and fun way to get to know your students.
When completed, they make a cute back to school bulletin board too! Make sure you do one yourself, so you have an example to share with your students, so they know how to do the assignment, as well as get to know their new teacher a little better too.
Older students can draw their own self-portraits in the blank oval. So that they don't feel overwhelmed drawing themselves, remind them that this is just a section of their face from the nose up, or even just their eyes. You can also give students a choice of the other 17 facial tops to fill in and color.
They should color their hair and eyes to represent themselves. I find that younger students are less overwhelmed if they have this sort of template to follow and have a bit more fun with the activity, if they don’t have to start from scratch. You also won’t have to listen to whining: “I can’t draw a face; or “I don’t know how to draw.”
Little ones also tend to draw a tiny circle instead of a big one, or they draw an entire stick body. You can include the template in your “Welcome to school summer letter” or Open House packet, and have students return them on the first day of school, so they can share with their new classmates right away.
Another plus of doing it this way, is that parents can help little ones write down the 5 things. Some teachers like to have an Open House activity that students can do with their families. This would be perfect.
Another option, if you don’t do a summer letter or Open House, is to hand them out the first day of class and have students put them in their backpack or "Take Home" folder, for a home-school connection, to be returned in the next few days.
Make sure you provide time to share their completed projects, so everyone gets to know each other. No matter what my students’ ages, I always had them applaud each child’s sharing. This is a big deal for many “shy” kiddos. Writing in different colored markers also jazzes things up.
If you have the time, turn this into even more of a keepsake, by having a room helper or students trace eachother's handprint on flesh-colored construction paper. Fold it over and cut once for 2 handprints.
Have students glue their paper hands “holding” their writing prompt, in such a way that they can fold the wrist portion over and have them "flop" open to reveal their writing.
You can punch a hole in the top and hang them back-to-back and suspend from the ceiling or line them up as a cute border, just below the ceiling in the hallway.
Click on the link to view/download 5 Things Icebreaker Portraits Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away!
"By learning, you will teach; by teaching, you will learn." -Latin Proverb
An Apple (Activity) A Day Keeps Boredom Away!
One of my favorite units that I did with my Y5’s was APPLES.
I think they really enjoyed it too, as visiting an apple orchard and picking 3 different kinds of apples was our first fieldtrip.
I feel it’s important to have lots of hands-on centers for little ones, to help them increase fine motor skills through cutting and gluing.
Doing centers helps with a variety of life skills and forces them to listen in order to follow directions.
As they become independent, they are empowered and their self-esteem soars.
Seeing their creations hung on our “Wall of Fame” in the hallway, also helped give them a sense of pride.
Knowing I was going to display their work, was a good incentive, to give their best effort.
Through art, I could also incorporate reading, writing, math, and science; sometimes all of them in one quick project, which covered a variety of report card standards.
The 92 – page Apple Art Projects Book has a large variety of activities in it and includes directions, patterns and pictures.
These make terrific center activities, something for students to do when they have completed other work, a nice home-school connection project to be given as homework, or something to tuck in your substitute folder.
The results are wonderful back to school bulletin boards, or hallway and door displays. Some can be suspended from the ceiling.
The crayon-melt apple poem was one of my favorites.
The poem introduced my students to rhyme; the rhyme taught them the science fact they needed to learn about apples; twisting the 3 color crayons through a sharpener was a terrific fine motor skill, and the result after I put a sheet of wax paper over their shavings and applied a warm iron was awesome!
I also reinforced the 3 colors with this rip and tear apple, which strengthened finger muscles as well.
Students enjoyed making the Life Cycle of an Apple on a paper plate, which was a quick and easy way to get some science in.
Click on the link to view/download the Apple Art Projects Packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
Do you have an apple activity that you could share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org or take a moment and post a comment here.
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“We should say to each [child]: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique -- you may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven.
You have the capacity for anything!” –Pablo Casals
A Fun Way To Get To Know Your Students
Stamp of Approval Stamps make a great icebreaker for the first week of school and a terrific way to get to know your students + they are an instant back to school bulletin board showcasing your new students!
Send a copy in your Welcome to School - Summer Letter, or tuck them in your Open House packet, so that they can be completed ahead of time, and then shared on the first day of school.
You can also show your example on the first day, so that your students can learn a little bit about you, and then send the stamps home as an assignment for that first day.
How to fill in a stamp:
Students can write, type (using a fun(ky) font), or cut out letters (like a ransom note), or use stickers to make their name.
This goes on the wavy line portion of the cancelled stamp, in the top left-hand corner.
The PLACE where they were born, goes around the top of the circle.
The YEAR they were born, goes on the bottom-middle of the circle.
The MONTH and DAY they were born, goes in the center of the circle.
Months should be abbreviated, unless they are 4 or less letters long.
Places and dates appear on real cancelled stamps; making it personal, makes this assignment more relevant and fun!
Students draw a self-portrait of themselves. (Just a headshot) This needs to be colored. Hair and eye color etc. need to be appropriate, so students can possibly guess whose picture belongs to whom, if the teacher wants to add that activity before the “real” student comes up to share.
Students need to think of their favorite things to do, their hobbies, or sports or “stuff” they are involved in, or possibly what they want to be when they grow up. Basically, anything that represents them or will help us get to know them.
After they have thought up their “list” they need to find pictures, clip art, or stickers of those things and glue them around their self-portrait.
Students write or cut out 3-5 words that describe them. These should be scattered around on their stamp.
Challenge older students to include a word that begins with the same letter as their name. i.e. I chose driven (Diane) for mine.
Students share their stamp with their classmates. I always had my students clap for each person when they were through.
Hang them in the hallway or on a b. board, along with the “Stamp of approval star student” poster.
To add some 3D effects, suspend some glittery stars of various sizes, from fish line, just above the board, at various lengths.
Click on the link to view/download Stamp of Approval Stamp activity
Do you have a “Getting To Know Your Students” activity you can share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you! email@example.com
You can also post a comment here. Thanks in advance for taking the time to do that.
Thanks too for visiting. I hope you can drop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas and teaching tips.
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“Teaching is a lighting of sparks and setting minds aflame;
it’s a creative mind that knows what kind of gasoline to throw on to get it glowing and burning even brighter the next day and the next…” -Diane Henderson
1-2-3 Come Do An Icebreaker Craft With Me
What’s On Your Mind? Is an easy and interesting way to get to know your students. Use it as a fun icebreaker for the first day or first week of school.
You can do these in class, if you’re looking for a filler, or if you're pressed for time, send them home to be done as a home-school connection.
Older students can draw their own self-portrait (head) outline, or use one of mine. I've included two boy options, as well as two for girls to choose from.
I find young children do much better if they have some sort of pattern, as they tend to draw rather small circles that items would not be able to fit into.
If you’d like to have a ready-to share activity for the first day of school, include the directions and a template in your “Welcome to school” summer letter or tuck it in your Open House packet, if you have one before the start of school.
By doing this, you'll also have an instant bulletin board ready to go up, after students share their creations. Be sure and make one for yourself to use to explain things and then post as an example. This is my sample that took about 15-minutes, using clip art + adding a photo of my husband and poodle pup Chloe.
I think you’ll enjoy doing it as will your students. No matter what the age group, I've always found that everyone seems to like sharing a little bit about themselves. This is a creative and entertaining way to do that.
You could follow this up with some technology time, and have students type in words to their thoughts and make a word-art picture on the computer using the free tagxedo program as well! I did a sample for me and one for my husband, so you could see a male sample. I filled in the caricature templates (see pix) so they don't look as much like a silhouette as I would have liked.
If you want to use my boy and girl "head templates" click on the link. You'll need to change them to jpegs to use them in Tagxedo, otherwise find a sideview of some other clip art to import.
Click on the link to view/download the What’s On Your Mind activity packet.
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“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing so great as real strength.” –St. Francis De Sales
Proud Pupil Peacock Progress Pals
Now there's a tongue twister to rival Peter Piper!
These adorable birds are a wonderful way to build a student’s self-esteem, show progress and let others know what students are learning in your class.
They are easy and simple to implement and can last the entire year, making a nice keepsake of all that a child has accomplished in preschool Y5’s, kindergarten etc.
At the beginning of the year, you can keep the peacocks in a student file folder or their portfolio.
As students learn new report card standards and pass assessments, earning feathers, the peacocks acquire lots of plumage.
Design a makeshift bulletin board in the hallway to display your students’ progress for the rest of the year and watch their self-confidence grow as they get to “strut their stuff!”
Your caption can include that concept:” _______________’s students are strutting their stuff. (S)he is so proud of their accomplishments”! Or “Look what ___________________’s students have accomplished this year! We’re proud peacock pupils who have earned the right to strut our stuff!”
Here’s how to make a Proud Peacock Progress Pal:
Run off the templates on brightly colored construction paper.
You can have students cut out feathers as they complete an assessment, or have them pre-cut by a room helper. To expedite things I have them pre-cut as well as the circles.
Students could also color these in, but I like the extra pizzazz the construction paper makes.
Students cut out their peacock and write their name on the tummy.
If you want to add some 3D pizzazz, students can add wiggle eyes, 4 rhinestones at the top of the bird’s head, a 3D beak and yellow construction paper feet.
When a student passes an assessment, the child adds feathering detail with a complimentary colored marker and the teacher writes down what report card standard they have mastered.
Feathers should be glued to the backs of the birds in an alternate ABAB pattern. The next row should be another set of 2 different colors.
Click on the link to view/download Proud Peacock Progress Pal
I hope you and yours enjoy showing off some appropriate pride this year, as they learn how to spread their wings and fly.
Do you have any tips of how you build your students’ self-esteem or show what they are accomplishing in your class?
I’d enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org You could also post a comment here. If we all add something to each other’s bag of tricks think of how much lighter the load.
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"Children learn more from what you are than what you teach." -W.E.B. DuBois
A Cookie Glyph As A Fun Way To Get To Know Your New Students!
I dreamed this up because I thought it would not only be a fun icebreaker, but it would make an instant and really cute bulletin board as well.
You can do these with your students the first week of school as a get-to-know-you activity, or you can tuck the directions and a tan construction paper cookie into your Open House Packet for parents to help their child with, and then they can bring their cookie on the first day of school for them to hold up and share with their new friends.
We have our Open House before school starts. If you don't, you can tuck it into your "Welcome to my class" letter / school packet that many teachers send out during the summer or simply send it home the first day of school.
Use my pattern, or revamp it to make it simpler or a bit more involved to fit the age of your students or the time frame you have allotted to complete it in class.
Take a photo of each student on their 1st day of school. I use this photo in all sorts of keepsake things during September until I get their school pix back.
I make black & white copies on the photo setting of our copier and keep them handy, along with other photos that I take in a file folder on my desk.
Click on the link to view/print everything you need to do this back-to-school cookie glyph.
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I hope you can pop in tomorrow for another back-to-school idea.
"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some." -Charles Dickens
Getting-To-Know-You Via A Glyph! A Fun Icebreaker For Back-To-School!
During the first few weeks of school, I always tried to plug in quick, easy and fun little ways for my students to get to know their classmates. I felt it helped build community and a caring classroom. It's amazing the diversity we have in our schools today!
Even if you homeschool, this is an interesting activity to do with your kiddos. I'm always surprised at the answers my own children come up with when we're playing games or chatting. Just when I think I really know their tastes and what not, they toss me a curve.
A really fun way to get to know your students is via a Bio-glyph.
This is simply a glyph about oneself, and a great way to learn all sorts of information.
Completed projects make an awesome bulletin board or hallway display.
Here's how: Run off a copy of my masters. The girls will need an oval head, the boys a circle.
I've found that by providing a template for students to follow, things are easier. Little ones tend to draw small and write big ( Go figure...)
When everyone has the appropriate template, read each direction slowly, and then repeat once. Remind your students to listen carefully. Because this is a listening and following directions activity, glyphs provide "proof" that a child is or isn't doing that.
Draw the “kinds” of hair, noses, eyebrows, mouths, ears, and cheeks, on your white board as you read the directions for each one. This will help students know what the various shapes look like, or how curly hair can be drawn.
If you are doing this with older students who can read, simply run off a copy of my master glyph (it provides samples) and pass it out to them. You can also revamp my glyph to make this easier and simpler to fit the age of your students or the time that you have allowed.
Make sure you do one for yourself so that you have an example. I did one for me and one for my husband. He's a wonderful guinnea pig and good sport, who is great for bouncing ideas off of.
As a fun extension, you can number and post the completed bio-glyphs, along with the key, in the hallway so that they flip up. Have students write their names on the BACK of their glyph in such a way, so that when a person flips them up, they can read their name.
Later, for added fun, put a real photograph (1st day of school picture) of the student on the wall, under the glyph. You could also have children become detectives and turn this into a "solve the bio-glyph mystery game."
Set a timer. Give students a certain amount of time to ask questions of their new friends, to help them try and figure out which bio-glyph belongs to whom. They can write down their answers on the "Whose Glyph?" sheet provided.
Which person got the most correct? ( I've included a super-sleuth certificate you can give them.) How did you do? This is a fun way for students to learn about each other and a great ice breaker for back to school.
Or… you can simply have each child come up and share their bio-glyph with the class by explaining it. Click on the link to view/download the Bio-Glyph Packet.
Thanks for visiting. If you're looking for more glyphs, click on the link to pop over to that section of my site. I tried to dream up one for all of the seasons. The Cookie Glyph and Apple Glyph are great for September.
"The sure way to teach easily and successfully, is to awaken interest and kindle enthusiasm." -Tyron Edwards