1-2-3 Come Do a Back to School Icebreaker With Me!
Nowadays, our classrooms are filled with lots of diversity, which sometimes makes starting a new school year a bit scary.
I truly believe that making the time to do some “get to know you” activities the first few days of school, is so very important in building community, camaraderie and a team spirit.
Once those things are established, children build friendships. That bond helps them enjoy school more, learn better and feel safer.
Discipline problems are lessened as well because of mutual feelings of genuine caring and respect.
With that in mind, I designed this super-fun icebreaker craftivity, I call it, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, which not only helps everyone get to know each other, but also practices writing skills in a fun way.
I find that students truly enjoy sharing things about themselves.
A bonus is that completed projects also make an awesome back to school bulletin board as well.
I’ve included a variety of posters, for your display.
There's also a nice selection of "Don't judge a book by its cover", thought-provoking photo posters.
Use them as an attention grabbing way to introduce the lesson, or jump start a discussion of why it’s important not to prejudge others.
Later, sprinkle them throughout your display of children's book stacks.
As another discussion starter, I've also included a set of 4, interesting quote cards. These too, can become part of your display.
So that this idea works for a variety of grades, ages and skill levels, I’ve included patterns for lower elementary kiddos, as well as patterns for older students.
There are 6 young boy "topper" options, along with 6 for girls.
Patterns come in black & white so students can color them. I've also included several in color, so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share.
This "topper" sits on a stack of books.
Each book features a "favorite" writing prompt. Such as favorite food, animal, color etc.
Making this a quick, easy and a super-fun way to get to know your students.
Younger kiddos can dictate their answers to a parent, which makes this an interesting activity to do during your open house or "Meet the Teacher" night.
There are also 2 options for “teacher toppers” so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share. Students love learning things about their new teachers.
For older students there's a taller stack of books, with a pattern for a boy as well as a girl.
These come with "favorites" book headers, as well as a pattern where the books are numbered, so you can taylor your questions for your own class.
I've included a list of ideas you can choose from, to help design your own categories.
Simply peruse my list, circle your favorite 14, then number them.
After students have colored, cut and assembled ther book stack, read the first item you want them to write down on the first book: ie. "What is your favorite movie? "
For extra writing practice, I've also included several writing prompt worksheets.
Because "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "I can read them like a book" are idioms, be sure and take that teachable moment to explain what that term means.
I've included some definition posters to assist you.
Today's featured FREEBIE is a set of two coloring pages, inspired by two of my all-time favorite back to school books: "The Kissing Hand" and "Chrysanthemum".
Use them for a few minutes of sanity-saving time. While children are engaged and happily coloring, you 're freed up for a bit.
Plus, kiddos have a nice little something to bring home to share with their families.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Our weather here in Michigan has been absolutely gorgeous! Feeling very blessed.
Wishing you a stress free and very relaxing day.
"Life seems to begin all over again during the summer." - Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Name Writing Activities With Me
Put some fun into “name writing” practice.
This important skill can be daunting for little ones just learning how to hold a writing utensil.
Likewise, “practice makes perfect” can become tedious and boring.
With these things in mind, I designed this “kid topper” name craftivity.
There are a variety of ways you can use this packet.
The first way is to use as a worksheet with a “child topper”.
Run off the boy & girl patterns on copy paper, or to make them sturdier, use white construction paper.
There are 18, BW girl options, as well as 18 boy options. Children color the child, then trim and glue to the top of one of the worksheets.
There are 4 “I can write my name" worksheets. Choose which is most appropriate for your students.
To add variety & make things more fun, students write their name with a crayon, pencil, marker, pen & piece of chalk.
If your kiddos are like mine, this is a “big deal” that meets with lots of enthusiasm.
Another option, is for students to simply write with one utensil. My kiddos’ favorite is markers.
They can do this all at once, writing their name six times, or do this once each day for the first week of school.
IDEA: Have students choose two different colored markers, then show an ABAB color pattern to cover yet another report card standard.
Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board. I’ve included 2 posters to add extra pizzazz.
IDEA: After you take your bulletin board down, save your students’ work, then have them repeat the assignment, the last week of school.
You should see wonderful improvement in coloring, as well as writing! What a great keepsake too.
The other option is to make a “strip booklet”.
To make one, staple X number of pages together, add the cover, then staple to the base of each students’ “kid topper”.
Children write their name on the first day, then again, once each month.
This is great to share during parent-teacher conferences, and also makes a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year.
I've also included 3, "bookmarks of praise" for boys, and another 3 for girls, which you can hand out when they pass this report card standard.
Today's featured FREEBIE is a "Getting to know you!" name map.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for popping in.
It's summer; it's Friday, and I'm feelin' oh so fine!
Time to don my straw hat & flips flops. Hoffmaster Beach here we come.
"A little sand between your toes, is a simple way to take away your woes. " -Unknown.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look Who's In Our Classroom!
One of my favorite books that I read during the first week of school was Chicka Boom.
My hallway bulletin board had a floor to ceiling palm tree on the side with a monkey hanging by it that would ooh ahh if you pulled its tail.
It was a great way to help anxious students calm down. “Do you want to hear my monkey talk?”
On the bulletin board was a monkey with each child’s name. During our Open House treasure hunt, students had to find their name.
Being able to recognize their name was one of our report card standards, so I was always trying to think of fun ways for my students to do that.
The caption on this b. board was: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Welcome To Our Classroom!
Another year, I skipped the b. board and used a wall to make the display even bigger because I wanted to include alphabet letters.
To get the wiggles out after reading the book, I pass out monkey masks and my Y5's played "Monkey See Monkey Do" and we copied the "Monkey In The Middle."
I know many teachers all over the country also read this book, so I wanted to design lots of activities for a variety of standards to go with it.
The Picka Chicka File Folder reinforces colors, upper and lowercase letters (Common Core State Standard RF.K1d) and shapes; as well as reading and writing.
Click on the link to view/download the 67-page Picka Chicka-Chicka Boom File Folder Packet.
Chicka Boom Boom Look Who’s In Our Classroom is an easy reader class book, that helps students get to know their new friends, reinforces name recognition, as well as upper and lowercase letters. (Common Core State Standard RF.K1d)
The 35-page Chicka Boom Trunk Tricks packet includes a variety of adorable Chicka Boom tree projects that reinforce letters, shapes, patterns, and other report card standards in a unique and fun way.
The packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download Chicka Boom Trunk Tricks
Finish up your Chicka Boom studies with this fun hands-on Chicka Boom snack.
To compliment all of the Chicka Boom activities I have a variety of monkey-themed activities as well.
Click on the link to view/download a variety of easy readers etc. This link will take you to the Monkey section, where I hope you’ll have a barrel of fun!
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.
I hope you can swing by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why and pursued the answer.” –Bernard Baruch