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
1-2-3 Come Do A Social Studies Icebreaker With Me!
"My Home" is a quick and easy "craftivity" perfect for those studying about neighborhoods or families, or use as a sweet icebreaker for the first week of school, as it's a wonderful way to get to know your new students.
You can also do this for an easy activity that parents can work on with their child during your Open House. Completed projects make a wonderful back to school bulletin board.
If you send a "welcome to school" summer letter out, you could also include the house pattern in that, or send it home the first day of school. Children take home, complete and bring back the next day to share with their new classmates.
What an interesting and fun way for them to learn about each other, which also gives them practice sharing in front of the class. So your kiddos get to know a bit about their teacher, make sure to do one for yourself to use as an example.
Here's What To Do: Students write their family's last name at the top, write the number of members in their family and then draw a picture of them.
Inform children to label their drawing to tell who is represented. Let them know that they can include pets as well.
Children glue a photgraph of themselves in the window. For the door, students complete the writing prompt "My favoirte room is..." and then explain why.
Some schools still have "knows their address" as a standard, so I've included a window for that as well.
Children color their house the appropriate color and cut it out. After students share their homes, make a classroom "neighborhood" as a bulletin board.
Click on the link to view/download the My Home back to school icebreaker activity. Thanks for visiting. Feel free to PIN away! My "Pin It" button is at the top. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for another home-sweet-home "craftvity" entitled H is for House.
"If you don't risk, you can't grow. If you don't grow, you can't become the best you, you can be!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Write Some News With Me!
I sent home a newsletter every week to keep my parents informed. It was simply a bulleted 1-pager of what we were doing.
Having a standard header for your newsletter, alerts parents of what this is. I kept it the same for the month, and then would switch to something appropriate for the next season. i.e. pumpkins for October etc.
I always ended on an uplifting note with "Chuckles and Heartwarmers." This section was a few quotes of the cute things the children had said or did that week.
Many parents commented that they looked forward to the newsletter, and being able to know important information, as little ones don't tend to have a whole lot of comments when a parent asks: "What did you do in school today?"
I've included headers for preschool through 4th grade, + a blank one for you to fill in with whatever.
You can also use these as a cute writing prompt. Have each student write their own page of what they are doing that’s newsworthy.
Collect and collate them into a class book, or post them on a bulletin board. Use real newspaper pages as the background of your board and then mount students’ work on the top.
Print off the “Read all about it...” strips; cut them out and use them for a border around the bulletin board.
You can also use only one page to post news on. Pass the “newspaper” around to each student, who jots down something newsworthy for that week or month. If it gets filled up, start a new page. Mount the pages on real newspaper and put on the wall.
Children could also become reporters and choose a partner to interview, filling out their "newspaper" about that person. My Y5's loved carrying around a clipboard to do various writing.
Click on the link to view/download the Read All About It newsletter templates.
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"If we take people as we find them, we may make them worse, but if we treat them as though they are what they should be, we help them to become what they are capable of becoming." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1-2-3 Come Sing A Song And Learn Names With Me!
On the first day of school many little ones will be overwhelmed with all of the newness of a zillion different things they've never experienced before, including being surrounded by other children who are strangers.
A wonderful "icebreaker" is to help youngsters feel welcome. Learning their names quickly, is a very important part of that.
Once children know each other's names, they also feel more comfortable, making friends rather quickly.
Since "being able to recognize their name" was one of my Y5 report card standards, I did all sorts of activities to help children accomplish that in a fun way.
Singing name songs was always a favorite activity. Since most children know the tune of Old MacDonald, I decided to start there.
Simply print off the adorable clipart song poster. Thanks ever so much to the very creative djinkers.com who provides licenses for teachers to use her clipart.
After children catch on, you can point to the words as you sing.
Fill in the blanks by pointing to 2 children and having them say their names. Continue the song 'til you have used every child's name.
As another name recognition activity, run off the farmer name cards and write your students' names on them.
If you have time, it's nice to allow children to color their card to help with recognition.
Using a variety of colors, to write the names, will also help really little ones associate their name with the color, helping them to differentiate more easily, especially if a lot of your students' names begin with similar letters.
Laminate the cards for durability. When you sing the song again, instead of pointing to a child, show their name card.
When they recognize it, they can say their name. Pretty soon all of your students will be able to read everyone's name!
You can also print off an extra set of name cards to send one home to parents. If they post it on the bathroom mirror or other prominent place in the home, they can make it a teachable moment whenever their child sees it.
Click on the link to view/download the EIEIO Name Recognition Song.
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"A leader is anyone who has two characteristics: first, he is going someplace; second, he is able to persuade other people to go with him." -W.H. Cowley
1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake Booklet With Me!
I loved it when my children made special things in school that became cherished keepsakes, so I was thinking what a nice self-esteem and confidence builder a special keepsake booklet made by parents would be.
During the first week of school, send home the letter of explanation along with the cover and dedication page.
The last week of each month, send home that month's "praise page."
Parents jot down what they were most proud of their child for accomplishing that month and return the page before the end of the month.
Make a file folder for each student.
When a page is returned, share it with that student and have them color their page.
This can also be done at home with parents reading the note and then having their child color it.
As the pages arrive, have a room helper put them in the folder, in consecutive order by putting the current page at the back of the pile.
The last month of your school year, send home the remaining pages and then collate each student's booklet.
Send the booklets home the last week of school.
Click on the link to view/download the Proud As A Peacock Parent Praise Booklet.
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A perfect "go along" with this booklet, is my Proud Pupil Peacock Progress Pal! Makes an adorable bulletin board.
I designed this last year. It's been one of my most popular downloads, and a wonderful self-esteem builder, as students add feathers when they master a standard or accomplish a goal.
Click on the link to view/download it.
"It only takes a solitary light to guide a thousand ships in from the night." -Unknown
Staying Organized and Saving Time With Absent Work File Folders
When I taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade, keeping track of who was missing what, when students were absent, then finding and collecting those papers for them to do, was time consuming.
I learned early on that I needed a system to expedite things. You will LOVE this idea as it's sooooo easy to implement and such a hassle-free time saver. I designed cute “We missed you!” “Glad you’re back!” ABSENT file folders.
Yesterday, I updated this FREEBIE, as students are absent for more reasons than just being ill. (If you have older students, simply adjust the clip art for something more appropriate.)
After I took attendance, if a child was absent, I put a sticky note with their name and the date written on it and stuck it to the front of the Absent File Folder and laid it on the top of their desk.
When I taught 1st grade, I handed out work to the first student in each row. They passed it back to the others, so the child who sat in front of the absent student, would make sure that they put a copy in the Absent Folder, taking this time consuming responsibility off of me.
Since my students also worked from workbooks each day and then ripped out their assignment to take home, the helper student would open that child’s desk, rip out the workbook page and also include those in the folder, or I would do it while my kiddos were working.
That saved me from having to write out things like: Do workbook pages in such and such etc. Likewise, if I gave a spelling test or other quiz, I’d include a blank copy with a make-up date on it, that they’d use on that day. If notes were put in folders, or cubbies, to go home in backpacks that day, I made sure they were put in the Absent Folder.
The folder would remain on their desk until the student came back. If they were gone the next day, another date would be put on the sticky note and the papers from the day before would be stapled with a due date, and that day’s papers would then go on top.
This also made it a breeze for me when a sibling unexpectedly popped in at the end of the day (things are already hectic) to collect work for their brother or sister, or if the office called down that a parent stopped in to pick up work.
No more rushing around looking for "stuff" or trying to remember what I did or passed out, all while trying to get my students ready to go home!
I’d simply take out the contents, add a Xeroxed “Get Well note”, which I kept in a file, and hand it to their family member. Because children are gone all the time, I absolutely LOVED this time saver; using it no matter what grade I taught. It's my favorite classroom management tip, because it's such a stress-buster.
Even tho' my Y5's and K's did not have to make up work, as did my upper el students, most families still wanted work that they missed, so I kept these types of folders for them too.
Not only didn't parents want their child to "get behind" but I didn't want them to miss out on special projects and activities that we did.; especially if we made a keepsake art project. I simply tucked in all of the materials needed for them to make one at home. Parents were very appreciative, especially if their child was not really "sick" but quarantined and bored.
Simply print off copies of my master (I made 7 folders so that I had plenty) glue to the front of a file folder, and then laminate. Remember the folder does NOT go home, just the contents.
Keep the folders on your counter or desk, with your attendance roster and lesson plans. Make sure you have a note about them in your sub folder and explain the process to your students, so they can take charge when you're gone.
Click on the link to view download my newest creation for absent work file folders with clip art from Laura Strickland. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
I hope this idea helps you save time and alleviate last-minute stress. It's a beautiful sunny day, and time to go water my garden. All the best to you!
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe